NEW RELEASES

R11 - LDAP SSO -July 2009:


R10.5 - April 2009:

https://admin.na3.acrobat.com/_a747255858/p95629195/

R10- February 2009

r10 video demo


Portfolio R10 demo.mp3
Portfolio_Management.doc

API changes:

Highlights

Features:
  1. Business Case Builder
  2. Risk Management
  3. Expenses on Timesheets
  4. Unit based Expenses
  5. Reimbursable and Reimbursed Expenses
  6. Portfolios
    • Demand Management
    • Optimizer
  7. Programs
  8. Scorecards
  9. Customizable Nav Menus
  10. Custom Data in Gantt Chart and Cap Planner
  11. Currency formatted Custom Data
  12. Cap Planner
    • Best Fit
    • Fit to Schedule
    • Budget Summary
  13. Time on Projects in Planning
  14. Posting Notes via Email
  15. Copy Default Reports
  16. Project Name on Tasks for non-iPhone PDAs
  17. Audit trails now support deleted objects
  18. Subtask Documents View Modifications

R10

'''Release Date: February 14, 2009'''
The primary focus for this release is to deliver a robust Portfolio Management offering, including a formalized project request process, demand management, prioritization and selection, and other supporting functionality. In addition to Portfolio Management, many other features are delivered to enhance and refine @task in general.

<br>

Portfolio Management

Summary

Project portfolio management is the set of business practices that brings project management into tight harmony with the strategies, resources, and executive oversight of an organization and provides the structure and process for portfolio governance. Mature companies are looking for ways to not only get their projects done efficiently (via project management), but a better way to select those projects in the first place. For the past year @task has received multiple requests to create an out of the box solution for Portfolio Management, and this set of features is our initial offering in the PPM space.
All of the following features will be available to enterprise license users.

Major Components

#Portfolios
#*Demand Management of Project Requests
#*Project Prioritization and Selection
#Programs
#Business Case Builder
#Scorecard Builder

Portfolios

In @task, a portfolio represents a workspace for portfolio management and a repository for project requests and active projects. Portfolio managers will use the portfolio object to do all of their management activities such as monitoring and reporting. Portfolios are custom dashboardable, so users can modify the look and feel of the portfolio workspace.
The portfolio is also a collection of projects and requests that are aligned with common business objectives. Consider the portfolio object as a pipeline of project requests that a user sifts through and approves. This process of request review is known as Demand Management.

Demand Management

Demand Management is the process whereby, a user can compare project requests by their project data, business case metrics, and custom data metrics. This comparison will enable users to approve requests that are viable, and aligned with business goals. This feature is under development.
<div class="gallery">
Business
Demand
DemandManagement.png
Demand
</div>

Project Prioritization and Selection

The prioritization and selection process is central to portfolio management. Using @task's set of filters, customizable views, and groupings, a user can take a list of candidate projects and select the best set that meets the current needs of the organization.
The Optimizer feature is a powerful tool in finding the right mix that prompts the user to identify their risk tolerance, and rank the importance of high return, low cost, and high alignment projects. Using this input, the optimizer gives each project in the list a comparative ranking based on those metrics.
Once the user finds a good set of projects, they can modify the status of these projects to an active state (Planning or Current) or push selected projects over to the capacity planner for a resource analysis.
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Optimizer
Optimizer
Optimizer
Optimizer
Optimizer
</div>

