7. Configuring Plans

Polarion provides special pages called Plans to support planning and execution of releases and iterations. Users can create Plans in projects, set dates, add Work Items, and set properties than enable Polarion to monitor and report the status and progress of Plans. (For more information, see User Guide: Plans Topic.

Plans Administration

If your system is updated from a Polarion version that did not yet have the Plans feature, you may need to enable it in administration. There also are several ways an administrator can configure/customize Plans:

  • Define Plan custom fields.

  • Define Plan statuses and status semantics.

  • Configure Plan Templates.

The following sections discuss these topics.

Enabling Plans

After updating your system to a version that includes the feature, from a version that did not, you can easily tell whether or not the Plans feature is enabled. In project Administration, go to Navigation and select Plans > Plan Templates. If there are no templates listed, and you see a button Set Up Planning, the feature is not yet enabled. Click the button to launch the enabling process. After the process is complete, the default Plan Templates appear on the Plan Templates page.

Defining Plan Custom Fields

Scope: Global and project

You can create custom data fields for use in Plans only. (Plan custom field should not be confused with Work Item custom fields, which are defined for, and appear only in Work Items, or with Document custom fields, which are define for, and appear only in Documents.) You can create Plan custom fields to track any custom data you want to have associated with Plans. Plan custom fields can be of any supported data type. You can select from a list of types when you create the fields. If you want users to be able to select from a list of values for a Plan custom field, don't forget that you need to create a custom enumeration before defining the Plan custom field. (For more information, see the Administrator's Guide topic Configuring Enumerations.)

Although Plans themselves can only be created in projects, you can define Plan custom fields in the Global (repository) scope. Such fields defined globally appear by default in new Plans and Plan Templates created in projects. Project configurations can optionally override the global configuration, changing the type, semantics, or removing the field(s) from the project entirely. Plan custom fields can also be defined in projects, where they will apply only to the specific project.

To define a new Plan custom field:

  1. Open the scope in which you want to define the Plan custom field(s)... Global(repository) or a specific project.

  2. Enter Administration, and in Navigation select Plans > Plan Custom Fields.

    The configuration page opens and shows a table of existing Plan custom fields, if any, and an empty table row in which you can define a new field.

  3. In the empty row, fill in all the fields and options, which are the same as for Work Item custom fields.

  4. To add another field definition, click the icon on the last row of the table. A new empty row is added in which you can define another Plan custom field.

  5. Click the Save button when you have finished defining your Plan custom fields.

The configured Plan custom fields appear in the Custom Fields section of Plan and Plan Template pages, and values for them can be added or modified in the Plan properties or Plan Template properties.

Defining Plan Statuses

Scope: Global and project

Polarion provides a special field Plan Status for tracking the status of Plans. Users and reports can run queries for Plans with a specified value or values in this field. The default Plan Templates provide 3 Plan Status definitions: "Open", "In Progress", and "Done". You can change the labels and other properties of these statuses (e.g. "Building", "Executing", "Completed") and/or add more statuses (e.g. "Open", "In Review", "In Progress", "Done").

It is important to understand the Plan Status is not a workflow control like the Status field of Work Items. There are no actions or transitions. It is simply data that provide a way of tracking and communicating the current status of a Plan to stakeholders.

Although Plans themselves can only be created in projects, you can define Plan Statuses in the Global (repository) scope. The globally defined statuses appear by default in new Plans and Plan Templates created in projects. Project configurations can optionally override the global configuration, changing the semantics, or adding or removing statuses. Plan Statuses can also be defined in projects, where they will apply only to the specific project.

To configure Plan Statuses:

  1. Open the scope in which you want to define the Plan custom field(s)... Global(repository) or a specific project.

  2. Enter Administration, and in Navigation select Plans > Plan Statuses.

    The configuration page opens and shows a table of existing Plan Statuses, and an empty table row in which you can define a new Plan Status.

  3. Edit existing statuses, add new statuses, or remove existing statuses as desired and click the Save button.

Most of the Plan Status properties are self-explanatory. The following may be worth noting:

  • Default: Check the Status that should be the initial one applied to new Plans. For example, the "Open" status can be set as the default initial status for new Plans by checking this property on the relevant row in Plan Statuses. When a Plan's status changes to from the Default status to any other, the Started On property of the Plan is automatically set (to the current date).

