Power.ME Secrets: Roles for Delegation

One of Power.ME’s greatest features is its adaptability. It can accommodate everything from minimalist to-do list productivity to multilevel, large-group project management and everything in between. However, some of the customizable options for larger endeavors get lost in the shuffle. So if you’re looking for a better way to manage your Power.ME collaboration, even small-scale collaboration, this post is for you.

When you’re sharing big projects with many team members, you’re probably sharing a lot of tasks, some of which will have different deadlines, due dates, and priorities. Although you probably want everyone to work together and know what’s going on, not everyone needs to worry about every deadline. If one person is in charge of writing the press release, he or she does not need to know when the product prototype is due—even though it would be good to see the timeline for the project as a whole and contribute ideas. Likewise, those in charge of product development don’t necessarily need to know when the press release is due. They all need to work together and understand what’s going on, but that doesn’t mean the press-release writer needs an urgent priority notice in his or her Power.ME list when the urgent task isn’t one he or she can control.

That’s why Power.ME has a customizable option called Roles. When you share something with someone, you can specify that person’s role in the project. Are they someone who should be able to edit the project and add documents? Do they just need to observe? Do they need to see it in their due date and priority lists?

Whatever the answers are, there’s a role for that. You can assign either basic roles for simple collaboration or use the advanced roles options for more complex projects.

Basic Roles

With basic roles, you have two role options: Can Edit and View Only. If you share an item with your team and give them the role of Can Edit, everyone will be able to edit the item, add to it, and view it in their Due Date and Priority lists. If you instead give them View Only roles, they’ll be able to see the item’s progression and leave comments on it, but they can’t change anything and don’t have to worry about the item popping up in their Due Date and Priority lists. A View Only team member can stay informed, but doesn’t have a reason or the responsibility to keep track of the item’s deadlines.

Advanced Roles

If you turn on Advanced Roles, you can customize your delegation even further. You can assign your team members 5 different roles: Administrator, Responsible Party, Collaborator, Contributor, and Interested Party. (All the roles’ capabilities are described in Power.ME when you’re assigning roles, so even though there are a lot of them, it’s easy to refresh your memory on the options.)

An Administrator can do anything to a project: add or delete tasks, projects and documents; edit notes, due dates, and priority; view in Due Date and Priority lists; edit role assignments; and delete the project or mark it as Complete.

Responsible Party means the same thing as the Can Edit option for basic roles. A Responsible Party can add tasks, projects, and documents; edit notes, due dates, and priority; and view in Due Date and Priority lists. He or she can mark a project as Ready for Review so you can look it over before marking it as Complete.

Collaborators can add items to the project and can edit notes, due dates, and priority, but doesn’t have to view the item in their Due Date and Priority lists. This can keep them from getting flooded with approaching due dates that don’t apply to them or their work, but they can still collaborate on the work without taking full responsibility for it.

Contributors are people who can add value to a project (and thus can add tasks, projects, and documents), but don’t have much to do with the work getting done, so they don’t need to edit the item notes and due dates or worry about it in their special lists.

The Interested Party role is identical to a View Only role option for basic roles. Team members with this role can see the project’s progress, but don’t need to worry about anything else.

Everyone can leave comments on an item, no matter their role, so sharing with adjusted roles is a good way to make sure everyone can add fresh ideas to a project without receiving unnecessary alerts about due dates and urgent-priority items.

How you assign and change roles is a little different when you’re using the web app and when you’re using one of the apps for Android, iPhone/iPod, and iPad. On the web, after you’ve added someone’s email address to the assignment, click the role icon next to his or her name (it will look like one of the icons I’ve used above). You’ll be able to change the basic role or enable advanced roles from there. On a mobile device, after you’ve added someone to the assignment list, tap “assignments” in the upper left corner of the assignments screen. From there you can tap someone’s name or email address and change his or her role.

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