Business Case Builder

When a company has many project requests and finite resources, the company needs a way to determine which projects are the right projects to do. The first step in this prioritization and selection process is capturing the necessary information toward making that decision -- we call this a business case. A business case is a detailed project request -- a proposal.
@task now includes a new module called the Business Case Builder (BCB) -- a wizard-style guide to creating a business case. The user is prompted to gather the information necessary to present a compelling case for a project. The BCB is comprised of 7 tabs (listed below). These tabs can be activated or deactivated through Portfolio Management preferences based on the need of the customer.
#'''Business Case.''' This tab is a summary of the business case. The data from all subsequent tabs rolls up to this tab. This is the first tab the requester sees, and (when the business case is completed) represents the presentation of the business case.
#'''Project Info.''' The basic project information (i.e. name, description, start/end dates, etc.)
#'''Goals.''' Here, the user enters the high-level objectives of the proposed project. As a post-mortem activity, the project goals can also be rated
#'''Costs.''' The planned expenses and resource costs are entered on this tab.
#'''Alignment.''' On this tab, the user leverages the new scorecard module to answer questions that will automatically derive a score indicating the proposed project's alignment with organizational objectives.
#'''Risks.''' Here, the user identifies risks and associates probability and potential cost. Mitigation plans can be defined, and a status is selected indicating whether the risk has occurred, has been mitigated, etc.
#'''Custom Data.''' Custom forms may be applied to business cases
<div class="gallery">
Business
Business
Business
Business
Business
Business
Business

Scorecard Builder

The need for a scorecard grew out of the requirement to allow users to build their own alignment surveys for the business case. This needed to be a simple form creator, and leveraged the concepts found in @task's custom data framework. Scorecards are fundamentally the same as custom data categories, i.e., a scorecard = category, questions = parameters to it. The builder improves on the creation process by enabling users to create the fields at the same time they are laying out the form.
The fields on a scorecard are called questions, and each question is one of three types: Value (1-100), Dropdown, or Radio Button. In addition, each question is assigned points (like a test) that determine the overall weight compared to the other questions on the scorecard. When a user fills out the scorecard, an overall score is calculated based on the values associated with their listed answers. This score becomes the alignment score found in the business case builder.
Currently scorecards are used only for the alignment survey. In the future we hope to use scorecards in many different capacities.
<br> Scorecard.png
<br>

Other Features

'''Customizable Navigation Menus and Quick Search'''
*While the navigation menus provide a quick access routes, each user has different needs. For example, a support representative using @task may have little need for Company, Parameter, or User in the Create menu. Similarly, a finance user may have the need to search for billing records on a regular basis. The navigation menus and quick search have been enhanced to be configurable, such that a user may choose from all searchable objects and create customized menus. These custom settings are saved to the respective user. Simply click "Customize Menu...", and then select or deselect to create your preferred configuration.
<br> '''Resource Allocation Reporting by Job Role'''
*@task has impressive reporting capability around resource allocation by project; but what if you wanted to see which projects a particular resource was allocated to -- and to what extent? @task has been enhanced to allow this new angle on reporting and provide visibility into resource allocation by Job Role.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Canadian Western Bank, Global Prairie
<br> '''Interactive Gantt Capacity Increased - AKA: Fixing Gantt to load more than 1,000 tasks'''
*To protect against excessive load on the system, the Interactive Gantt previously capped task load to 1,000. With the R10 release, the limit has been removed to allow for the load of especially large projects far beyond the previous limit.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Government of Singapore Investment Corporation
<br> '''Currency Formatted Custom Data Fields'''
*The custom data feature in @task has provided significant flexibility to users, allowing for custom forms, integration points with other systems, etc. A common use for custom data fields is to capture financial data; however, @task has not historically provided a currency data type. With the R10 release, custom currency fields can be created and applied to custom forms. Data entered and stored to these fields are displayed and stored as currency.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Draeger, City of Portland, Foster Moore
<br> CustomCurrencyParameters.png
<br> '''Posting Notes via Email - AKA: Logging email discussions in @task'''
*When notes are posted and email notifications go out, users may want to respond or follow up. In the past, the user has had to login to @task, find the respective object, and post a new note in the thread. With the R10 release, users can simply reply to the notification through their email client, and @task will receive the response and post it as a new note on the respective thread, then notify all on the thread of the update.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Sharp, ThinData
<br> '''Time on Projects in Planning'''
*The @task Idea Share is a tool on our community site that allows users to submit ideas, discuss, and vote. One of the most popular ideas was to make it so that users could log hours on projects in pre-execution states. This solution has been delivered with R10.
*''This feature originated from the most popular post in Idea Share'' (see the [https://community.attask.com/ideas/7 Idea Share Posting])
<br> '''User Usage Report'''
*One of the most important aspects of @task implementation is to have a finger on the pulse of usage. A new default report is now included in @task and shows user usage at-a-glance. This report can be placed on dashboards and delivered to management. Such visibility is critical in the adoption process.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Trilliant, Mango Media, SpeakTech
<br> User
<br> '''Custom Data for Gantt and Capacity Planner'''
*Gantt and Capacity Planner have become essential tools to many users. These tools have been expanded to provide the ability to add Custom Data fields. This custom configuration is saved as a user preference.
<br> '''Importing Aggregate Reports through Kickstarts'''
*When a company transitions to @task, there are often configurations and data in a demo environment that were used during the sales process which could be useful in the production setup of the new instance. Kickstarts provides a quick way of importing projects and other data. This module has been enhanced to allow the import of aggregate reports. If aggregate reports are created during the sales process, they may be easily imported through Kickstarts, eliminating the need to re-create them.
<br> Kickstarts.png
<br> <br> '''Copy Default Reports'''
*Users often want to create a report based on a default report. In the past, users have had to recreate such reports manually. With the R10 release, users will be able to copy each new default report, enabling them to quickly make duplicates and modify as needed.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Global Prairie, Mango Media
<br>
'''Project Name on Tasks in PDA&nbsp;Version'''
*The project name has been added to the Task view for non-iPhone PDAs.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' Time Warner

