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Feature Requests

More granular control over user levels

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  1.  
  1.  

    We recently received the following feature request:

    I’d like my Managers to be able to setup a project or client without having to come to the admin (me) to do it for them. I don’t have a complete open book policy to our finances so it would be great if there was more customization on the features users have access to.

    User levels are always challenging. We have wrestled with this and have gone with broad user levels because it makes it easier for most Intervals users to administer and support. You don't run into the problem of user 1 can do this, user 2 can do this, etc. With our client work on the Pelago side of our business we have created very granular user permissions for some of our customers and the complexity has caused problems. With one client we created a series of check boxes for just about every piece of functionality and those could be saved and grouped. Unfortunately our client constantly struggled with certain pieces of functionality being there for some users but not others. I have seen this done in a more simplistic fashion where each tab (global link) could be turned on and off per user, but Intervals has so much cross referenced information that this approach isn't super clean.

    It would be great to get feedback on the current user levels. Are they working for your needs? Are you in favor of broad user levels for simplicity or very granular user levels?
  2.  

    For My inner office Intranet site, I have set up three levels of Admins.

    Primary - Me and My partners
    Secondary - Office Managers & Accounting
    Tertiary - Producers


    Then I go straight to resource permissions

    Employee - Employees
    Freelance - Freelancers


    Then executive;

    Client - Clients

    The different levels allow me to get specific with sensitive vs. non-sensitive material.


    Maybe instead of getting granular with permission levels for the 4 different User levels you have, maybe add two more user types. I would use different user types more.

    • bee
    • Apr 12th 2008
     
    Yes! So would I. We definitely need to filter tasks, so subcontractors, designers and managers can't see each others' task assignments. In fact, if I can't filter that feature, I'll need to shut down Intervals. You can imagine the mess if Subcontractor Joe sees exactly what's being assigned to Subcontractor Pete and vice versa. Yikes.
  3.  

    Intervals does a pretty good job with balancing features and ease-of-use and it's nice to see the team being open and responsive to customer requirements.

    The issue I run into is that users can see much more than what they need to do their jobs, executive users in particular. Executives can currently see the number of hours each task takes, which is inappropriate if billing by flat rate. If you still want execs to have access to task comments, file sharing, project tracking, etc., the alternative is to stop tracking time using the system.

    For this, user-definable groups based on the existing groups would be a good thing. I'm sure defining individual permissions at the user-level would be a maintenance nightmare. But, in the same way you can define a master set of default types under 'Settings', you could extend the functionality of 'People Types' to be configurable, where groups can be copied (or subclassed) and edited.

  4.  

    We are planning on changing up the Executive User quite a bit. In fact, the term "Executive User" will be removed. Here is what we are kicking around:

    1. Add Contacts to Clients
    2. Can this contact login yes/no
    3. What can they see and do? (have a series of checkboxes - Upload Documents, Submit Work Requests, Make Comments on Tasks, View Invoices, View Financial Information, View Time, etc.)

    This will be a little trickier to support because it introduces customized user views, but we think this will be more powerful and easier to use than the current Executive user.

    The reality of Executive type of users is that they do typically vary greatly depending on the client, relationship, history, etc. On the Pelago side of our business we would definitely customize our client access.

  5.  

    I would also love to see some additional access levels, if not more granular control over permissions.

    Specifically, we have Project Managers who need to be able to create new projects and clients (as mentioned in the post you originally quoted) but who should not be able to delete clients, change the settings of other users, or get into any of the site settings or time controls.

    With 15-25 new projects coming in on any given day, the two people who should be administrators don't have the time to add all these projects, and usually don't have all the information they'd need to do it correctly. The result is that 16 of our 20 employees are currently grouped as Administrator, which makes me really nervous.

