Download & Install
Project Manager is a WordPress plugin, which means you need to have WordPress running on your web server. To install the Project Manager into your site, simply follow these steps:
- Login to your WordPress website
- Navigate to Plugins > Add New on the left hand menu
- Click on the “Upload Plugin” button near the top
- Find the Project Manager file you’ve recently downloaded and select it
- Click “Install Now”
- Once installed, click the “Activate” text link
Project Manager has three shortcodes for embedding content into other posts and pages, and three shortcodes to add functionality to the projects themselves.
You can use shortcodes to show and hide content based on phase or milestone completion. The shortcodes that allow you to do this are:
[before-phase][/before-phase] [during-phase][/during-phase] [after-phase][/after-phase] [before-milestone][/before-milestone] [after-milestone][/after-milestone]
Simply wrap the content you want to appear in the appropriate portion within the shortcode and Panorama will automatically hide or show it depending on the phases state.
Embed Projects Content Shortcodes
If you want to embed a project, portion of a project or list or projects into a post or page you can use one of three shortcodes.
Project List – You can display a list of all projects by using the
[project_list type="all" status="all" sort="start"]
shortcode. Project list has two options, which project types you’d like to display and the status of projects to display.
- Type: Can be “all” or the slug of the project type you’d like to list, for example “marketing.”
- Status: Can be “all” “active” or “complete”
- Sort: Can be “start” which sorts projects by start date or “end” which sorts by end date
- Order: Can be “ASC” (ascending) or “DESC” (descending).
Embed a project – You can embed an entire project into your page or post by using the
shortcode. Project status has several options:
- id: This is the page ID of the project you’d like to embed
- progress: Do you want to display the progress bar, can be “yes” or “no”
- overview: Do you want to show the overview? can be “yes” or “no”
- milestones: How do you want to display the milestones? Can be “full”, “condensed” or “no”
- phases: Do you want to display phases? Can be “yes” or “no”
- tasks: Do you want to display tasks? (note: phases must be set to “yes”) Can be “yes”, “complete”, “incomplete” or “no”
[project_status id="792" progress="no" overview="yes" milestones="no" phases="yes" tasks="incomplete"] [project_status id="792" progress="yes" overview="yes" milestones="full" phases="yes" tasks="complete"]
Part of the Project – If you’d like to just embed a portion of a project, you can do by using the
shortcode in a slightly different way.
There are two attributes you must fill out:
- id: This is the ID of the project you’d like to display
- display: What portion of the project you’d like to display, can be:
- progress (allows additional attribute of “style” with options of “full” or “condensed”)
- phases (allows additional attribute of “style” with options of “all”, “complete”, “incomplete” or “no”
- tasks (allows additional attribute of “style” with options “complete” or “incomplete”
[project_status_part id="792" display="documents"] [project_status_part id="792" display="overview"] [project_status_part id="792" display="progress" style="full"] [project_status_part id="792" display="phases" style="all"] [project_status_part id="792" display="tasks" style="tasks"]
Before using notifications, it’s important that you configure the default notification settings. This can be done by going to Projects > Settings and then clicking on the “Notifications” tab.
The default notification settings configure the name and e-mail address that will be used when a notification goes out provided it wasn’t triggered by a specific user. If these are not filled out, it’s possible your e-mail will not reach it’s destination.
Manual Notifications – Once configured, you users can manually send a notification by:
- Checking the “notify users of update” checkbox when editing a project through the WordPress back-end
- Changing the status of a document
Auto Notifications – You can also enable automatic notifications by indicating which events you’d like to send an e-mail notification and to whom. You can add notifications by going to Projects > Settings > Notifications and scrolling down.
At this time, you can send a notification with the following events happen:
- A task is completed on the front end
- A project is completed
- A task is due today
- A task is overdue
- A new comment is left on a project
- A user is added to a project
Each automatic notification has configurable recipients, subject line and body.
Recipents – You can either enter specific e-mail addresses (separated by a comma) or use the dynamic variable %users% or %target%.
%users% will send a notification to all users on the project.
%target% will send a notification to the user whom the notification is targeted towards, for example the user who has been assigned a task or has been added to a project.
Currently %target% is only supported by the following events:
- Task is due today
- Task is overdue
- User is added to a project
You can customize the appearance of the Project Manager plugin in several ways to ensure it fits the branding of your company.
Logo – We recommend you start by uploading your logo, favicon and changing the project “slug.” This is done by going to Projects > Settings
Slug – By default, user dashboards will be located at http://www.domain.com/manager and projects at http://www.domain.com/manager/project-name. the /manager/ in these web addresses is the “slug.” You can change this to any word you’d like, for example “dashboard” or “projects.”
There are some limitations, you can’t have any spaces, punctuation (except dashes) or have a slug that’s already in use. For example, if you have a page called “projects” that is already located at domain.com/projects/ then you can’t use it again for your projects slug.
Colors – We have included color pickers for most of the colors within Project Manager. Simply navigate to Projects > Settings > Appearance and then click through “Header,” “Body,” and “Phases” to customize the colors of each section.
