Time Periods within Planning are meant to represent an institution’s annual cycle of assessment reporting. Time periods are made up of two components, a title, and a date range. The title is independent of the date range and can be labeled whatever the institution or site administrator would like. *For example, a time period could be given the title "FY 2018" could have a date range outside of the 2018 fiscal year.

*Creating such a year would be atypical and is simply meant to be illustrative that the title and date range are independent of one another. 

 Time periods can be found in the General Settings section of settings.
Naming a Time Period
Planning is flexible enough that an institution may choose to label time periods as fiscal years, academic year or some other variation that meets the needs of the institution. 
An institution may choose to switch naming conventions from one year to the next if they so choose with no impact to the data inside Planning. For example, in the previous year the institution chooses to label their time periods with "Academic Year 2016-2017,” but moving forward they will label time periods with “Fiscal Year “2017-2018” to better represent the institution’s process. Again, renaming a given time period will not impact the data within Planning, though it may be a good idea to ensure users are notified of the change so as not to cause confusion on their part.


Time Period Date Range
Because time periods are used in both the application’s navigation and in the reporting tool it is important for them not to overlap. If the time period you are attempting to create does overlap with another time period you will receive an error message, as shown below. We see the user is attempting to create the time period "FY 2018" and they receive an error message. This is due to the fact that "FY 2019" spans the exact date range as FY 2018, which is not allowed within the Planning application. 
Associating a Time Period and Organizational Hierarchy

Once you have created a new Time Period you will need to associate it with an organizational hierarchy (aka org tree). An indicator of "Needs Org Hierarchy" (see screenshot below) will be displayed until an association has been made and will disappear once the process is complete. To learn more about the organizational hierarchy and how to associate it with your newly created time period see this article.




Locking a Time Period
Locking a time period places the given year into a “read-only” mode for all users. This is useful todo after a reporting cycle where you do not want users to make further changes to their content.
LAB TIP: Locking a year can be useful to prevent users from entering data in future years before the site administrator deems it ready. A few use cases would be for when a plan is being adjusted for the coming year or when a site administrator plans to copy the previous year’s data into the new year. Preventing users from creating content in the new year would ensure they do not create an item that would then be duplicated by the copy or begins working on a plan without the proper instructions.