  6.  
    Finer grained control would be great. I'm a contractor working through an agency, so I need my manager to be able to approve my time-sheets, which means they currently have to be a admin, which is less than ideal. The agency need to be able to view time-sheets and invoices, but Executive doesn't get to see time-sheets and gets to see too much other stuff.
    • muneez
    • Oct 27th 2008 edited @ 10/27/2008 9:20 am
     

    I would say

    1. Intervals Administrator - Single Super Admin with Full access
    2. Administrator - Full access except Settings & Plan Info
    3. Manager - Full access to projects assigned to him which includes managing resources, modules and everything
    4. Resource - As it is
    5. Client - User profile linked to clients with the current executive level access (optional while creating clients)
    6. Executive - As it is (Can be used for testers and outsiders not directly part of project development)

    The problem with the current user level is a project manager cannot be given manager level access as he wouldn't have full control over the project like adding resources, changing modules etc and while i give him administrator level access he has full control to the system and the situation is i have a quite a few administrators level users handling projects who also have access to settings, plan info, credit card info, passwords etc which is a very dangerous thing. one of them fiddle around with it and the whole system could crash.

    So please do understand the seriousness of this issue and resolve the same with immediate effect before we go in for granular control over user levels.

    Revert back if you need further clarifications.

    • muneez
    • Oct 27th 2008 edited @ 10/27/2008 9:19 am
     

    Note:
    If required you may add one more use type by the name Lead which will be nothing but the present Manager level user.

    The immediate resolution can be to cut out Settings and Plan Info from all other administrators except the intervals administrator which would resolve the security threat. The rest can be implemented at your convenience.

  7.  
    I think muneez's suggestion is a good one. An Admin level without access to Settings or Plan would be very nice.
  8.  

    I certainly understand why you choose to implement the security system the way you did, but I agree that it’s too restrictive to be “all things to all people.” For us, we want clients to be able to be assigned tasks so they can verify a fix or sign-off on a deliverable. Right now, we would need to make them “managers” which would change the other restrictions we like about the executive user role and/or the workflow to add “work requests.”

    I’d also like the ability for clients to be able to see, or not to see tasks, depending on the client. For instance, some of our clients would take part in the process while others would use that level of access to make my life a living hell.

    Some systems that do a pretty good job at balancing permissions with usability are:
    Gemini : It’s a little odd at first, but you get use to it
    Drupal: Very flexible
    Concrete5: Very powerful

    I know not all these are the same type of app, but it may help with researching other methods that people like.

  9.  

    We would definitely like to see another level for a functional manager versus project manager. We have over 100 people on intervals, I need to be able to transfer the responsibility to the functional managers to approve time sheets and setup projects but I don't want them to have all the access that an administrator has. Right now I have over 12 administrators setup just to give the functional managers the control they need, this leads to problems when they are performing tasks that we wanted to reserve for the true system administrator.

    On that same note, it would be great if there was someway to group resources under a manager. With so many people using the system each manager has to wade through all the resources to find the ones that actually report to them for assigning tasks and approving time sheets.

  10.  

    Since I'm on a roll today trying to get more information about things I'd really love to see, I thought I'd reopen this can of worms again too. :)

    We would still REALLY love a permission level for our managers where they have access to everything EXCEPT Settings and Plan info. Though come to think of it, I would add "People" to the list of things only Super Admins should have access to. Munzee's suggestion from above would be pretty much perfect for us.

    Any chance of something like this happening?

  11.  

    JoNairn Has a good point. Grouping Methods.

    How about having the ability to group to Modules (or departments) as I call them. Departments usually have a few worktypes and they don't do what other departments do. Assigning Departments to Projects could easily assign your resources and worktypes to specific jobs with out needing to prune as much.

    • ses
    • Mar 20th 2009
     
    We really need the ability to have private tasks - not available to client users. So within one project, a client sees SOME but not all tickets. In addition, the ability to hide time spent on tasks is also very important.
  12.  

    We would like a client user level that has the following features:
    -From project access an option to give ability to create new tasks (this would help us get rid of ZenDesk).
    -Ability to hide tasks from client even if they can access the parent project
    -Hide all financials (or not)
    -Disallow reporting (or not)
    -Hide all time reporting (or not)

    We can live without a ton of granularity. Our clients right now use ZenDesk for Support and we're trying to consolidate that with a project/time management tool (which I LOVE Intervals for, BTW).

  13.  

    For our use, we find that there isn't enough of a difference between executive, resource, and manager. The Administrator level is fine, with being able to do everything within intervals. But we don't want everyone to be able to edit settings and projects, makes me a bit nervous too.

