Scheduling Assistant

  • Updated

Introduction

The scheduling assistant allows participants to connect their calendars with Chronus, which shows them when their mentoring partner is and is not available, so long as their calendars are up-to-date.

The scheduling assistant is currently available only for the following email services:

  • Gmail
  • Office 365 (Outlook software client) / Outlook.com (web-based Outlook email)
  • iCal

Chronus supports organization wide calendar integration for Microsoft Exchange (Outlook) and Google Calendars. 

Why it matters: With the scheduling assistant enabled, your program participants can reduce their effort spent when trying to find a date and time where both can meet. This typically leads to more data being available to administrators about how active a connection is.

If a participant does not utilize one of the email services currently supported by the feature, they will be unable to connect their calendar and their mentoring partner will not be able to see their availability when scheduling meetings; thus, this feature works best when most or all participants utilize the same email service (i.e. everyone at your organization uses the Outlook software client for email management).

This feature works best when paired with one of the Calendar Sync features.

The scheduling assistant feature can only be enabled by a Chronus customer success team member.

 How to Connect a Calendar for End User

Scenario 1: Connection During Setup

When filling out their profile for the first time, participants will be asked to connect their calendars as the last step of the profile completion process. After clicking the button corresponding to their calendar of choice (Google, Office 365 / Outlook.com, or iCal), the participant will be prompted to authorize Chronus to view their calendars:

After authorization is complete, the participant will be taken to their home page.

 

Scenario 2: Connection After Signup

Administrators cannot connect a participant's calendar when utilizing the Work on Behalf feature—only the participant can perform this action.

To connect a calendar after a participant is already in the program, have them click the circle in top right corner of the page (this circle will either contain the participant's profile picture, or their initials). Select Edit Profile from there.

Then, have them click Settings in the middle of the page.

Next, have them scroll down to the Calendar Settings section and click the button corresponding to the calendar type they wish to connect.

After successfully connecting, the following will always be shown under the Calendar Settings section for the participant:

iCal Experience

iCal has a slightly different experience from the other supported calendars. Once the participant clicks the button, they will be prompted to sign in to their iCloud account and asked to create an app-specific password:

Click here for a PDF document explaining how to generate an app-specific password, if needed.

After filling out the content in the dialog box, the participant will be rerouted to Chronus, seeing a success message similar to other calendars.

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Scenario 3: Group Mentoring/Circles Experience

A back-end setting needs to be toggled by a Chronus team member before this feature can be used by groups/circles. Please ask your regular contact to check that this setting is enabled before advertising the feature to your participants.

To make use of the scheduling assistant in a Group Mentoring or Circles connection, the meeting creator will need to click the Create a Poll with Proposed Meeting Slots button to display times that invitees who have connected their calendars to Chronus are not available.

The interface will indicate how many invitees have connected their calendars for reference.

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How the Scheduling Assistant Works

Once connected to a participant's calendar, the scheduling assistant will provide the participant's availability to their mentoring partner(s) when a partner goes to schedule a meeting with them through Chronus.

Chronus cannot view any information in any item in a calendar (e.g. meeting details)—the platform only looks for times that the individual has indicated they are occupied, and returns that date and time frame to the person scheduling the meeting as "Unavailable".

If Calendar Sync is also enabled for your program, note that Gmail will automatically put the scheduled meeting on the participant's calendar, in addition to sending the invitation email. Outlook users must first accept the invitation before the meeting is placed on their calendar.

Integration Guide: User-level Calendar Authorization (Outlook & Google)

With User-level Calendar Authorization enabled and configured, your program participants will have permission to connect their calendars to Chronus.

Pre-requisites for User level calendar:

  1. Active Chronus Account & Global Access Account (Google/Outlook/Microsoft 365)
  2. The Scheduling Assistant feature and two-way calendar should be enabled in Chronus

Process: 

Step 1 - Add the Global access account(Google/Outlook/Microsoft 365) user as an administrator(Global or Program level) in Chronus

Step 2 - Login to Chronus

Step 3 - Click the circle in the top right corner of the page (this circle will either contain the participant's profile picture or their initials). Select Edit Profile from there.

