ODS Track is a document and submission management framework. It was originally created to assist in management of the vast amount of documentation that generally accompanies a submission for environmental rating systems. However it is robust enough to handle almost any application where documents must be requested from multiple parties.
The system has a powerful template-management system. If you decide to change or adjust any of our pre-configured templates then you may create your own template which can be used internally for all future projects. Similarly, you can just as easily start from scratch and create you own templates for any project type... not just for sustainable ratings of buildings but also general document management or QA processes.
The framework comes pre-configured with Green Star templates for most existing tools and point-score optioneering, document tracking and full project correspondence history can be maintained on the system. There are also templates for LEED while BREEAM and other systems will be implemented in the very near future.
The idea of the system as a whole is not to be overly specific to Green Star, LEED, BREEAM, LBC or whatever... but rather to provide a robust and flexible framework for managing the submission, review, status and discussion history related to all intellectual property associated with any project. A key concept is that all intellectual property and knowledge is preserved and may be published and inherited into future projects so that it is built-upon thus growing and improving over time.
- Pressing any plus symbol (“+”) link will add something (the title next to the relevant plus sign should be pretty self-explanatory)
- For example: on the project homepage admins can invite other colleagues or whomever into the project using the “+” sign next to the “Members” heading. Just enter their email address, discipline, and authorisation level. If their disciplines is not available then try adding more disciplines to the project first by pressing the “+” sign next to the “Discpline” heading. You will see the new invite go into the “outstanding invitations” list below.
- The plus-sign in the overview page adds “categories” . If you have created the tracker from a template then there should be categories already set up that match the template system (Green Star, BREEAM, LEED, Living Building Challenge or whatever)
- Within categories you can add “packages” which roughly correspond to “credits” for Green Star or the like. The reason they are called “packages” is because these should be thought of as “packages of deliverables” which have to be completed.
- Within each “package” you can add “documents” which are specific deliverables that are required from specific disciplines. One document corresponds to one single upload, so that could be a PDF report or Excel spreadsheet or whatever. Documents can be assigned to particular disciplines and due-dates and status of completion/review can be set.
- When a regular (non-admin) user logs in they can really only browse the tree of categories/packages/documents and upload their specific required documents. When they upload the status automatically changes to “requires review”
- The “My Documents” link on the left of the screen shows a summary page of all documents. For admins: that will show a list of all outstanding deliverables which you can filter by discipline and submission or overdue status. For regular users this will just show a single list of all documents they need to upload which they can work through one-by-one.
The commenting system
- You can add comments by pressing the “+” sign next to the “additional comments” section at the bottom of any package or document page
- Within each package OR document you can add additional comments. When a comment is placed on a “package” or “document” it will automatically email a copy of the comment to all members who are associated with that element in any way AND all the project admins.
- Each comment starts what is essentially a forum thread from that comment where other users can reply and the entire history of the conversation is preserved on the system.
- The idea behind the commenting system is that it is a central place where all comments and discussion related to each package or document can be maintained forever.