Process Dashboard 2.2

Process Dashboard Version 2.2 has been released, containing many significant new features.

  • It is now possible to create custom data columns in the Work Breakdown Structure Editor. These can be used to tag WBS elements with team- or organization-specific attributes, such as priority, relevant subsystem, issue tracker ID, etc. The values entered can be used to filter team reports, and are also accessible to data warehouse queries.
  • The WBS Editor includes several powerful new features to make assigning and reassigning work easier:
    • The workflow editor includes a new “Performed By” column. You can enter generic role names like “author,” “reviewer,” “tester,” etc. in this column; or if a specific person is always responsible for a certain task, you can enter their initials. When the workflow is applied to the WBS, team member initials result in automatic assignments, and role names are displayed as placeholders. You can click on a placeholder like Ā«authorĀ» to assign an individual to all of the matching tasks.
    • In the past, the Assigned To column was only editable for leaf tasks. Now, it is editable for parent components as well. This makes it simple to reassign all of the tasks under a given component from one person to another.
    • Autocompletion support is provided in the Assigned To column as you type the initials of the assigned team members.
  • The WBS Editor include several powerful new features to assist with balancing and capacity planning:
    • In the WBS Editor, you can now choose a subset of the team and focus the colored balancing bar on those individuals. This makes it possible to see optimized balanced completion dates for a subgroup of people on a multidisciplinary team (for example, just the developers or just the testers). Subteams can be saved for use in future WBS editing sessions.
    • The WBS Editor has historically allowed the creation of “leaf” components, that have a time estimate but no subtasks; these are useful for many purposes such as capacity analysis and strategic planning. Now, it is also possible to assign such a component to one or more individuals, to model ownership and to perform rough capacity planning at the personal level.
    • It is now possible to highlight an individual milestone to assist with workload balancing: just click on a milestone segment in one of the colored balancing bars.
    • To visualize the workload balance of multiple milestones, you can now choose to recolor the balancing bars by milestone (rather than by individual).
    • The WBS Editor now includes an option to hide the horizontal and vertical bars that depict the balanced team duration.
  • Two new features make it easy to see how the Work Breakdown Structure has changed over time:
    • In the WBS Editor, the “File” menu now includes an option to “Highlight and Review Changes.” This option can flag all of the cells that have been modified since a certain date. Selecting a flagged cell then displays the history of how the value has changed over time, along with the name of the individual who made each change.
    • A new report is available in the Team Dashboard that displays a chronological list of changes that have been made to the WBS of a project. The report displays information about tasks that have been added, deleted, and modified, and shows changes to the planned time for various WBS items.
  • The WBS Editor now provides a “Reapply Workflow” menu option. This can find tasks in the WBS that were created by applying a workflow in the past, and update those tasks based on the current workflow definition, to include:
    • Inserting new workflow steps in the right order
    • Updating the names and types of workflow steps that have changed
    • Rearranging workflow steps if necessary
    • Deleting WBS tasks for workflow steps that have been deleted
    • Automatically assigning new tasks to individuals based on previously assigned workflow roles
    • Reallocating time across tasks based on updated workflow rates and/or percentages
  • A number of new charts have been added:
    • A chart showing the cumulative defect removal curve for a team project
    • A scatter chart showing the size and time estimating errors for all of the components in a team project
    • A trend chart showing how the CPI has changed over time
    • A variation on the Direct Time Trend chart which shows a line for each team member
    • A variation on the Earned Value Trend chart which shows a line for each team member
    • A two-dimensional trend chart displaying the evolution of actual/plan ratios for direct time and task cost
  • The WBS Editor now includes a feature to create and edit proxy tables, which can be used to quickly estimate the size and time of WBS components.
  • The active task selector now dynamically moves older tasks into a “Completed Items” submenu. This reduces clutter and makes it easier to focus on active tasks. Users can configure the length of time that should pass before a completed task is moved into this menu.
  • Several usability enhancements were made in the Task & Schedule window:
    • Right-clicking on a task displays a menu of useful shortcuts. You can open the time or defect log for the selected task, or copy task details to the clipboard for pasting into another program.
    • In the “Date” column, you can now use copy-and-paste to mark several tasks complete with the same completion date.
    • In the Chart dialog, you can now right-click on a chart and choose “Copy” to copy the image to the clipboard.
    • The Cumulative Earned Value and Cumulative Direct Time charts now include a “Replan” line.
    • When the Task & Schedule window opens, it will automatically select the row for the current week, and display it with a bold font.
  • The buttons on the main toolbar now have larger icons when the “large fonts” preference has been enabled, and the icon for the reports/scripts/tools button has been updated to better suggest its function.
  • By default, the dashboard will select the next task after you mark a task complete. If this behavior is undesired, it can now be disabled via the Preferences dialog.
  • In the personal dashboard, the Hierarchy Editor now allows individuals to move team projects to a different folder, by using the “Cut” and “Paste” buttons. Individuals can use this to move old project cycles to an “archive” folder.
  • It is now possible to export defect type standards to an XML file, then import them into another team or personal dashboard.
  • Fixes are included for a number of bugs.

Upgrade Considerations

Teams are encouraged to upgrade together.

In the past, organizations that created their own custom metrics collection frameworks were required to refresh those frameworks each time a new version of the dashboard was released. This task is no longer necessary; teams will enjoy the full benefits of each new version simply by upgrading the dashboard.