Major Updates to Resource Allocation, Workload and Timesheets – October 2015
Our October Release is packed full of new features and customer requested enhancements to heavily used areas. Our biggest changes are in the following areas:
- New Workload Management Features
- New Resource Allocation & Availability Features
- New Timesheet Approvals
Our VP of Product, Kathleen Sanford, provides an overview of the 3 biggest changes in this release in this video:
Resource Working Hours
We know that many of you have resources that are not available for a standard 8-hour work day. To manage resources with differing hours of availability we have added “Working Hours” which can be set across your account globally, or at the individual resource level. This means you can have very specific hours of availability each day, and also handle resource exceptions where one or many people need their own availability.
Working Hours are located under the Main Menu>Calendar page where you can set each day from 0 to 24 hours availability. Any changes made to the Global Working Hours will flow down to resources. In the case of a resource needing different Working Hours, changes made to that resource are held and never overwritten by Global updates.
The Working Hours are used to calculate and display resource availability and over-allocation throughout your account.
We have added a quick link from the Resources page, so you can quickly navigate to a particular resource calendar:
Resource Default Planned Effort
You will see on the Calendar page that we have added one other new item – Default Planned Effort. This setting allows you to control exactly how much Planned Effort per day is allocated to resources, when they are assigned to tasks.
As with the Working Hours, any Global setting will apply to all resources, or you can select individual resources and set a different Default Planned Effort for them. When you assign that resource to a task they will have Planned Effort calculated as their Default Planned Effort x Planned Duration of the task (in days).
Assigning a resource now allocates the resource for their Default Planned Effort x Planned Duration of the task. Once resources are assigned, adjusting the Planned Duration no longer overwrites their Planned Effort.
Assigning additional resources to a task will add their Default Planned Effort. This action also does not alter the Planned Duration of the task.
Removing a resource from a task will remove their individual Planned Effort, but again will not alter the planned dates of the task or the Planned Effort assigned to other resources.
We have also added the ability for you to assign resources to a task with zero Planned Effort. This means you can assign placeholder resources without impacting their availability on other projects and work.
As we no longer change durations or overwrite effort assigned to resources, we have removed the “Show Notifications” option from the Gantt Settings menu.
We have been listening to your feedback and greatly improved the function of the resource pop up on the Project Tasks page. You can now assign hours and view resource availability directly in the pop up.
The Availability column shows you how many hours each resource has available to work on this task, based on their Working Hours and any assignments they have for the duration of the selected task.
Over Allocation Notification
Another popular request included in the release is the option to set over-allocation notifications. You can enable these from your Gantt Settings pop up, and when you attempt to assign a resource with insufficient availability for the task, we display a warning message.
New Dashboard Workload Chart
We have replaced our “Resources” chart with a new “Workload” chart. This change applies to the All, Group and Project dashboards.
The new Workload chart shows the workload of a project or resource, based on the total number of tasks that they have.
The chart shows:
|Completed:||The number of tasks that are 100% complete|
|Remaining:||The number of tasks that are not 100% and not overdue|
|Overdue:||The number tasks have a Planned Finish Date before today and are not 100% complete|
You can change the default colors of the bars, as with other Dashboard Charts, by clicking on the cogwheel icon for this chart.
Workload Page Features
You can now manage tasks and resource assignments more easily within the Workload page. The revamped page includes:
- Extended date range view options
- Resources can now be filtered by Skill and/or Team
- Project Groups can be selected in the project filter
- Total column has been added to the right hand side which shows the total Planned Effort for each resource, for the date range selected.
- Clicking on a resource summary level cell will view the reassignment pop up where you can add resources; remove assigned resources or any combination needed.
- Resource names can be clicked to drill down to the tasks assigned. You can also click the “View Tasks” button to expand all resources at once. The button changes to “Hide Tasks” and can be used to quickly collapse all resources again.
- Clicking on a task level cell allows you edit the Planned Effort for that resource, on that task for that day. These changes are immediately updated in the project.
