The Scheduler allows Admins to schedule the automatic start and finish of Initiatives! This feature provides Admins the ability configure Initiative dates, Submission dates, Voting dates and also gives this transparency to End-Users as well. Let's unpack all the details around the Initiative Scheduler below.
With the Summer 2022 Release, the Initiative Scheduler has received a number of updates to its look and feel. These updates include:
- Scheduled events, such as Initiative End or Commenting Start, may now be used as event triggers for the Pipeline Rules Engine
- “Days Before” or “Days Since” can also be used to trigger rules a specific number of days before or since scheduled events
- Note: Initiative scheduler must be enabled in order for these triggers to appear in the Rules Engine
- A Pre-Launch section has been added to the Initiative Scheduler, to more clearly indicate when the initiative is in Pre-Launch status
- Scheduler colors, including scheduled events and the Pre-Launch bar, have been updated to improve consistency and readability
Table of Contents
- Creating an Initiative
- Enabling the Initiative 'Scheduler'
- Scheduling Initiative Components
- Setting up Scheduler Communications
- End User Experience after the Scheduler is Configured
- Important Things to Note
Creating an Initiative
When an Admin is creating an Initiative in the Products Pillar, certain Apps will include a section to configure the "Initiative Schedule" by selecting a Launch Date and End Date.
Setting a Launch Date and End Date will separate Participants into two groups, "Early Access" and "General Access". Learn more about access Groups in this Support article here.
Enabling the Initiative 'Scheduler'
The Scheduler can also be manually enabled/configured after an Initiative is created by navigating to Site Setup > Scheduling tab.
If the Scheduler was not initially created, Admins will need to initiate the scheduling process by selecting Enable Scheduler for the Initiative.
Once the Admin selects the checkbox to enable, they will be presented with a popup to begin scheduling their Initiative.
Admins will need to select the Start Date and End Date in order to Create Schedule. It is best practice to make sure the Time Zone is configured correctly as well - learn more about setting the time zone for Brightidea here.
The Remind me option can be set to remind Admins (via email) prior to BOTH the 'Start' and 'End' dates. The Best-practice Newsletters will add four pre-formatted newsletter templates to their Schedule, which can help the administrator execute on their communication plan.
Note: If the Admin opts-out of leveraging the Best-practice Newsletters templates after creation, they cannot be enabled afterwards.
Scheduling Initiative Components
Once the Scheduler has been created, Admins can now start to control all components of the schedule in each individual row. By hovering over each row, Admins can see the start and end for each corresponding component for quick reference.
Admins can also scroll any row, or move any row or object, to align to the desired timeline. Note: Idea submission, commenting, and voting can occur outside of Site Start & End.
Admins also have the option of a 30, 60, or 90 day window, as well as left/right buttons to scroll across time.
Initiative Start and End
Admins will first validate when the Initiative will Start and End. This will be represented by the red timeline labeled under the Initiative row.
Admins can click into the Initiative title or the red timeline to configure the dates. This pop-up will also provide an option to trigger Reminder emails to all Users.
By selecting the Submission row, the start and end dates can be manually entered for this phase. Just like the Initiative row, Admins can scroll the block to change the start & end dates. Note: Anonymous and Team submission are accommodated when submission begins.
Same as Submission, start and end date can be manually entered and/or scrolled to update date. Note: Initiative Scheduler accommodates all Voting types. For more information on what voting mechanisms the administrator can choose, refer to this article.
Just like the previous phases, Commenting can be manually entered and/or scrolled within the Scheduler. This accommodates when Users can apply Comments & Comment replies to ideas.
Disabling the Scheduler
When the Scheduler is enabled, Admins will notice that the options to enable Submission, Voting and Commenting will be replaced with a message in their respective Setup screens.
Admins will need to click Configure Scheduler to update the option, otherwise they will need to disable the Scheduler entirely in order to control the Submission, Voting, and/or Commenting features manually.
Navigating back to the Scheduler, Admins can click on the 'Disable Scheduler' option at the top of this page.