    What we would like to see, for our use:

    Executive:
    - unable to edit time, projects, clients or tasks, but able to see everything. Every time sheet, task, project, active timers, costs, etc. ie, For CEOs and higher up managers.

    Manager:
    - Able to create and edit tasks and projects and assign them
    - Able to see everyone's timesheets and tasks, even from different departments/teams
    - Able to approve timesheets
    - unable to edit time of team members other than themselves

    Team member:
    - Able to create and edit tasks and add them to projects
    - Ability to see their own department/team's timesheets and tasks
    - unable to edit time of team members other than themselves

    Being an in-house department I realize this is going to be pretty different than people who have outside clients loggin in to intervals. Right now I have everyone set up as an admin because a manager can't create projects, and because resources and execs can't see or do much.

  14.  

    Please think about those of us that invoice on a fixed fee rather than time and materials basis. We do NOT want customers to see how much time we have put against a task; rather, customers want and need to see how close a task is to completion.

    (Of course, we need to be able to see this ourselves to actually manage a project - so I'll ask for this feature again.)

    But insofar as we'd like customers to be able to see our project task list, we do NOT want them to see anything having to do with financials or time spend on task.

    Please do not continue to make Intervals a "time and materials only" project management application!

  15.  

    Thanks for the note, however, Intervals will continue to emphasize time tracking and material expenses. There are several viable workarounds for flat bidding however. For those Intervals users who flat bid, we highly recommend they use the project budget field and estimated hours to track their time. You may not be revealing this data to your customers, but it will become indispensable for estimating your next flat bids accurately.

    As a web design and development agency, we've completed very many projects using the flat bid system. On some projects you lose money, on other projects you make money. Without accurate tracking of those projects, it's difficult to know how you are making out at the end of the year. Tracking your time on flat bid projects will help you turn all of your projects profitable. We believe that strongly.

    If you are invoicing on flat bid projects, simply create a freeform invoice. This way, Intervals won't pull in the time and materials. Instead it will allow you to add your own custom line items. In this case, a payment against a flat bid.

  16.  
    I came across this thread while trying to find out if it's possible to restrict what project info the Executive level (ie our clients) can see. Can you give me an update on whether there has been any progress on modifying your user levels?
  17.  
  18.  
    Any news regarding Executive Level. I am billing a project on a predefined price so I don't need the client to see how many hours I work on the project and the rate per hour. On the other hand I would like to know how much time I spend at the end of the project.
  19.  
    The modification to add multiple contacts to clients and allow more granular control with the executive user view is scheduled to launch in the next few weeks. The feature is in final development and testing.
  20.  

    I've run into another instance of the Administer access level being too broad. Our employees all need to be able to create new projects and tasks, which they can only do if they are Administrator level. But they really should NOT be able to access the Plan, Settings, or People sections. Today someone went in and changed a bunch of settings, apparently not understanding that the settings are universal and not personal. This is only a hassle, but if someone started messing with people settings or work types or billing info, we could be in real trouble.

    Is there any potential solution anywhere on the horizon? Every other Intervals quirk that doesn't quite suit me I've been able to find a work-around. There's currently nothing I can do about this except HOPE my employees will keep their fingers out of settings they shouldn't be messing with. Please help!

  21.  
    I haven't read all posts in this thread, but I agree with what I've read. I think there should be one additional access level between Administrator and Manager. I would want that group to be able to add and edit clients and people, and most of all they should be able to add projects and see their own projects as well as those they are assigned to (but NOT all projects). They must not be able to change settings & defaults or plan info and the like, though!
  22.  

    We have been contemplating something similar to restrict administrators from accessing the defaults. With resources and executives there are additional restrictions that can be toggled on an off per user. We are contemplating something similar for administrators. For example:

    Allow access to Settings & Defaults yes / no
    Allow access to Plan info yes / no

    If both are set to no they don’t see any of the defaults and cannot upgrade or downgrade. Since many Intervals customers are small businesses with less than ten people it is very common to have multiple business partners, owners, key people, etc. have access to everything but this would allow for greater control. Would this type of restriction help? Would you use it?