- You can click on a task or project name to navigate to that the project and task.
- There is a vertical slider next to the resource list that you can use to adjust your view.
- The Search feature now searches across resource names, task names and project names.
- All settings are remembered (including timeframes and expanded resources).
- The Workload Export now shows Planned Effort assigned to each resource, per day together with a Total column. We have also included the task and project in the export to match the Workload page layout.
- We have removed the old setting for choosing a daily hour limit for over allocation (as each resource or account can have their own daily availability limit). We now have an option to view only over allocated resources.
We have added a timesheet approval workflow to all accounts who utilize the Timesheet feature.
You simply set an approver for a resource, from within the Resources page. Once this is done the timesheet submitter will see a new option on their timesheet to not only Save their timesheet, but they can also “Submit for Approval”.
Once a timesheet is submitted, the approver receives an email and sees a MyHome post for the submitted timesheet. They can click on the email link, MyHome post or go to their own timesheet and access pending approvals. From there they review and approve or decline the timesheet.
Once a timesheet has been submitted, or approved, it becomes “locked” and cannot be edited by anyone other than the Approver or an Account Administrator.
Many customers have asked us to take away the pain of reminding teams about timesheets. On the email alerts page, we have created a new item called “Timesheet reminders”. The emails can be set for daily, weekly or monthly reminders.
This will email your team prompting remind them to update their timesheets, and includes a handy link to their last week (or last months) timesheets to make it even easier for them to quickly access their time.
- Task Info Panel: You can now edit Assigned Hours per resource, from within the Task Info panel on the Project Tasks page. You can also see a total for the Planned Resource Costs on the task.
- Reports: We have updated many reports to reflect the new Workload chart.
- Timesheet Admin Types: These are now access from within the “Select Tasks” menu, and then by clicking “Admin”.
- Timesheet Report: We have added 3 new columns to the report (Approval Status, Approved By and Last Updated).
- Timesheet % Complete: You can now update task % complete directly within your timesheet page, as well as in the Info pop up.
- Budget & Security: We have further strengthened this security page setting, ensuring your resource costs are not visible to users with this set to Hide.
- Mobile Release: Alongside this release we have new iOS and Android mobile app updates to reflect the timesheet approval process and ensure time is locked appropriately.
For more detail on any of the features above you can check out the Help page for the area or contact us in Support (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re here to help and love to hear from you!
Launched! New API & Integrations Support
You asked… and we built it.
For the past few months, we’ve been busy delivering a whole new way for you to integrate your ProjectManager.com files, tasks, timesheets and more with other tools you use.
API & Developer Center
Our new Restful API can help you sync with your ProjectManager.com data with the tools you already use or create entirely new applications. ProjectManager.com uses a simple yet powerful set of REST APIs that you can build on to extend project and task management, timesheet data, resource management and files organization and connectivity.
In July, we launched our Developer Center to provide API documentation, API keys and other integration support resources, as well. At the Developer Center, you’ll find an overview of the API, plus the exact documentation your IT team will need to configure the integration.
If you have any questions about our API, don’t hesitate to contact us at support.
Integrate with 400+ Apps Through Zapier
We have also partnered with Zapier, to enable a suite of integrations with over 400 apps that don’t require a development team to implement. Zapier enables anyone on your team to set up “Zaps”, a set of triggers and actions between ProjectManager.com and other programs you already use.
For example you can set up a Zap between Dropbox and ProjectManager.com like this:
To get started setting up your Zapier connections, visit the ProjectManager.com Zapier Page to start creating your own zaps.
Or visit our What’s Zapier section at our Developer Center to learn more.
We develop most of our features based on direct requests from our customers. We always love to hear from you on ways we can help make your projects even better. Get in touch!
iOS Mobile App Updates
Our iOS App has been updated (Version 3.56) and is now live in the Apple Store.
This mobile release includes a new chat feature for better team collaboration, as well as UX improvements and performance fixes.
New Chat Feature
Task Chat has been added to the iOS mobile app which allows you to easily “Chat” to each other in real-time via the app, as well as see other updates from the MyHome feed.