'''Best Fit Capacity Planning'''
*The task of scheduling resources across prioritized projects can be complex and time-consuming.&nbsp; A new feature has been added to Capacity Planner to help users in this process.&nbsp; When the user clicks Actions &gt;&gt; Set Best Fit, @task iterates through the projects by priority and finds the earliest start date for each project with the fewest overages within the specified date range.
*''Customers requesting this feature:''

'''Expenses via Timesheets'''
*Many timesheet users enter expenses, too. We have added a quick link on the timesheet to an inline expense addition for the respective object. This allows for a smoother use case and more efficient data entry.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' SpeakTech
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Timesheet
Timesheet
</div>
<br>
'''Other Enhancements to Expenses'''
*Mileage, materials, and other expense types are unit-based, and often require a rate calculation. This release adds the ability to create a custom calculated expense type. When the user adds an expense of this type through the expense manager, they are prompted for a number of units, and an automatic calculation populates the amount field. We have also added two new columns to the expense manager: Reimbursable and Reimbursed, allowing companies to track and manage reimbursements - these fields are controlled by financial security.
*''Customers requesting this feature:'' SpeakTech
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<div class="gallery">
Expense
Expense
</div>
<br>

User Impact

The following are detailed descriptions of impacts to the users by virtue of the changes outlined above.

