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Process Dashboard 1.14

Process Dashboard Version 1.14 has been released, containing many significant new features.

  • Significant changes were made to the earned value support:
    • It is now possible to customize the set of charts that appear on the earned value report. In addition, clicking on these charts now opens a page displaying a larger chart with helpful instructions on how the chart can be used and interpreted.
    • The Earned Value report now includes a "More Charts" hyperlink. Clicking on this link makes it possible to see all of the EV charts in the web browser. (Previously, many of these charts were only available in the "Chart" dialog of the Task & Schedule window.)
    • New charts have been added to display the Earned Value Trend and the Direct Time Trend.
    • The earned value report now includes a "Kanban View" of the tasks that have been completed recently, the tasks that are in progress, and the tasks that are planned for the near future.
    • By default, the bars on the Gantt charts depict dates from the Forecast column of the task list. Now, a configuration button makes it possible to depict Plan, Replan, or Baseline dates instead.
    • In the past, the Weekly EV report used generic phrases such as "Tasks Completed This Week." This wording was confusing for views of data in the past or the future. These section headings have been altered to be clearer and more descriptive.
    • New topics have been added to the online help for each of the earned value charts. These topics explain how to interpret the data in each chart, and provide helpful analysis tips for people who are new to earned value tracking.
    • A new help topic has been added that explains the difference between Plan, Replan, and Forecast dates. This help topic explains these three calculations in detail, so users can understand and appreciate the differences between the dates that are generated.
  • The WBS now has a special "personal editing mode." When the WBS is opened from a personal dashboard instead of the Team Dashboard (and the team leader has not disabled edits by team members), the WBS becomes aware of the individual who opened it, and changes its behavior:
    • Newly created tasks are automatically assigned to the individual who opened the WBS.
    • If the individual makes a change that affects one of their coworkers, the WBS will display a warning and offer to undo the change.
    • The individual is only allowed to edit their own row in the Team Member List.
    • The individual can disable these features if desired by toggling a checkbox in the "Team" menu. (So for example, these new features will not prevent a Planning Manager from making changes to their coworker's tasks.)
  • Numerous changes were made to provide better support for the SEI PSP courses:
    • A new Student Profile element has been added to the PSP course assignment sequence, giving students an opportunity to answer questions about their job position, experience, and so on.
    • The Analysis Report exercises now allow the use of the Size Estimating Template and PROBE.
    • "To Date" metrics are no longer reset on the first PSP2 project in a PSP Fundamentals & Advanced course.
    • During the PSP course, PROBE Method D for Size will require students to use their Estimated Proxy Size verbatim; they will not be allowed to edit the number.
    • During the PSP course, the PROBE Wizard will not offer PROBE Method C1 for Size as a selectable option.
    • The final page of the PROBE Wizard has always performed a sanity check on the planned productivity. If it is unrealistic, the wizard prints a warning message and takes the user back to reevaluate their estimates. Unfortunately, that warning message was easy to overlook, resulting in confusion when the PROBE wizard looped back to the earlier pages. The buttons and messages on the sanity check page have been altered to make it more clear that a planning error may be present.
    • When students are allowed to edit the quality plan and they produce phase times that do not sum up properly, an error message is now displayed on the Project Plan Summary.
    • Student data can now be exported to an XML file.
  • When capturing defect data, individuals can now:
    • Make a single entry to represent several related defects that were found and fixed simultaneously.
    • Mark a defect as "pending" (i.e. found, but not yet removed).
    • Alter the date associated with the defect entry.
  • Several usability enhancements have been made to the WBS Editor and the team project integration features:
    • The Team Project Setup Wizard will now provide suggested default values for the team process, the name of the EV schedule, and the location of the Team Project Network Directory.
    • If an individual enters their initials incorrectly when joining a team project, the "Sync to WBS" operation will detect this error and display a message, helping them to correct it.
    • Actual Size is now displayed in the WBS Editor for each component in the hieararchy.
    • The charts in the Rollup Plan Summary report will now use consistent colors to represent the various phases in the standard metrics collection frameworks. This makes it easier to correlate data between several charts.
    • When a note is attached to the root node of the project in the WBS Editor, that note will now be copied down into the personal plans of each individual. This can be used to record helpful project-specific URLs for team use.
    • In the past, if a node was deleted from the WBS and a new node was created in its place with the same name, the Sync to WBS operation would perform a similar delete/recreate operation. Now, the Sync to WBS attempts to detect this scenario and reuse the existing node instead of deleting/recreating it. (Note: deleting/recreating nodes in the WBS is still discouraged; but now when the mistake occurs, the consequence should be less severe.)
    • In the past, the WBS editor would display a confirmation prompt every time you request to delete a node. Now, the WBS Editor will only display this confirmation prompt when the node to be deleted has actual time associated with it - and the warning message has been altered to describe this new condition.
    • In the past, when a leaf task in the WBS was subdivided, the next "sync to WBS" operation would often result in a "top-down-bottom-up" error in the personal plan of the affected individual. This problem has been corrected.
  • Significant changes were made to the installer for the Process Dashboard:
    • The installer can now create application shortcuts for many users on Unix and Linux platforms.
    • On 64-bit Windows, sometimes the installer would not create Process Dashboard shortcuts. This problem has been corrected.
    • If a user has less than 800MB of memory (for example, because they are running in a virtual machine), the Process Dashboard shortcuts would fail to start the application. The installer has been adjusted to create shortcuts that work on systems with limited memory. (Note that the Process Dashboard does not require or use that much memory; the problem was with the shortcut icon itself, not the application.)
  • Several changes have been made to improve compatibility with various programs and operating systems:
    • The "Export to Excel" hyperlinks have been tweaked to improve compatibility with a variety of web browsers and with newer versions of Microsoft Office.
    • On some versions of Unix (for example, Solaris and RedHat), the Process Dashboard would sometimes appear to hang at the splash screen. This was occurring when a dialog box was displayed (to prompt for some type of input), because the Unix window manager was improperly stacking the dialog box behind the splash screen. This problem has been corrected.
    • If the dashboard data directory was unreachable (for example, because it was on a network drive that was unavailable), or if other operating-system-specific problems prevented the dashboard from locking the data, the dashboard was incorrectly displaying a message claiming that someone on another computer had locked the data. This error message has been corrected and clarified.
    • The "Import Defects from Code Collaborator" feature was not working against Code Collaborator version 6. This problem has been corrected.
  • The "Generic" process template now allows the use of the Size Estimating Template and PROBE. (This functionality will appear for projects created using the Generic process template after upgrading to version 1.14.)
  • The "C > Tools" menu now includes an "Open Dataset" option, giving all users the ability to open data backup ZIP files.
  • When users filter the Time Log Editor to display the current week, they can now easily select which day of the week to use as the starting point.
  • In the past, when a user made a change to a data value within the Process Dashboard, that change might take 30 seconds to appear on the Project Plan Summary form in their web browser. Now, these changes will appear in the web browser immediately.
  • The LOC counter that is built in to the Process Dashboard will now count lines appropriately even when comment indicators appear within string literals.
  • When all the tasks in a earned value task list share a common path prefix (common for team projects), the Flat View will extract that common prefix, making the display easier to read.
  • In the defect log editor, a combo box displays the defect type standard that has been set at each level of the hierarchy. In the past, when a defect type standard had been set at the team project level, nothing was displayed in this combo box for individual, leading people to think that their standard had not taken effect. Now, this combo box will display the name of the defect type standard that was set by the team project, minimizing confusion.