The “tabs” across the bottom have been removed to maximize screen space. In the new version, text and graphics from the page you’re is on are displayed all the way to the bottom of the screen. Simply click “back” to return to the previous menu when you’re navigating from one screen to the next.
Our new release also includes a ‘slide to delete’ feature for chat page comments. To delete, press and hold a comment and slide it to the left. Then press “Delete”.
Finally, a task’s planned start date can now be moved beyond the planned finish date. The planned finish date will automatically update itself to compensate for the time change forward.
Welcome to our July Release! Our design team has completed a refresh of our software from top to toe and added some highly requested integration features – we hope you enjoy the new look and new features.
We have added Import functions for the following areas:
- Risks, Issues and Changes
You can now import Excel or CSV files to create and update information in these areas. We have added Import icons on commonly used pages, for example Timesheets, allowing for easier import access.
Each import has a template file you can download to view the required fields, field limits and sample data.
When you are ready to import and select your file, a column mapping pop up appears where you set the relevant headers for each column in your file. If any error occurs we provide you detailed information on any data issues, and our Support Team is always available to help with any questions.
The introduction of Task import now allows you to import and update an existing project using an Excel file. If your Excel file has custom columns, we now create these columns using the names you provided.
Our Open API is now available for Business Edition Accounts to access. The API responds to HTTP calls using the standard RESTful syntax: GET, PUT, POST and DELETE.
You can learn how our API works, access documentation and get ideas for integration here: http://developer.projectmanager.com/
We now offer integration using our API and the Zapier platform. Business Edition accounts can use Zapier to automate tasks between ProjectManager and other work tools.
You can access the following Triggers and Actions:
- New project
- New task
- New File (link to file location)
- New resource
- New Risk
- New Issue
- New Change
- New Timesheet Entry
- Copy File from Trigger to Project
For more information on getting started with Zapier you can visit: https://zapier.com/ and our Zapier page here: http://developer.projectmanager.com/v1.0/docs/zapier
You can now create ‘from’ and ‘to’ dependency links between projects. The Task Info pane on the Gantt page has a new tab for “Dependency” where you select the project and task to link from/to.
An icon in the Info Column displays information for any inter-project links and turns to a red warning icon if the link is constrained. Note: Inter-project dependency links do not move dates.
The Tasks Report and Tasks Export include any dependency to or from tasks in the project selected.
MyHome Delete Function
Admins now have the ability to delete any user posts on the MyHome feed. This allows them to remove any erroneous posts (made by users, or through Out of Office email replies etc).
This function allows the delete of posts and comments made by users, but does not allow delete of system notification posts.
- Create Project: We have simplified the project create process taking you directly to your new project after naming it. You can then choose to import tasks, copy or use a template.
- Menu Change: The order of the icon menu has been changed to reflect the most commonly used areas of the system. Link Handling: We now handle links better on Task Comments and support a wider range of link types.
- File Timestamp: We now display a timestamp in the date hover on the Files page.
- Timesheet Copy: Copy Last Week no longer moves a file from the original timesheet to the copied week, it will stay on the original week as expected.
- Milestone Print: Milestones will now appear on the Gantt PDF Print at their Planned Finish Date.
- Timesheet Export: The export now includes “Charge Code”.
- Holidays: We have removed the Global Working Days function from Resource and Country calendars.
- This is now only available on the Global tab.
- Messages: The envelope icon has been removed from the upper level ribbon. You can access your Messages from the MyHome area.
- Billing: Receipts now include your company name from the Accounts page.
- Task Search: You can use your keyboard Enter key to move through task search results.
- Issues Export: The export for Issues has had a minor heading text change. The column named “Raised Date” has been changed to “Date Raised”.
We hope you enjoy the new features in this release and continue to send us feedback and requests – we love to hear from you!
We hope your year has started off great and your projects are tracking well.
Our first release of 2015 has exciting new features enhancing our report and dashboard areas together with lots of customer requests as always!.
