On-Call Scheduling: Sundowning Classic Mode and using teams as shift members

Our Winter Release has been out for a few weeks and we hope you've had a chance to enjoy the awesome new On-Call Scheduling features. We'll continue to innovate and enhance that part of our product and you can already see a sneak preview of the next batch of improvements in Doug Peete's latest blog post.

 

Now that we've rung in the new, it's time to ring out the old. As you know, we provided a Classic Mode option in the Winter Release to provide you with a familiar way to manage your groups as you transition to the new UI. However, it's time to set the expiry date for Classic Mode, as it's holding us back from adding even more new capabilities to our product.

Classic Mode will be permanently retired in our Spring release, due in May 2015.

Our new groups interface has more functionality than Classic Mode and is simply a better experience in every way. Still, we know there is one specific change that will require an adjustment in how some of you are using xMatters.

 

For a long time, we've provided two methods to nest collections of message recipients into shifts (what we used to call coverages). The first was by adding other groups as shift members; the other was using teams as shift members.

 

Part of the motivation for the revamp of the on-call scheduling UI was to address some of the unnecessary complexity that worked its way into our product over time, and for this reason we've decided to standardize the way we offer this functionality by using groups as shift members.

Adding teams as shift members will be permanently retired in our Spring release.

If you're using this functionality, don't panic - we will not delete any teams from any of your shifts. We will still send messages to groups with shifts that contain teams as members the same way we always have. The difference is that you will not be able to create new shifts with this set up. Over time, we encourage you to transition to using other groups as shift members to obtain the same end result.

 

We never make changes like this on a whim, and we understand that some customers will have some work to do to switch over to using nested groups - but the benefits will be immediate. The best example of this is the new nested group preview in our shift timelines in the Group Overview and Calendar. As Doug mentions in his blog post, this is one of our most requested features ever and we hope this will make the transition a little easier for you.

One other enhancement currently in the works at Engineering HQ is the ability to copy the timeline from other shifts. We think this will provide a more usable alternative to customers that currently reuse teams across multiple shifts.

 

As always, we love hearing from our customers and your feedback is welcome and encouraged. So, if you have any questions please feel free to add your comments to this post.

 

Iain Rose, Product Manager, xMatters

 

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