If an Admin decides to disable the scheduler, they will be presented with a popup to confirm Scheduler disablement, as well as the options to choose a Status for the Initiative and enable either Submission, Voting and/or Commenting.
Setting up Scheduler Communications
First, we recommend that ALL COMMUNICATIONS should be pre-configured prior to scheduling any Initiative(s). Let's break down each component of communication that is involved with the Scheduler.
System Email Messages
Admins can configure Scheduler email templates within Site Setup > System Email Messages > Site. These emails can be customized like any other Brightidea email template. For a full list of new email templates, please review our Email Template guide in our Support Portal.
The Email Templates that Admins can configure here include: Comment Start/End and Reminders, Idea Submission Start/End and Reminders, Voting Start/End and Reminders, and WebStorm Start/End and Reminders. Below is an example of the Idea Submission Start template.
Scheduling Best-practices Newsletters
When setting up the Scheduler, if Best-practice Newsletters were enabled, Brightidea will automatically add four Newsletter templates that we recommend be sent out at different stages of the Initiative rollout.
These templates are accessible in Enterprise Setup > Newsletter tab and can only be edited by System Admins.
- Site Launch Message - Notifying users the Site has launched
- Site Update - Notifying users update on Site progress
- Site Last Day - Notifying users the Site is closing that day.
- Site End - Notifying users the Site has ended.
For more information on how Brightidea's Newsletters work, refer to this article.
Similarly to the Scheduler phases, Admins can click on each Communication row to configure the dates when the Newsletter sends. Admins will be presented with a pop-up, must select 'Send Newsletter', and which pre-existing newsletter template to send.
Note: Admins may also notice that the 'Send Newsletter' option can be changed to 'Publish Blog Post' instead. With this option enabled, the Scheduler will publish the Newsletter as a Blog Post within the Initiative Blog Page. To learn more about how Blogs work, see our support article here.
There is an option to 'Edit' their newsletter which will take them to Enterprise Setup section for that particular newsletter.
Once Admins select a Send Date, a smart Reminder email can also be configured to send prior to when the Newsletter actually is sent to the audience. Note: Newsletters can be scheduled to send before the Start Date and/or after the End Date of the Initiative phase.
If an Admin wants to Remove a Communication from sending, they can select the Remove Communication icon near the title of each row.
End User Experience after the Scheduler is Configured
Below we break down the experience of the End User after the Scheduler has been configured.
Prior to Initiative Start
When the Initiative has been scheduled, but the Initiative phase has not started yet, if an End User attempts to access the Initiative via any link, the End User will be directed to a Countdown page. CSS Changes can be applied to this page by navigating directly to https://yourcompany.brightidea.com/ct/ct_scheduled_campaign.bix?c=_____
This page cannot be label edited or have widgets added.
Note: Admins for this Initiative will be able to enter the Initiative at any time to make any changes.
Once the Initiative starts, any scheduled email communication will be automatically sent to the allowed audience.
Depending on how each of the phases were configured, End Users will notice that Submission, Voting, or Commenting may turn off at scheduled times. We recommend to make sure proper communication is created ahead of time, to alert the audience of when certain phases will 'start' and 'end' for the Initiative.
When the Initiative phase 'ends', the End User will notice that all participatory features will be disabled (idea submission, voting, commenting, etc.)
The Initiative will then automatically move to a 'Closed' Status. In 'Closed' status - all Users can still access the Initiative, but cannot further participate. Here is an article that discussed details of a 'Closed' Initiative.
If Admins wish to cut off all access to the Initiative when ending, they will need to incorporate necessary group or domain restrictions.
- The 'Scheduler' cannot be label edited or translated.
- Deleting Newsletters in Enterprise Setup will be reflected in the Scheduler.
We need to document here explicitly that 'the scheduler' cannot be used in combination with self-registration to initiatives. Example: Running a complete external initiative, and we want users to self-register while the initiative is in a 'pre-launch' state. This is not possible. Enhancement is needed.