Virtual Members - LiquidPlanner

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Online Manufacturing Project Management Software

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Virtual Members

Available with Small Team, Professional and Enterprise

A virtual member is a named resource, but it is not connected to a real person.  Here are some reasons why you might use a virtual member:

  • When getting started in LiquidPlanner, you can initially assign work to virtual members, then invite the real users later on when your workspace is built out to a minimal level. This helps avoid confusion that can result when users sign into a workspace that is still under construction. Note that all time entries made to the virtual member will stay with the virtual member in time tracking history. They do not transfer to the new person.
  • You can use a virtual member long-term to represent an individual external resource, such as an external contractor.
  • You can also create a Virtual Team to represent a team of external resources with a daily availability that is determined by you.

Adding Virtual Members

You can create virtual members via the People tab > Add+ button > Add Virtual Member or from your User Menu > Settings > Members and Access > Add Virtual Member.

A notification lets you know when your Virtual Member count is approaching the total number available.

User names for real members and virtual members cannot include spaces.

Assigning Tasks to Virtual Members

  • You can assign tasks to a virtual member.
  • Tasks assigned to a virtual member will schedule just the same as tasks assigned to a real member.

Virtual Member Availability

  • A virtual member has a profile and an availability setting, which you can access via the People tab Member List. Just click on the virtual member’s name to open their profile.
  • You can turn on Overdrive Scheduling for a virtual member in order to gain additional functionality.  Overdrive turns off resource leveling for that resource, so it’s a nice way to model an always-ready pool of external resources.  It’s also a handy way to model wait times that often come into play when working with external resources.

Tracking Time for a Virtual Member

  • A real workspace member must take responsibility for estimating and tracking time to tasks owned by a virtual member.
  • Timesheets are created for virtual members when you log progress for them.
  • Virtual member’s logged time is picked up in timesheet exports.

Transferring Tasks

  • You can easily transfer a virtual member’s work to an existing workspace member via the People tab Member List. Hover over the virtual member row and under the Actions column, click Transfer Items.
  • You can also invite a brand new person into your workspace to replace the virtual member.  In the Member List, just click the link under the virtual member name that says Invite Member. 
Keep in mind virtual members are not intended to be be a long-term replacement for people who could otherwise be real members. They are ideal for the situations above, but we don’t encourage using them to support centralized project control. We have designed LiquidPlanner to support our strong belief that direct team engagement is a key to project success!

Disconnecting Virtual Members

  • If you invite a member to fill a virtual member’s role, the virtual member will automatically be disconnected.
  • If you want to disconnect a virtual member for any reason, go to the People tab Member List. Hover over the virtual member row and under the Actions column, click Disconnect.
  • Before disconnecting your virtual member, be sure to transfer any outstanding tasks to a real member or another virtual member.

Related Articles

Converting a Virtual Member to a Real Member
Modeling Virtual Teams
Overdrive Scheduling

Virtual Members was last modified: October 7th, 2017 by Greg Bennett

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