Wednesday, February 11, 2009

openIGOR update

The "simple as possible" institutional repository and effectiveness reporting tool I released as open source is getting some new legs. It's in use at three institutions that I know of (probably a dozen more have asked for the virtual machines to run it), including my current one. So I've been developing new features for it. The most important one is authentication against LDAP--in this case, Active Directory. In practical terms that means that users don't have to have a separate password to get in. Their usual Windows network login works fine.

A partial screenshot of the GUI interface for effectiveness planning is shown below.

I've decided to try to use the goals and objectives reporting function to manage projects as well. A simple project planning sheet can be filled out and put in the archive:

Project Planning Worksheet
Project title: Date:
Complete by:

1. Scope: What are we trying to do, and how will we do it?
a. Who is the project lead?

b. Who are the team members, and what are their roles?

c. What external constituents do we need input from?

d. Describe the project’s desired outcome

e. What are limiting factors or potential barriers to completion?

2. Time: When do we want it done, and what milestones can we schedule?
a. Planning complete: _______

b. Execution complete: _______

c. Testing complete (if required): ______

d. Project closed: _______

3. Cost: What budget amount and line do we anticipate using, and when will we need it?
a. Personnel costs

b. Capital expenses

c. Operational costs
These can be linked to objectives with hyperlinks to the repository from the objectives fields. This has the advantage of automatically documenting the TQM model that our accreditors require while achieving the practical function of managing the tasks we need to do anyway. The only thing missing is a separate task management system: projects are often broken up into tasks.

It does occur to me, however, that any form-based document could be easily handled within the system to create a mini-workflow system. The forms would have to be hand-built HTML documents, but the data transactions from them could be handled by the IGOR system. I've built such a thing before, and it was very useful for handling customized assessments of portfolio work. Stay tuned...

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