Activities & Rostering | Planning & Preparation, Pilot and Rollout

This article provides detailed information relating to Activities and Rostering, including definitions, planning considerations, configuration and setup prerequisites, end-to-end workflow, piloting and rollout, ongoing management, role-specific tasks, and using Activities for specialised Services. 

Audience: Authorised Representatives, Executive Management, Operations Management, Team Leaders and anyone tasked with setting up and managing Activities and/or Rostering


Prerequisites

It is recommended that the  Foundations phase of your organisation's implementation has been completed before commencing with this phase. 

For a holistic understanding of the concept of Activities in SupportAbility, please watch the video linked. 


Summary

The following list summarises the content within this article. Click on the links below to take you to the relevant sections:


What does the Activities & Rostering phase involve?

This phase of implementation is concerned with each Service type becoming familiar with the functions and features of Activities in SupportAbility. 

This is necessary to then pilot the Activities workflow, for the purpose of creating your chosen outputs. For example, reproducing your Client Schedules and/or Staff Rosters using SupportAbility. 

Once successfully completed, consider how to share this information with all Staff involved and rollout each chosen workflow to manage Activities. 

 

Why do we recommend running the Finance & NDIS phase in parallel?

Many Providers have experienced success by focusing on getting the Activities workflow up and running for each Service type, prior to introducing the planned and piloted Finance & NDIS processes, as different teams are often involved. 

It is important to develop Staff confidence and familiarity with managing Service delivery and reproducing the required outputs using Activities. This allows for a more streamlined integration of the piloted Finance & NDIS processes once this operations phase has been completed. 

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What outputs can be expected in this phase?

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Planning & Preparation

We recommend that each type of Service establishes how Activities will be best utilised in the respective area of the organisation e.g. Support Coordination, Community Access and Supported Employment. 

This is important as different types of Services may require different outputs and ultimately an alternative strategy. 

What are Activities?

Service delivery is managed using  Activities in SupportAbility. Different types of Activities can be created for different purposes, such as: Individual, Group, Client only or Staff only. 

Activities are a single point of data entry for many outputs, including:

  • Client Scheduling
  • Attendance Management
  • Quality & Evidence - Client Support Logs
  • Client Journals & Goals
  • Client Funding - NDIS Support Allocations
  • Invoicing & NDIS Bulk Payment Requests
  • Client Expenditure or NDIS Statements
  • Staff Rosters
  • Timesheets for Payroll
  • Reports

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Steps involved in the Activities Workflow

To become familiar with the functions and features of Activities in SupportAbility, we recommend starting by reviewing the Activities Workflow video. This is designed to explain holistically, each of the steps required when creating and managing Activities. 

Responsibilities are outlined, for the purpose of understanding how best to implement this workflow for each Service type within your organisation. 

The Activities Workflow video reviews: 

  • Responsibilities for managing Activity workflows
  • Activity Workflow Steps
  • Set-Up Prerequisites
  • Activity Creation Wizard
  • Activity Set-Up
  • Support Work Management
  • Team Leader Management

IMPORTANT

Whilst information regarding some aspects of Finance & NDIS is covered in this video, specifically: 

  • NDIS Support Allocations, and
  • Client Support Logs (referred to as the NDIS Client Sign Off in the Activities Workflow video). 

We recommend piloting this functionality in the Finance & NDIS phase. Once trialled, this will be introduced in the final Integrations phase of your SupportAbility implementation. 

Activities are an important core element of SupportAbility and a single point of data entry with multiple outputs. Activities can influence many elements within SupportAbility, it is therefore important that this workflow is managed diligently.

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Linked Resources

In addition to the key resource of the Activities Workflow video listed above, the following content is designed to assist further with each step involved.  Each section within this article provides an introduction to the different components of Activities & Rostering and links out to articles and videos, which provide more comprehensive information specific to each area of functionality.

The videos can either be viewed via the links provided or in the Learning Centre of your installation.  They may look a little different, due to the evolution of SupportAbility, however, the majority of the information is relevant and of value.

N.B. If the learning videos are watched via the links provided in this article, please note the views will not appear in your Learning Centre Log. If you would like them to, please go to the Learning Centre and view the videos in the Activities section tab.

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Set-Up Prerequisites

Activities Configuration article - outlines important information regarding the Staff privileges required to create, edit, Sign Off i.e. approve and delete Activities. The configuration options available for Activities are also included. 

Standard [Staff] Availability article - details this optional feature where Standard Availability can be entered for the Staff who work in your organisation into SupportAbility: 

When this is utilised, it is designed to assist with Staff rostering as any availability issues will be highlighted. The following video demonstrates Staff Availability options. 