Step 4-  Click Settings in the middle of the page.

Next, have them scroll down to the Calendar Settings section and click the button corresponding to the calendar type they wish to connect.

Step 5 - Provide the constant to the Chronus Application. After successfully connecting, the following will always be shown under the Calendar Settings section for the participant: Your calendar is connected.

 

Organization-wide Calendar Authorization

With Organization-wide Calendar Authorization enabled and configured, your program participants will have their calendars automatically connected to Chronus. This removes the need for them to do this themselves.

Organization-wide Calendar Authorization must be enabled by a Chronus customer success team member before it can be used. Enabling this feature applies its functionality to all programs in your instance.
Organization-wide Calendar Authorization is only available for Microsoft Exchange and Google Calendar.

 

Pre-requisites for On-premise:

1. We highly recommend that you or an IT team member at your organization create an email address specifically for the purpose of using this feature, with the first and last name of the account containing your program's name. When receiving a meeting invitation with this feature enabled, the email will come from this account.

2. The email address being used for this purpose must be able to view the calendars of your program's participants for this feature to work.

3. This account must be added to Chronus as a global administrator, preferably with the same first and last name of the program itself.

 

Pre-requisites for Online:

1. Administrator Level Microsoft Enterprise Account, which allows the reading of  calendar slots of all the users

2. User performing the integration should also have Global Administrator privileges in Chronus platform

 

Microsoft Exchange (Outlook) Experience - Online & On-premise:

To configure Microsoft Exchange On-premise, please contact the support team.

Process (Exchange Online)

Log in to the global administrator account that will be used for this purpose, then click Manage at the global level. Click the Engagement card, then click the Integrations icon:

 

Click the Microsoft Exchange card to open the next step:

 

Click the Integrate button beneath the Exchange icon:

After clicking Integrate, you will need to log in with the account's Exchange admin credentials. Then, you will be prompted to allow Chronus permission to view user calendars.

After granting permission, you will be returned to the screen shown above with a message in the bottom left corner of the screen confirming that the integration was successful.

To remove this integration, navigate back to the Exchange card and click the Disable button shown beneath the logo.

Online and On-premise cannot both be enabled at the same time.

 

Google Calendar Organization-wide Authorization:

Log in to the global administrator account that will be used for this purpose, then click Manage at the global level. Click the Engagement card, then click the Integrations icon:

 

On the following screen, click the Integrate button beneath the Google Calendar icon:

After clicking the Integrate button, you will need to log in with the account's Google credentials. Then, you will be prompted to allow Chronus permission to view user calendars.

After granting permission, you will be returned to the Google integration page with a message in the bottom left corner of the screen confirming that the integration was successful.

To remove this integration, navigate back to the Google Calendar card and click the Disable button shown beneath the logo.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

A participant says they connected their calendar, but their availability isn't being updated in the software. What could be happening here?
1. Check to make sure that the participant has actually connected their calendar by working on behalf of them, going to their profile's account settings, and seeing which of the following options is being presented to you: "Your calendar is not connected", or "Your Google/Outlook.com/Office 365/iCal calendar is connected." Follow the steps here when working on behalf of the user to discover this information.

2. If they have an all-day event scheduled, the assistant will interpret this as not being available. Have them ensure that this isn't blocking their calendars.

3. Try having the participant disconnect and reconnect their calendar in the software, then wait roughly ten minutes to ensure that the system is given enough time to retrieve the information.

4. Your organization's IT team may need to authorize Chronus to access calendar information first. Please ask them to ensure that permissions are enabled for all users and not just a select group (enabling this will not affect non-participants in your organization at all, since they won't be using Chronus anyway).

If none of the above address the issue, please get in touch with our support team and let them know that you have already tried the options listed in this article to expedite assistance.

 

What are the permissions Chronus acquires during this integration?