'''Risk'''
*''Summary:'' Risk is a field that is available to users on the project. Changes relating to the Portfolio Management enhancement in R10 have resulted in moving this field in the user interface.
*''Before:'' This field was available in the Project >> Related Information >> Portfolio Values section
*''After:'' This field has been moved to the Project >> Related Information >> Related Information section for both professional and enterprise licenses
<br>
'''Alignment'''
*''Summary:'' Alignment is a field that is available to users on the project. This field has been used in the Portfolio Management enhancement, and has undergone some changes as a result.
*''Before:'' This field was a scalar value (0-100), and was available in the Project >> Related Information >> Portfolio Values section
*''After:'' This field has been converted to a calculated value that is based on users' answers on an alignment scorecard for the respective project. This field will be editable only to enterprise users, but visible to all license types in the Project Details >> Portfolio Values section. The pre-R10 alignment values will remain in the DB and available for reporting. Once an enterprise licensed user adds a scorecard and fills out the questions on that scorecard, the value in the alignment field will be recalculated. Any pre-R10 data stored in this field can be migrated to custom data fields.
<br>
'''Benefit'''
*''Summary:'' Benefit is a field that is available to users on the project. This field has been used in the Portfolio Management enhancement, and has undergone some changes as a result.
*''Before:'' This field was a scalar value (0-100), and was available in the Project >> Related Information >> Portfolio Values section
*''After:'' This field will now be a currency value. Any pre-R10 data will be converted to currency. This field will be editable only to enterprise users, but visible to all license types in the Project Details >> Portfolio Values section. Any pre-R10 data stored in this field can be migrated to custom data fields.
<br>
'''Capacity Planner'''
*''Summary:'' The capacity planner needed a couple modifications to better support portfolio management processes, in addition to a refined interface.
*''Before:'' Projects were added using an inline dialogue that used checkbox filters, and date ranges, but had no concept of which projects belonged to which portfolios, nor their portfolio priority. Additionally, there were various multi state buttons, and out of context buttons that needed to improved.
*''After:'' The capacity planner will feature a new add project dialogue that allows a user to group projects by portfolio, and a cleaner method of filtering projects out by status. Project selection is done via an intuitive drag and drop operation. All buttons have been placed in context of their action, and multi-state functions have been removed.
<br>
'''Project Status'''
*''Summary:'' The Portfolio Management enhancement includes features that leverage and depend on project statuses. There have been changes and additions to project statuses to facilitate this new functionality.
*''Before:'' Project statuses included "Reviewed"
*''After:'' "Reviewed" has been removed. Any references to "Reviewed" have been updated to "Requested". A new project status has been introduced: "Idea".
<br>
'''Time and Completion Status on Projects'''
*''Summary:'' Prior to R10, projects in Planning status could not have hours added to them or completion status updates. This has changed so that hour and completion status updates can be made on projects in Planning status.
*''Before:'' Projects in Planning status could not have hours added to them or completion status updates.
*''After:'' Hours can be added to projects in Planning status. Completion status updates can be made on projects in Planning status.
<br>
'''Timesheets'''
*''Summary:'' Various changes were made to the timesheets form to enhance usability and increase efficiency.
*''Before:'' Searching for projects, tasks, or issues returned results sorted by ID in ascending order, columns were not sortable, and no date range constraints.
*''After:'' When searching for projects tasks, or issues, the results are sorted by ID in descending order, columns are sortable, and the user can define a date range for the search.
<br>
'''Contextual Help Content'''
*''Summary:'' In order to distinguish links from help content, the approach to contextual help was changed.
*''Before:'' Help content was highlighted with underlined words that could be moused over to display additional information
*''After:'' Help content is highlighted by boxed question marks (?) that display additional information on mouse over.
<br>
'''Scope Changes'''
*''Summary:''The Scope Change audit trail option did not include task and issue deletion. @task has been modified to record deletion actions.
<br>
'''Portal Profiles'''
  • ''Summary:'' With the Portfolio Management enhancement, there was a need to define portal profiles for the new objects Portfolios and Programs. Portfolio and Program tabs have been added to the Portal Profiles. These tabs are configurable only by enterprise licenses.
<br>
'''Project Access Scope Changes'''
*''Summary:''The columns of each access scope were not ordered alphabetically, this has now been fixed in the R10.


Team Builder Enhancements

Hi Guys,
I just wanted to share something with you all that I came across recently in R10. It relates to the Team Builder and a modification to the task assignation process - but it doesn't seem to be captured in the Release Notes. I think this is an awesome new feature that makes it much easier to assign tasks using the TB. The TB is now automatically making the project user role association whereas previously that was a manual intervention that would often be prone to human error and result in a miscalculation of the work required. Invariably it was the part of the Team Builder training that I dreaded...but now it is a thing of the past and my best practice advice has modified accordingly...so it is worth making ourselves and customers aware of this timesaving efficiency booster.
Below are 2 links to the before and after incase there is any doubt over the process I'm referring to here....and feel free to share these if you want.
TB Assignments video R9 (how it used to be):http://screencast.com/t/Y6YhLv8nK
TB Assignments video R10 (how it is now):http://www.screencast.com/t/RoU6YDGCU8

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