Features

Impresario

Impresario is a simple, yet powerful Lotus Notes based task manager. Impresario provides an easy way to manage your projects and tasks so that you have accountability, notifications and deadlines for tasks.

Still using the project management tool and it's great. Thanks!
There are very few project management tools that integrate with Lotus Notes. Having used this tool for over a year, I consistently found it easy to use, flexible and robust. I highly recommend it!

- John Kelly (Project Manager)

Impresario Highlights

  • Simple - Create a project with tasks and subtasks in minutes.
  • Create templates of common projects that occur frequently.
  • Auto notification - Email alert when tasks are due or overdue.
  • Customize email alerts when projects are due or overdue.
  • Document changes are automatically logged.
  • Export projects to Microsoft Project.
  • Export any view in the database to Microsoft Excel.
  • Create todo items in mail from tasks or substasks
  • Create meetings in mail from tasks or substasks
  • Import emails into tasks/subtasks using smarticon
  • Open source code is available.

Simple Setup

The first time an administrator launches Impresario after signing and setting up the ACL and putting up on your server, they are prompted to fill out the configuration document. The code is built in to disallow the case of a missing configuration document causing failures without warning. Impresario is written to avoid errors popping up on users unexpectedly because some configuration variable or document is missing.

Export Projects to Microsoft Project


Security Restrictions (Editing)

All main documents within Impresario have an "Owners" field. This field is an authors type field so that by setting users to author access, you can narrow the people allowed to edit various documents. You are free to add group names to this field as well. This comes in especially handy in the configuration document.

Export any view to Microsoft Excel

From the Export view (available to the [Project Manager] and [Admin] role members), you can choose to export any view in the database to Excel.




Customize Status Lists

In any organization managing projects, there are specific status lists. By making these lists able to be customized on the configuration document, you can add specific status or issue types that are relevant for your usage. Standards like Open or Completed cannot be removed but if you remove them accidentally, they get added right back in. Another example of the code trapping to keep from unnecessary or unexpected errors.



Customize Email Messages

The customization features of Impresario are vast. The email notifications are very simple and triggered by common sense activities. At a global level (in the configuration document), you [Admin] may define the typical email messages. However, if any task/subtask manager wishes, he/she may override these messages for any particular task/subtask. Another nice feature is that templates may be created for projects that have similar tasks time and again. In these cases, the template tasks may be customized with specific email messages for that project. It allows global settings to be overridden very easily but still establish coherent messages in a standard format. Another nice feature of these customized messages is that you can insert for any field that you know exists on the document. This allows your organization to customize the messages with specific field values from the original document. A very powerful feature.



Mouse-over graphic images

All of the action bar buttons have mouse-over images just to add a little more pizzazz to the user experience. A minor detail but worth noting because Impresario was coded with extensive attention to detail in the user interface.



Roles

There is extensive information in the Help-Using this database document about ACL setup. But, we thought it would be nice to point out that there is an [Admin] role that allows some additional view choices in the navigation menu (configuration/templates/export/all documents by form). The navigation menu is intelligent about determining the role of the current user and displaying the menu appropriate for the current user. The [Project Manager] role restricts to its members the capacity to create a new project.



New Project from Scratch or from a Template?

Although Impresario is simple in its architecture, it has some very nice features that make it work for even complicated projects by allowing project managers and administrators to create templates of projects. This way, at the end of a project that a business area knows it will repeat again subsequently for another client or product, it can be turned into a template and used over and over again. This is the true power of a collaborative application like this. Every time a project manager creates a new project, they are prompted as shown below.



Create a project from a Template

If you choose to create a project from a template, you get a list of all the templates to choose from. In this example we only have one project defined but you could have many in your organization's implementation.









Order of Tasks

When you create a project and assign tasks to them, you can specify the order of those tasks. This is important for those notification where the "next" task owner is to be notified at the completion of the previous task. Also, the ordering might be important when you build your template of a project. This simple interface allows you to easily move your tasks around in the order they should go under a particular project.



Calendar of Tasks

Because each task and subtask has a start date and end date, there is a calendar to show what tasks/subtasks are upcoming. Users can view the tasks/subtasks by month, week, 2 days, or 1 day views. Click screenshot below to open a larger version.



Create todo items in your mail file

A button on the top of each task/subtask allows you to add a todo item for that task or subtask with one click.



Create meetings in mail from tasks or substasks

A button on the top of each task/subtask allows you to create a meeting for that task or subtask with one click.




Import emails into tasks/subtasks using smarticon


Notification by Event

Every task/subtask allows the owner to specify who should be notified when various triggers occur. Keep in mind that after a project is completed, a template can be created to store these settings for use in the future.



Log Document Changes

The most important fields on each document are tracked whenever a change is made to those fields. This gives Impresario users accountability to their activity. If you purchase the open source version of Impresario, you have more control over the fields that are tracked. There is a very simple implementation to specify which fields are tracked.



Extensive Help Documentation

The Help-Using this database document is very comprehensive and explains every aspect of Impresario. Throughout the database, there are buttons that point to this help documentation for easy access by users. Click the screenshot below to open a larger version.


Roles

There is extensive documentation in an easy to read format about the roles of each person who uses Impresario. Click the screenshot below for a larger version.



Activities

Because tasks and subtasks have activity occurring which determines their resolution of that task. When an activity has caused a task or subtask to be completed, the owner can be notified that the task is now completed and close the task or subtask. This allows for the person who owns the task to manage the task itself but the person who is working on the task can add activities against it.



Visible Status

Each view shows very easily the current status. If a task or subtask is overdue, a red light appears that day. If it is not overdue, a green light appears. Also, there are read marks implemented so that users can tell which documents have been updated since their last visit. Click the screenshot below for a larger version.


Parent/Child Hierarchy

Each task or subtask shows all of it's child documents for easy access. For example, tasks might have subtasks, activities or issues that appear one click away from viewing.



Issues

Not all tasks or subtasks have only activity placed against them. Occasionally, a task or subtask needs information from a client or vendor. Or, someone might call and ask a question that needs addressing. For this concept, you can create an issue document against a task or subtask. This way, if the client calls to ask about progress, you may easily go to the issues view and check to make sure whether there are any outstanding issues needed information from a client. These issues can be open or closed. They are different from activities in that they don't necessarily have any impact on the percentage completion of a task or subtask.





My Tasks View

Each user can view their specific task assignments via the "My Tasks" view for easy access to their work for the day.

This is a Notes database!

Because this is a Notes database, you can do several things which make Impresario even more powerful. Depending on your license, you can create an Impresario template on your server and every department can run their own database of their projects. Also, you can use replication so that users can take Impresario out with them on their laptop and then replicate their changes periodically.


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