    Regarding managers, the main reason why managers cannot create projects or clients at this time is from the project level permissions that Intervals features. Managers only see items (team members, work types, modules, clients, etc.) from the projects that they have access to whereas administrators see all items. Managers do not see any of the defaults in site settings so that administrators can control who sees which information within their accounts. You could run into a scenario where managers are creating modules and clients that already exist or are seeing items that administrators do now want them to see. In fact they could create a project that already exists but they don't know it exists because an administrator has not made them part of the project team. The administrator modification above might do the trick if you don't mind managers being able to see all projects. The user would be able to create projects, clients, people, etc. without being able to change any of the defaults.

  23.  

    @Michael,
    The proposed 'Junior Admin' would work quite (if not absolutely...) well, and I would definetely use it! I can see where a group being able to add projects while not beeing able to see all projects could - would! - lead to trouble. Thanks for thinking that through! Now just say when... ;-)

    • Michael
    • Aug 27th 2010 edited @ 11/19/2010 9:21 am
     

    Thank you for the feedback. The administrator modification has made it onto the roadmap and is currently scheduled for Q4 this year.

    # Update #
    The "junior administrator" was launched in October 2010. Here is a blog post outlining how the "junior administrator" works and some of the other features that were launched.

  24.  

    I see that the options to have an administrator see or not see plan info and change or not change the defaults, etc., was done...thank you!

    I still have a need to restrict someone from seeing all the projects open - mainly because I'm a subcontractor for small companies with either one or two other subs working with them, and these clients usually don't have any means to manage their projects. So I set up clients on my wonderful Intervals system and then give them access according to their needs and my own preference for what they can see. Intervals as it is set up for user levels has worked for me up till now; I have a new client who is very comfortable using Intervals, and I'd like him to be able to set up projects and tasks. He is my client and I am his sub. He assigns work to me using Intervals. Because the only way he can set up a project is to be an administrator, now he can see all my other projects and work I do for other clients. He can also see what those hourly rates are.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent him from seeing my other projects and all the info that goes with them, but yet allow him to set up projects? Is there any way that a client can add projects but be restricted from seeing other clients and their projects?

    I did read the above, and very much appreciate your input and guidance to all of the users...this is one of the reasons I picked Intervals for my tiny company. ;) I hope I can bug you once more on this topic.

    Thanks!
    Terri

  25.  

    What I'd really like to see is two extra user types:
    Project Manager - able to access their own projects and to create new ones and
    Line Manager to approve timesheets - or can that be acheived by the Junior Administator role?

  26.  
    The junior administrator might be an option since they can create projects and approve timesheets. If they are restricted from settings & defaults they cannot change up the defaults like modules, work types, etc.
  27.  

    Line manager is harder than it sounds, because you'd need to make sure the Resource user didn't have access to any projects that the line manager didn't have access to.
    Similarly there was a suggestion above for being able to create projects without seeing all projects - that is likely to lead to duplicate projects being created, when really the user should have been granted access to the original project.

  28.  

    Now that email integration is done (thanks!) this is Intervals' biggest weakness from my POV.

    Ideally our company would use the following user groups, each of whom also have all the access rights of the users below them in the list:
    * Administrator - Can create new users and projects and manage timesheets for all users
    * Line Manager - Can edit and approve timesheets for members of their team (new concept). Has access to all projects that their team members have access to.
    * Project Manager - Can report on time for their projects but cannot edit time or timesheets. Some of our clients would have this access right.
    * Resource - As now, plus an option to allow them to email executives
    * Executive - As now

    At the moment we have to set Line Managers as Administrators, so they can approve timesheets, and Project Managers as Resources (because we can't let our clients edit the timelogs of our staff).
    Our front-line support staff are Managers, because they need to be able to email executives.

  29.  
    An additional access right that could be useful would be "Client Administrator". They would be a Project Manager plus access to create users and projects for a single client.
  30.  

    The thing that kills us is not the number of user levels, it's the universality.

    We have team members who manage one project, and thus they can create tasks in every one of the 50+ projects we are managing in intervals.

    Unfortunately I believe this is part of the fundamental design of intervals and would be very difficult to change.

  31.  
    If a team member is managing only one project, it is best to designate them as a manager level user and only give them access to that one project. That will restrict them from creating tasks in other projects. We have seen some customers create two logins for one person if that person has two distinct roles within the organization. Intervals is not designed to handle a distinction of multiple roles for one person, just one role per person.

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