Google

  • OAuth Permission Scopes
    • Chronus requests permissions for the below OAuth scopes, which are used to create and read Google Calendar events: Calendars.Events
  • Data Access
    • Chronus will only have permission to do the following from the Google account Chronus is connected to: Insert, Update, Delete, Read, or Watch calendar events.

Outlook/Microsoft 365

  • OAuth Permission Scopes
    • Chronus requests permissions for the below OAuth scopes, which are used to create and read Outlook/Microsoft 365 Calendar events: Calendars.ReadWrite
  • Data Access
    • Chronus will only have permission to do the following from the Outlook/Microsoft 365 account Chronus is connected to: Insert, Update, Delete, Read, or Watch calendar events.

Can I work on behalf of a user and connect their calendar for them?
This cannot be done. For security reasons, the individual has to authorize permissions on their own.

 

A participant is saying that their mentoring partner's schedule is always completely open/never available.
This typically means that the mentoring partner either has not connected their calendar or has "out of office" settings configured in a way that prevents them from being shown as available. The participant may need to reach out to the mentoring partner about this and ask them to make adjustments.

 

How do you disconnect or connect a new calendar?
A participant can disconnect and/or connect a calendar through their profile's account settings. See the Connecting After Sign-up section above for instructions on how to get to this page.

 

Can a participant have multiple calendars connected at the same time?
Only one calendar can be connected per account at a time. This means the same calendar availability shown to partners in one track will be shown to partners in other tracks as well, should the participant is engaged in more than one program.

 

Can the email address of the scheduling assistant be changed to something else?
The email address for the scheduling assistant cannot be changed.

 

Can the sender name of the scheduling assistant be changed to something else?
The sender name for the scheduling assistant cannot be changed.

 

Which specific (tech) permissions are being utilized by Chronus when looking at a calendar?
"calendars.read" and "offline_access". iCal uses the app-specific password to look at the free/busy slots on the specified calendar.

 

Will Chronus need to store any user credentials to utilize the Scheduling Assistant? How exactly are the login and the calendar synchronization set up and maintained in the backend?
For Google Calendar and Office 365 / Outlook, Chronus does not store user credentials with this integration; after a user successfully validates their login credentials, the authorization server returns an access token which the software saves instead. Chronus uses this access token to connect with the resource server (where Chronus pulls free/busy slot information from) to retrieve that data.

For iCal, Chronus does store the encrypted Apple ID and encrypted app-specific password, as Apple does not provide a backend framework similar to the other calendars to allow token authorization. Chronus does not store the Apple ID password.

 

Why can't participants schedule meetings on weekends or later/earlier in the day?
By default, Chronus prevents meetings from being scheduled on weekends and during late/early hours in the day. A global administrator can change these settings under the General tab in the Program Settings tool at the global level, as can a single-track admin.

 

Can I limit which email services are available to participants?
Global administrators/Single-track program administrators can toggle these under the General section of Program Settings:

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Is there a way for my program's participants to have their calendars automatically connected when they first sign up?
This is possible, but only for organizations where the program's participants are all using the same email service. This also requires the organization's IT team to create a "dummy" email address that utilizes the email service for Chronus as well. For more information, please reach out to a Customer Success team member.

 

Would program participants need to authorize their Google/Microsoft account?
Yes. Users need to do a one-time action of connecting their Google/Microsoft account once the Two-Way Calendar Sync feature is enabled in their program.


Should a program participant be logged in to their Google account if they want to create a meeting?
The user does not need to be logged in to their Google account when they are creating the meeting.


Can I extend Two-Way Calendar Sync capabilities to only one/a selected list of programs in my organization?
Yes, track-level administrators and global administrators can enable or disable the ability to create Two-Way Calendar Sync meetings in their specific program, under the Features tab in the Program Settings tool of each individual track.


Can all the attendees edit a meeting from their personal calendars?
No, only the meeting owner has the ability to update the meeting details from the personal calendar. Other attendees can only RSVP to the meeting.


What meeting details can be updated from the meeting owner personal calendar?
Title, Description, meeting start time and end time, RSVP.

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