We have added an option to run the Timesheet report for All Projects including those that are Closed.
We have also added a new column to the report named “Hourly Rate” which you can choose to include in your Timesheet report. This displays the hourly rate of your selected resources.
Project Status Report
We have improved the layout of the Project Status “Include” options so that you can easily identify and select which items you would like included in the report.
We have taken the same approach to the Tasks report and improved the layout of the report options, and ensured the report now produces exactly what you select.This means that unchecking Summary tasks for example, will exclude them from the report as expected.
The date selection now decides on the dataset for the report, and the “Tasks” section is the filter applied to that data. For example you may select Today tasks that are overdue. The report will first extract all Today tasks for the projects and resources selected, and then filter those and report on only the overdue tasks in that list.
Resource selection for the report works as it did before, where you can select one, many or all resources to see tasks associated with those groups. You can also select zero resources and the report will include all tasks, both assigned and unassigned.
We have also added a date range selector, to further expand the use of the Tasks report and given you an “Any Time” option to run a report across your entire project lifecycle.
Resource Availability Report
We have added a Total column to this report which appears at the end of the report for daily, weekly or monthly totals.
The changes to all reports means that report parameters have been reset on release day, and any new report you run will be remembered as usual.
An improvement has been made to the Project Gantt page so you can create a PDF print of your project with all of your selected columns, regardless of your screen view.
The print settings are as follows:
- “All” now produces a print of all columns selected on your project
- “Visible” is a print of exactly what you see on screen
- “Summary” includes only Summary tasks and columns as viewed on screen
There is a new filter option on the Roadmap and Group Roadmap pages, allowing you to select a Resource. This means you can filter your Roadmap to show projects and tasks assigned to a selected resource.
You can now sort your timesheet by Project or Task.Our default sort state is the order in which tasks were added to the timesheet, so you now have 3 sort states:
- Project/Tasks – Default State (user specified), Ascending, Descending
- Clicking on your timesheet header initiates the sort, and on the third click you return to the default sort.
- The sort is remembered so when you leave the page and return, your timesheet is as you set it.
We have implemented print options for Project, All and Group Dashboards. You can choose to print the entire Dashboard or selected charts.
The print generates a PDF file with your view of the dashboard. If individual charts are selected, the PDF includes all data in the selected chart(s) and creates one PDF file per chart.
Now that we have a PDF file for Dashboards, you can also choose to share a Project, Group or your All Dashboard. This works like other shares creating a MyHome post and email to the shared persons who can reply by email or by jumping into the MyHome page and commenting.
We have added a new option for Client access to the MyHome page, so there are 3 options for you to choose from:
- Show: Shows all MyHome feed posts, for projects the Client has access to
- Limited: Shows only posts for features Clients have access to
- Hide: Hides the MyHome page
The default state for Clients is now “Limited” access, but you can change this at any time.
In our Dec 2014 release we upgraded our Top 5 reports to a new code base. This improved the performance of reports and allowed us to offer better formatted report options.In the March release we have upgraded the remaining reports.
Our Client and Users pages have had significant redesign allowing for faster loading of long user and project lists, and we have removed the pesky paging allowing you to quickly find people.
We have also completed an upgrade to our Database servers continuing to improve security, performance and access.
Small items and Fixes
- Language Support: We now support Arabic characters in file names when importing or adding to project folders and improved the print of Chinese characters on the Gantt page.
- Minimise Ribbon: We now remember the state of the ribbon, so if you choose to minimize, on logging back in it will remain minimized.
- Group Member Alignment: We have improved the alignment of profile icons in the Group Member area.
- Dashboard: We have replaced the dashboard pie charts with a new chart technology, restoring our 3D look and feel of these charts.
- MyTasks: We now handle very long task names much better on the MyTasks page feed.
- Live Training: You can now request live training from the top corner menu, and we have removed the What’s New link. You can still access release updates from the Help menu and add Users from the main menu.
We hope you enjoy the new features this release and continue to send in feedback and requests – we love to hear from you!