We’ve put a considerable amount of effort into ensuring Project Manager is translatable. This also means you can change any of the words in Project Manager to other words even if it’s English to English. For example you might want to change “Projects” to “Cases.”
There are a couple of different ways you can create your own translation for Project Manager:
- Create your own PO / MO files
- Use a translation plugin like Loco Translate or Codestyling Localization
Project Manager gives you control over who can access projects and what capabilities they have. This starts by assigning users an appropriate “user role.” WordPress has several user roles built in such as subscriber, author and administrator. When you create or edit a user in WordPress you can choose which user role they have.
Project Manager uses the same user management system as WordPress. To add a user to Project Manager, simply login to WordPress and go to Users > Add New. You’ll provide the users name and e-mail address before selecting the appropriate user level.
User Levels – Project Manager adds three new user roles in addition to taking advantage of the existing WordPress user roles. The list below details each user role and their project capabilities:
- Subscriber – Can access any project they have been assigned to on the front end, they can upload and approve documents (they can’t see projects or anything else on the back end.) Typically clients should have the “subscriber” role.
- Project Owner – Can access any project they have been assigned to on the front end, update tasks from the front end and can edit their projects in the back end.
- Project Manager – Can create, edit and access any project and can upload media.
- Project Creator – Can create and manage their own projects or any project they’ve been assigned to
- Editor – Can do everything a project manager can but can also edit pages, posts, etc…
- Administrator – Can do everything (as you’d expect)
You can control who can access a project by editing the project itself and navigating to the “Access” tab at the top. You have the following options:
- Hide projects from search engines (enabled by default)
- Restrict access to specific users – if disabled, anyone with the project web address can see the project progress
- Allowed teams
- Allowed users
Teams are simply groups of users, you can read more about them here.
Allowed users are the official users who are part of this project. What capabilities they have will depend on the user role you’ve assigned them at the time of account creation. Any user entered here will see the project on their project dashboard, be available to have a notification sent to them and have tasks assigned to them.
Users who have administration or project manager user roles will still be able to see the project even if they are not assigned. They will not however, appear in the list of users for task assignment or notifications.
Direct Link Access
If you don’t want to require logging in to access projects, you can provide clients with a direct link to the project instead.
Unless you want this to be a publicly available project, we recommend keeping the “hide from search engines” setting left on.
Once you’ve created the project, you can simply copy and paste the project web address into an e-mail, Slack or other communication tool. For example, if you have a project located at http://www.yourdomain.com/project/website-redesign-for-company you can just send them that link directly.
NOTE: Using this method you will be unable to assign users to the project preventing the assignment of tasks or sending of notifications.
If you want to send people to a generic page or to a listing of all projects they have been assigned to, you can send them a link to the “address” folder your projects are located at.
So if a single project address is http://www.yourdomain.com/project/website-redesign-for-company you’d send people to http://www.yourdomain.com/project/. Once logged in, the user will only see a list of projects assigned to them (unless they are a project manager or administrator.)
Teams have a title, description, assigned users and optional icon or image.
Once a team is created, you can assign the team to projects which prevents you from manually having to reenter the same users each time. Teams could be used for both internal teams or clients. Permissions of the specific users are maintained, so a subscriber assigned to a team will be a subscriber for all projects the team is assigned even if other users have higher permissions.
Through the dashboard, you can navigate to the “teams” tab to see which teams you are part of. Clicking into the team will show you a segmented list of projects assigned specifically to the team — giving you better insight into team productivity and progress.
Upon activation you will see a “Projects” menu item into your WordPress admin interface. Once installed, you can create individual projects by navigating to the projects menu item and selecting “Add Project.”
Each project has it’s own project page, which can be seen by editing the page and selecting “view project” or going to “All Projects” and clicking the “view” link underneath a the project title (must hover to see.)
You have a few settings to adjust how your projects are displayed, these can be accessed by clicking the “settings” link in the Projects menu. You can change the page url from /panorama/project-name to anything of your choosing, for example /clients/project-name. You can also upload a logo to be displayed on all project pages.
After installation, the most common first steps would be to:
- Create accounts for your clients – Give them a role of “subscriber” if you don’t want them to edit projects or “project owner” if you do
- Create a new project by going to Projects > Add New
- Fill out the project details and add your clients to the project
- Send your clients a link to their project dashboard at http://www.yourdomain.com/manager
- Repeat for all of your projects
Project Manager supports the uploading and attachment of documents to projects. Documents have the following attributes: title, description, status, link.
Status indicates if the document has been approved, is in review, is being revised or has been rejected. This allows you and your clients to work through document revisions until an approval is made. When switching the document status, users have the option of sending an notification to any or all of the users on the project.
Documents can either be uploaded directly to WordPress or you can provide an external link to a document (or folder.) If you’d like to use Dropbox, Google Drive, etc… you can use the external link option and either link to a single file or the folder itself. This is a good way to manage projects with a large amount of assets that don’t necessarily need to be listed individually on the project page.
If you have uploaded a file and specified a URL, the uploaded file will take priority and the link URL will not be used.
