Process Dashboard Version 1.11

Process Dashboard Version 1.11 has been released, containing many significant new features.

  • URLs can now be attached to any component or task in the dashboard. Just use the WBS Editor or the dashboard to edit the free-text note associated with a particular item, and enter a URL within the body of the note. The dashboard will discover the embedded URLs and add them to the script menu for easy, one-click access.
  • A new Preferences dialog is available on the “C > Tools” menu, providing easy access to the most common configuration settings.
  • Several enhancements were made to the usability of the WBS Editor:
    • Pressing the Enter key in the WBS Editor typically inserts a new task. A new button is now provided to toggle this behavior on and off.
    • The WBS Editor now uses a strikethrough font to highlight tasks that are 100% complete.
    • A “New Tab” button is now displayed, providing one-click access to the functionality on the WBS Editor “Tabs” menu.
  • Significant enhancements have been made to the PSP(SM) materials in the Process Dashboard:
    • The PSP scripts and forms in the Process Dashboard have been updated to match the materials in the 2005 book, A¬†Self-Improvement Process for Software Engineers. (Up to now, they have been based upon the 1995 book, A¬†Discipline for Software Engineering.) With this change, the scripts, forms, and wizards now match the materials and terminology used in the most recent PSP courses from the SEI. (Note: the PSP materials are now released as a separate download from the Process Dashboard.)
    • On the Size Estimating Template, the estimated size of an “added part” will be computed automatically after an engineer estimates its type, relative size, and number of items. Engineers can create their own size-per-item lookup tables in support of this functionality.
    • On the Size Estimating Template, an interactive chart now appears to help engineers visualize the relationship between estimated base, added, deleted, and modified size. Engineers can drag handles on a slider to visually estimate base additions, modifications, and deletions as a percentage of base program size.
    • The PSP Project Plan Summary forms are now customizable, in support of personal process improvement goals.
  • Significant changes have been made in support of the PSP for Engineers courses:
    • The dashboard traditionally baselines “Planned” and “To Date” project data at specific points during a project. Although this strategy is very helpful for the planning and tracking of real-world project work, it becomes an impediment to the quick-turnaround learning objectives of the PSP course, because the “frozen” values prevent students from correcting errors in earlier assignments. To address this problem, this “freezing” mechanism has now been disabled for the assignments in the PSP course.
    • If students forget to enter the actual size of Program 1, an error message will appear on their Program 2 Project Plan Summary form.
    • It is now much easier for students to create the quality plan for their first PSP2 assignment.
    • Error messages now appear on the Project Plan Summary form to warn engineers about common mistakes.
    • A new “Grading Helper” has been created for PSP Instructors. After installing a special “PSP Instructor” add-on, this grading helper will appear in the script menu for PSP course assignments. The grading helper automates many of the data analysis tasks and consistency checks that are part of the grading process. Instructors can customize the form to match their grading preferences.
  • When you first create a team project, the Team Project Setup Wizard prompts you for the name of a directory where team data should be stored. Later in the project, you may discover that you need to move these files to a different location on the network. A new feature makes this possible.
  • The dashboard has always included advanced earned value features to support iterative project planning. Unfortunately, some teams would inadvertently trigger these advanced features by choosing a start date in the future (for example, the week after their project launch). To avoid this confusion, the iterative planning feature must now be explicitly enabled in the “Tools > Schedule Options” dialog of the Task & Schedule window.
  • Geographically diverse teams – such as teams split between India and the United States – would sometimes see inconsistent data in the earned value reports. New time-zone awareness logic has been added to address these problems.
  • The defect log now includes an “Import from Code Collaborator” button. Teams that use Code Collaborator can take advantage of this new import feature to reduce double-entry of defect data.
  • Fixes for several bugs: #2769930, #2826197, #2834217, #2855397, #2855405, #2855539, #2855548, #2855554, #2855720, and #2855727.

Please note: version 1.11 makes several small changes to the way data is stored. After upgrading to version 1.11, you should not downgrade back to an earlier version of the dashboard.