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Process Dashboard 1.15

Process Dashboard Version 1.15 has been released, containing many significant new features.

  • It is now possible for multiple individuals to edit the Work Breakdown Structure at the same time:
    • When you save changes to the WBS, the application will check to see if other individuals have recently saved changes as well. If they have, the save operation will merge their changes into your view.
    • If you wish to merge other people's recently saved changes into your view without saving your own in-progress edits, a new "Refresh Data" option is available on the "File" menu for this purpose.
    • In either case, if the merge identifies editing conflicts (where you and another individual have made conflicting edits to the same value), warning messages will be displayed. These warnings include hyperlinks that help you to locate and recover from the editing conflict.
  • The Work Breakdown Structure Editor now includes a feature to save data to a ZIP file. This feature can be used to:
    • Create multiple alternative plans during a launch
    • Explore what-if replanning scenarios in the middle of a team project iteration
    • Save edits if the network server is temporarily unreachable
    • Copy components tasks, milestones, team members, and workflows into a new team project iteration
  • Many other significant changes were made to the Work Breakdown Structure Editor:
    • The WBS Editor now includes a filtering function. This makes it possible to focus in on the set of components and tasks that contain certain words in the name or notes, that are assigned to various people, that are complete/incomplete, or that have certain labels or milestones.
    • The WBS Editor now includes a search feature. This makes it possible to quickly find components or tasks whose name or notes contain particular words.
    • The colored balancing bars in the WBS Editor have been enhanced to calculate dates that align more closely to the "Replan" dates in the team earned value report.
    • The colored balancing bars can now display the typical number of hours per week each team member has in their schedule. A new menu option makes it possible to toggle this display on and off.
    • On the colored balancing bars, it is now possible to hide the colored diamonds and commit date lines for selected milestones. This can help reduce clutter when many intermediate milestones are present.
    • In the WBS Editor, the Task Details tab now contains a "Data Problems" column. When a coach, planning manager, quality manager, or other individual discovers a problem for a particular component or task, they can type a description of the problem in this field. Doing so will display a red highlight behind the component/task, making it easier to bring the item to the attention of another individual.
    • Move Up and Move Down buttons are now provided on the toolbar of the WBS Editor Milestones window.
    • The "Task Time" tab of the WBS Editor includes a column called "Task Size." When you create tasks underneath a component, the numbers in this column are automatically inherited from that component. Now, these numbers are editable as well, so you can override the size for a particular task.
    • The WBS Editor's memory footprint has been changed to help improve performance for teams with very large work breakdown structures.
    • Historically, if a Team Dashboard was opened in read-only mode, the read-only flag would also propagate to any WBS Editor windows that were opened. This linkage has been broken. As a result, an individual can now open the Team Dashboard in read-only mode (for example, to view team rollups), and then open the WBS Editor to make changes if problems are noted.
  • During a project launch, teams commonly need to perform high-level capacity planning - for example, to estimate the end-to-end project schedule and to choose the scope for various project iterations. Several changes have been made to facilitate this activity:
    • The WBS balancing panel now includes a "Team" row in addition to the colored bars for each team member. This new team row displays the balanced completion dates for each milestone, making it easier to distribute work across a series of future iterations.
    • In earlier versions of the dashboard, teams would have to create "placeholder" tasks to record time estimates for this future work. Now, rough time estimates (and milestones) can be entered directly on WBS components that have no subtasks, and the vertical black balancing bar will take these time estimates into account.
    • Teams may wish to enter vacation time or other schedule exceptions in the WBS Editor Team Member List months in advance. In the past, this would cause the team earned value charts to extend artificially far into the future (to include the week when the exception was recorded). The earned value charts have been enhanced to avoid this problem.
  • Several changes have been made to improve the usability of the user interface:
    • Historically, clicking the script button has opened the "default" script, form, or report for the currently active task. To view the menu of other available scripts and forms, it was necessary to click the small down-arrow to the right of the script button. In practice, however, opening the script menu is a far more common action. Accordingly, the behavior of the main script button has been changed to open the menu instead of opening the default script. For users who prefer the former behavior, a checkbox is provided in the Tools > Preferences window to revert back.
    • In the Task & Schedule window, it is now possible to choose the set of columns you prefer to see in the Task list. This can reduce clutter and make it easier to focus on the information that is most important to you. In addition, if the table columns are resized or rearranged, these changes will be remembered the next time you open that task list.
    • Several common items on the script menu have been given clearer, simpler names to reduce confusion and to lower the learning curve for people who are beginning their first team project.
    • The Preferences tool now includes an option to enable large fonts throughout the application.
  • Several enhancements have been made to the charts and reports:
    • The Weekly EV Report has always included "Previous" and "Next" links to scroll forward and backward in time. Now, it also includes a link for jumping directly to a specific date.
    • When applying a label filter to the Team Project Rollup Plan Summary, autocompletion support is now provided as you type.
    • The Tasks In Progress chart is now configurable, allowing you to change the red overspent rings to either black or white.
    • When viewing the Kanban chart for a team, you can now filter the list of tasks by assigned individual.
  • Several enhancements have been made to the LOC Counting support:
    • The LOC counter now includes support for counting changes made to files in a subversion repository. The count can include uncommitted changes made to a working copy as well as changes made in past revisions. Multiple past revisions can be listed, and need not be not consecutive.
    • The LOC Counter report is often used during the postmortem phase of a PSP project to measure added, deleted, and modified lines of code. Now, individuals can drag data from that report and drop it onto a row in the Size Estimating Template to apply actual size metrics.
  • When creating tasks and workflows in the WBS, it is a best practice to use a PSP Task to represent detailed software development activities. Several improvements have been made to this support:
    • In the WBS, a PSP Task can be followed by Design and Code Inspection tasks to represent the associated peer reviews. When this pattern has been followed, the Task & Schedule "Flat View" will now automatically insert the inspections into the correct order within the phases of the PSP task.
    • The dashboard has always allowed individuals to configure multiple collections of "To Date" data that can be used to track different types of work. Now, new options on the Team Project Parameters and Settings page allow individuals to select which "To Date" rollup they would like to use for new PSP tasks.
  • Teams sometimes encounter, fix, and log defects that should not technically count against their quality metrics. (For example, they might fix a defect in legacy code that they inherited from some external source.) Individuals can now enter 0 in the "Fix Count" field of the defect dialog to indicate that a defect should not count against quality metrics such as yield or defect density.
  • If you drag-and-drop an empty directory onto the Quick Launcher, it will now ask you if you wish to create a new Team or Personal dataset there.
  • When saving a data backup file, it has historically been possible to save in either ZIP or PDBK format. Now, a third option is available: "Redacted Process Dashboard Backup." Choosing this format allows you to select various categories of data (for example, names of individuals, projects and tasks) that should be scrambled or removed from the backup. This can be a useful tool to protect privacy or confidentiality.
  • Fixes for many bugs: #3414722, #3568544, #3568552, #3568555, #3568563, #3568565, #3568567, #3568568, #3568576, #3568577, #3568580, #3568582, #3568583, #3568585, #3568588, #3568589, #3568591, #3568592.