Availability Exceptions and Clashes article - outlines the optional feature of 'Availability Exceptions' to assist managing Staff Availability. This feature is designed to highlight any issues when rostering Staff into Activities: 

N.B. This feature does not have the leave management capacity of a dedicated HR/Payroll platform. It is designed to solely assist with Staff Availability when rostering. We therefore recommend reviewing the linked article and testing this functionality to determine if it will be of benefit to your organisation. 

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Activity Set-Up

Creating Activities video - contains useful information regarding how to create Activities:  

N.B. Only Staff with the privileges required to manage Activities will be able to create Activities.

Client Participation video - explains how to add and remove Clients within an Activity: 

Staff Activity Delivery video - also contains useful information regarding allocating Staff to Activities. Staff Availability Issues and customising Staff shift times are also covered. 

Replicating Activities article - outlines important information regarding the options available to reproduce your Client Schedules and Staff Rosters for a set period. It also explains the way Replication Management Settings are configured. 

The following video will also assist - Replicating Activities.

Public Holidays - at present there is no facility to register public holidays in SupportAbility. Due to this, we recommend that if a Provider does not deliver Services on public holidays, when replicating Activities it is important to review the ' Related Activities' tab following their creation. 

If any of the Activities fall on a public holiday, then we recommend to Delete these Activities by following the instructions outlined in this article. 

N.B. Only Staff with the privileges required to manage Activities will be able to delete Activities.

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Support Work Management

Managing Staff shifts article - includes information about customising shift times, managing breaks, the 'Includes Break' & 'Not Paid' settings and entering private kms for reimbursement. 

Rostering video - contains information regarding the Staff Roster, noting that only Staff with the privileges required to manage Activities, will be able to create Activities from the Roster and view the Roster of other Staff members. 

Activity icons article - provides an explanation of each Status icon displayed in the Activity record, Roster, and various Reports. 

Staff timesheet sign off video - outlines the process for Staff to complete their Time Sheet. This is called performing a Sign Off of their Timesheet in SupportAbility. 

N.B. This is an optional step in the Activities Workflow and is important for each Service type to consider if this step is a requirement of their Staff. 

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Team Leader Management

Activity Report article - we recommend using the Activity Report to locate Activities ready for Sign Off i.e. approval. 

Activity Sign Off video - outlines the process for Staff to perform the Activity Sign Off: 

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Specialised Services

For any Providers of Support Coordination, we recommend reviewing the ' Managing Activities for Specialised Services' section of the Managing compliance around Conflict of Interest for Specialised Services article. 

We also recommend Providers of Supported Employment review the following article -  How can Activities for Supported Employees be managed?.

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Activities Pilot

From the information outlined above, we recommend that each Service type begins trialling the Activities workflow with a select set of Clients and Staff. This trial process is important to not only reproduce your required outputs e.g. Client Schedules and/or Staff Rosters but to also commence supporting Staff to achieve their required tasks using SupportAbility. 

The Activities Pilot article outlines some key considerations when trialling the Activities workflow, to assist determining who will be responsible for each step.

Piloting this workflow can be as simple as selecting a single Client or Staff member and replicating their Schedule, or Roster. 

It is important to review what works and what doesn't. Consider how your existing processes and procedures will change. Determine who will be responsible for each step in the workflow, along with, how to train and support Staff in these new processes and requirements. 

Following the successful completion of this pilot, we recommend each Service type considers the lessons learned. From here a rollout plan to implement the piloted Activity management workflows to all Staff working in each Service must be determined.

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Rollout of the Activities Workflow

Before rolling out the Activities workflow across the organisation, Staff will need to be trained regarding how Activities will be used to manage Service delivery for each Service type. It is important that Team Leaders and Management support and drive this rollout. This is critical to ensure positive engagement and the uptake of managing day-to-day operations effectively using SupportAbility.

Training should be task-orientated and focused on how your organisation has decided to utilise this functionality. It is important that Staff are only trained in the processes that are relevant to them when your organisation is ready for them to commence completing these tasks in SupportAbility. 

For example, if Activities will be created and managed by Team Leaders in your organisation, then only Team Leaders need to understand this level of detail. If other Staff who work in the Service are required to; access their Roster, create Client Journal entries (from within the Activity) and complete their Staff Time Sheet, then it is recommended that only those processes are demonstrated and instructed in the manner your organisation wants them completed. 

Forwarding comprehensive Knowledge Base articles, such as this, almost always results in confusion as it is not clear on who is responsible and exactly what is required. We have seen this approach result in stalling previous implementations significantly. 

Systems training must always be accompanied by organisational policy and procedures, for direction on how best to utilise SupportAbility within your organisation.

N.B. Staff involved also require an awareness that the Finance & NDIS phase is underway simultaneously and that additional tasks will be added to integrate Finance & NDIS processes into the Activity workflows in the final implementation phase.

Staff need to know who to go to when they need help and have questions regarding SupportAbility. We, therefore, recommend appointing a system 'champion' for your organisation, or each Service type as for this purpose.

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