With Project manager you have the ability to create project milestones in 5% increments. Milestones are a method of indicating events which occur once the project reaches a certain completion point. The most common examples would include billing and meetings. For example, you might bill a client an additional amount once the project is 50% complete. Alternatively, you might meet to review a project at 25% intervals.
Milestones are not tied to task or phase completion. This is because not all projects happen sequentially. In many cases, tasks from phases I, II and III could be done in tandem, thus you can’t align a milestone with a particular phase is complete.
If you’d like the milestones to align with phases because your projects do occur sequentially — just ensure the milestone completion point matches the same percentage as the related phase. For example, if the first phase is 25% of the project then you’d create a related milestone at 25%.
You can assign due dates to milestones as well. If the due date passes and the project completion hasn’t met or exceeded the milestone point, the due date will appear in red. Once completion is reached, the milestone will illuminate in blue and the due date will gray out indicating it was successfully met.
Most projects are large enough where they have multiple phases. Phases are simply a grouping of related tasks typically organized in order of which they are started. For example, a project often starts with a “planning” phase, as the planning is necessary to complete the remainder of the project. Phases typically are completed in order, but don’t always happen sequentially. Meaning you don’t always have to finish the phase prior before you can complete a task within a future phase.
For example, when designing and building websites we often work on the functionality at the same time as design even though those are two separate phases.
Phases have the following components: title, progress type, description, tasks, discussions.
The bottom line of most projects are tasks that need to be completed. Typically a project is broken into phases, each which have their own set of tasks.
In Project Manager, if you have automatic calculation enabled as a task is completed it will adjust how complete the phase is which will adjust how complete the project is. Unlike other project management solutions, we’ve intentionally created a tool that allows for partial task completion. Many tasks are too large to either be “not started” or “completely finished.” Tasks that take hours or even days appear to be untouched until their are complete, which paints an unrealistic picture of project progress.Tasks have the following elements: name, assignment, status, due date.
Project Manager includes a calendar that compiles all the important dates across all projects a given user has access to. Meaning if a user is a subscriber or project owner, they will only see the dates related to projects they’ve been assigned. Project managers and administrators will see all the dates across all projects.
A small version of the calendar is visible after logging into the project dashboard and a larger version is accessible by clicking on the “calendar” tab of the dashboard.
There is an iCal feed at the bottom of every calendar which will allow users to import their important dates into different calendar programs like Mac Calendar, Outlook or Google Calendars.
If enabled, projects have two areas where you can have discussions. There is an entire project related discussion at the bottom of the page and each phase has an area for discussions.
By default, new messages will not trigger an e-mail notification. You can enable this feature by enabling the notifications.
Troubleshooting – Most issues are caused by a conflicting plugin or theme. When diagnosing an issue, first try deactivating all plugins but Project Manager. If this fixes the issue you know there is a conflicting plugin. Reactivate each plugin one by one until the problem returns. This will identify which plugin is at fault.
If this doesn’t fix your issue, try switching your theme to Twenty Seventeen. If this fixes the issue you know there is a conflict with your existing theme.
404 Error – Try going to Settings > Permalinks in the WordPress admin and then clicking “Save Changes” at the bottom. You don’t need to actually change anything, just re-save. This will rebuild the permalink structure and fixes 90% of these issues.
The next thing to check is to make sure you haven’t changed the project slug to one already in use by a post, page, category or tag.
If that doesn’t work, it’s likely there is a plugin or theme that’s causing the issue.
Shortcodes – Unfortunately we can’t guarantee that your theme won’t alter how we intended the Project Manager shortcodes to display. We’ve tried our best to make them compatible with most themes, but there are some out there that use heavy handed styling.
Luckily you can typically fix these issues by manually adjusting your theme’s style.css file. It’s best to leave this work to professionals and the subject is too broad to describe exactly what must be done. Consider attending a local WordPress meetup to find someone who can assist you if you need theme alteration.
Notifications – There might be some common issues with e-mail notifications.
- Settings: The first is failing to configure the default from name and e-mail address, which often causes the e-mails to be rejected from mail servers.
- Host Conflict – The second most common issue is a problem with the email system on WordPress itself. Try logging out of WordPress, navigating to http://www.yourdomain.com/login and clicking the “reset password” link. Enter your username or e-mail. If you receive the password reset e-mail you know the system is working, if not then there is an issue with the WordPress e-mail system itself.
- Spam – Sometimes the contents of notifications can cause e-mail notifications to end up in a spam folder. Make sure to check spam folders to see if the e-mails are getting delivered, but are not being seeing because of this.
Login – We’ve encountered two common problems that prevent users from logging into Project section.
- Redirect – If after a login attempt you’re redirected back to the same login page then typically it’s one of two problems: Caching and URLs
- Security – If you have a security plugin like a captcha or brute force protector, it’s possible it could conflict with the Project Manager login system. Try disabling your security plugins temporarily to see if it resolves the issue. If it does, you’ll likely need to reach out to the plugin provider to see if they have a work around for this compatibility issue.
If you need assistance with the Project Manager plugin or have a question that is not listed in the FAQ section, please contact us.