We have just completed our last major release for 2014!
We have rebuilt our reporting engine, revamped our Discussion page with lots of great new collaboration features and undertaken significant technical upgrades as a foundation for exciting new features due out in early 2015.
The rebuild of our reporting engine now better accommodates large reports, has new improvements to the report View and has enabled inclusion of custom columns in all formatted reports.
The upgrade has been made to our most frequently used reports first:
- Portfolio Status
- Project Plan
- Project Status
All remaining reports will be upgraded in our first release next year.
Improvements made to the Reports page have required a reset of all report parameters. This means when you first login after the release your report settings will be reset. After you run a report the parameters are saved again as expected.
- The report view now creates a new page to view your report, and no longer relies on a PDF reader.
- For the upgraded reports, all columns are now included when used, eg Tasks report now includes Project Manager, Customer and Charge Code as columns.
- Reports no longer have blank pages or page break issues.
- Excel date formats will now match Account settings.
- Mandatory report options have been removed from the selection area, to simplify report selection.
- The Project Status report now has Task Name as the first column, with WBS as the second column allowing for better view of Task Name information.
- We have also improved headers in the Project Status report, making it easier to quickly identify report sections.
- Blank items are removed from report headers to make for a cleaner report format. For example if a project does not have a charge code, we have removed the charge code field from the report header.
- The Word option has been removed from all reports as an unused feature.
All Projects Page
To improve performance and usability we have added 3 filters at the top of the All Projects page. These can be customized by each user, for a personalized page.
You can now set your own personal filter and decide which 3 criteria to filter by.
The default filter will show as Status, Project Manager and Priority. Your team members may wish to change this, for example, to filter by a custom field.
We have also added a Notes feature, modeled off the Resource page notes, which makes it easy to identify updates against a project and record a large amount of information with ease.
The Project Discussion page has a new look matching the MyHome activity feed together with new features including:
- Threaded conversations within a Discussion
- Private shares
- Reply by email to participate in a Project Discussion
- Export of all Discussions, conversations and shares
- Improved handling of images
Comments made on a Project Discussion page now also show as posts in the MyHome feed. This keeps project discussions in sync with MyHome and allows you to see the latest updates on multiple projects in one place, and a quick easy way to contribute to project discussions, from your MyHome.
Each comment can also have its own thread, allowing you to share (private or public) and have conversations within the discussion. These conversations can be replied to via email, and even shared with free Client users.
All formatting and edit functions have been retained on the Discussion page.
The Project Files page has had a design change which now means your project files load faster than ever.
We have upgraded to the new Google authentication method ensuring the latest security with Google apps integration. If you have any questions on your Google Apps account, or the benefits of using Google Apps with ProjectManager, please contact us in Support.
Significant infrastructure upgrades have been undertaken to improve performance and build foundation for our suite of work management features due out early next year.
- Welcome Page: A shortcut has been added to the main menu for Client users, so they can easily view their Welcome page if closed.
- Client Template Access: Clients cannot view or edit templates, so we have now hidden all Template folders from Client view.
- Dashboard: Loading speed improvements have been made for large projects.
- Out of Office Emails: Out of Office replies will no longer be stored as project emails or posted on MyHome share posts as a reply.
- MyTasks: Creating a task on the MyTasks page now immediately refreshes to include any new tasks.
- External Share: When external sharing is disabled, the share pop up no longer has the label for “Someone New”.
- Browser and OS Support: Safari OSX display on zoomed Dashboard charts has been improved together with IE8 alignment on All Dashboard filter pop up.
We hope you have enjoyed all of our new features this year and we look forward to partnering with you next year in your continued project success!
Welcome to the October Release! We have upgraded our Dashboards, added collaboration features to alerts and increased Client security options together with overall performance improvements.
The Dashboard pages have had significant upgrades improving their loading times and display.
The layout of our 9 charts is much smoother and easier to position charts and we have have added a Zoom option on each chart.
There is now a “Settings” button to allow Admins to change settings specific to each Dashboard widget itself. You can now adjust the threshold for relevant charts and the colours used.