  • Terminal: Check the status that should indicate that a Plan is finished. For example, the default "Done" status can be set as the default end status for new Plans by checking this property on the relevant row in Plan Statuses. When a Plan's status changes to the Terminal status, the Finished On property of the Plan is automatically set (to the current date).

Administering Plan Templates

Scope: project only

Plan Templates are special versions of Plans that serve as a template from which actual Plans are created. Values set in Plan Template properties become the default values for new Plans created by users and based on the Plan Template. Plan Templates can be created only in the project scope. To access a project's Plan Templates, open Administration: Plans > Plan Templates.

In Plan Templates administration you can:

  • Create new Plan Templates.

  • Browse the list of existing Plan Templates.

  • Review and modify the properties of an existing Plan Template, including the Plan report Page.

  • Delete existing Plan Templates.

Creating a New Plan Template

To create a new Plan Template in Administration:

  1. Open the project for which you want to create a Plan Template. (Plan Templates are per project only. You cannot create them in the Global scope.)

  2. Open Administration, and in Navigation select Plans > Plan Templates.

  3. On the toolbar of the upper pane, click the Create button.

    The Create New Template dialog opens and presents a list of existing Plan Templates. If no custom templates have yet been defined in the project, only the default templates are listed.

  4. In the Create New Template dialog, select a Plan Template as the basis for the new one you are creating.

  5. Enter a name and ID in the dialog, and click the Create button.

Viewing and Editing Plan Template Properties

To access and edit Plan Template properties:

  1. Open a project, and enter Administration.

  2. In Navigation, select Plans > Plan Templates.

  3. Browse the table of existing Plan Templates (upper pane), and select the one you want to review and/or modify.

  4. In the selected Plan Template's detail page (lower pane), click the Properties button.

  5. To edit properties, click the Edit button. (If properties are read-only as discussed above, this button is disabled.)

There is one property in Plan Templates that is only present at the template level, and not in Plans created from the template: Color. This field accepts standard hex color notation used in web development (e.g. #nnnnnn, where #000000 is black, #ffffff is white, etc.) Standard web color names (Red, Blue, Cyan, etc.) can also be used. The color specified in this field of the template is applied to the icon that signifies "Plan". Once a Plan is created from a Plan Template, the color field cannot be changed in the properties of the created Plan.(Color is still editable in the Plan Template).

An important property to note is the option Report shared from Template. When checked, the Plan's report Page is shared in Plans instantiated from the Plan Template. Then, if a user invokes the action to customize the Plan report, they are offered the option to customize either the report Page of the instantiated Plan, or the report Page of the Plan Template. The user can perform the selected customization, assuming that s/he has the necessary permissions.

Plan Template Operations

The (Operations) menu in each Plan Template provides several functions you may need:

  • Customize Plan Report: This action opens the underlying report Page of the Plan Template, enabling you to customize the layout, modify parameters of existing Widgets, or add additional Widgets to provide the desired functionality and information for the project team.

  • Delete: Invoke this action to delete a Plan Template. Only the current Plan Template is deleted. Plans that users have created from it are not affected and remain in the project.

Note that the menu also has items for exporting the Plan Template page to PDF, or printing it.

Configuring Plan Permissions

Administrators can review and optionally modify the default user permissions for Plans. Plan permissions can be configured in both Global/repository scope and project scope.

To access Plan permissions:

  1. Open the scope you want to configure and enter Administration.

  2. In Navigation, expand User Management and select Permissions Management.

  3. On the Permissions Management page, expand Plans in either tab to access Plan permissions.

For more information on configuring user permissions, see the Administrator's Guide topic Configuring User Permissions.

Using the Plan Enumeration for Work Item Fields

Polarion includes a special enumeration Plan that can be used for Enum: type custom fields in Work Items or Documents. Such fields show a list of Plans, optionally enabling users to select one or more Plans in the list. The list of Plans can be filtered by specifying a query in the Query parameter of the enumeration. (If that parameter is left empty, the custom field list will list all Plans in the project.)

To do this, create a custom field as usual, selecting Enum: in the Type column. The enumeration selector appears, in which you should select Plan. When this enumeration is selected, a field for the Query parameter appears. Enter a query using Lucene syntax to filter the list of Plans rendered in the list for end users. For example, to have the field show only open plans the query might be: status:open.

See also: Configuring Custom Fields, Configuring Document Custom Fields.