- Settings apply at the account level, and apply to all projects. If you change the settings on Project A, then the changes apply to Project B.
- Changes to All Dashboard Settings will apply to Groups, and vice versa.
- Clients and non-Admin users can view Settings (to check thresholds) but they cannot make any changes.
- Any color changes made to Dashboard charts flow through to Portfolio Report health chart.
Dashboard – Small Items
- Settings: The ribbon menu Settings icon has been restyled.
- Header Freeze: We have frozen in place header bars on relevant Dashboard Charts, so you can scroll and retain the heading information.
- RIC Charts – Display: Previously, if many RIC items were set at the same level we layered the bubbles on each other. We now display RIC bubbles located at the same x, y coordinates with increased size.
- RIC Charts – Navigation: Clicking on RIC bubbles on your All Dashboard now navigates you to the relevant project.
- Security: When security access to charts is restricted (eg Hide Risks), then the Risk bubble on the Health chart will not display information to the user.
- Fixes: With the improved Dashboard we have addressed a number of scaling issues in chart displays.
Alerts – Reply Function
We have added new engagement options to many alerts. When users receive an alert, they have the ability to add a comment, by returning the email together with any attachments.
Alerts with a reply function added:
- Plan updates
- Project created
- Task discussion
- New Risk, Issue, Change
- New Expense
- New Timesheet
- New Document added
- A new project discussion is added
- A new task discussion is added
Alerts that have not changed:
- I receive a message
- My project has received an email
- Regular alerts
- My Tasks have changed
We have added the relevant text to the impacted alerts. Replies received to these alerts will be posted on the MyHome page post, for the original alert event (eg File Uploaded post corresponds to New Document Added alert).
Alerts – Settings
With the addition of our Reply feature, we need to control the ‘send from’ address for alerts. We have removed from this option from the Alerts page.
We have moved the remaining alert setting (to shorten URLs) to the Menu>Account page. This is an account setting, not per role/per alert, so is better placed here. Customer accounts have had their existing configuration migrated to the Accounts page.
Workload Filter & Navigation
You can now select projects to include on your Workload page, and your project filter selection is always remembered.
We have also improved the Allocation popup to better display long project names, and allow you to click the name to navigate directly to that project.
Clients – Improvements
You can now hide Groups from your Client users. The new option on the Security page allows you to hide the name of all project groups from all Clients.
Project groups are hidden from all areas including the All Project page, project open, dashboards, reports etc.
We have fixed an issue where a share to a client, who didn’t have permissions to the item was failing to properly advise the client when they clicked the link.
- Share links now direct user to the pop-up warning
- Granting a client permissions to the project will reveal the previously hidden share items in the feed, and they can interact with them as normal
- Granting a client permissions will allow them to follow the share link to the item
We have further increased security options for Clients by adding the “Budget & Rates” option to their security profile. You can now configure whether Clients see Budget information or not. By default this is set to Hide for existing Clients.
Gantt Print – Task Name Only
When using the Task Name Only print option on the Gantt page, we now print as per your current view. If you have expanded your Tasks column then we print it as displayed.
Files Page – Speed Improvements
We have greatly improved the performance of the initial load on this page.
- Client Share: When you share with a Client, their name will now display on the MyHome post in the shared with pop up.
- Tasks Report: We have changed the name of the first column in this report to “Task Report Group Name”. This will prevent any confusion with project custom columns named “Group”.
- Missing Time Report: We have added an Offline option for the Missing Timesheet report.
- Holidays Export: You can now export your Holidays data in CSV file format.
- MyHome Filter: When you share with someone outside your account, their name or email address will appear in your “People” dropdown, so you can easily filter posts for anyone you have shared with, not just users or clients.
- Linking: We have improved performance for heavily linked plans.
- Support: We are rolling out a new case management system later this month and the file attach option on the Support page will no longer be available.
We hope you enjoy the new features this release and continue to send in feedback and requests – we love to hear from you!