Process Dashboard Version 2.6 has been released, containing many significant new features.
- Personal projects are now available, enabling high-performing individuals to leverage the dashboard’s sophisticated planning, tracking, and analysis tools for independent work:
- Personal projects can be quickly and easily created by selecting “ → New Project.”
- Individuals can plan and track their work using the WBS Editor, workflows, milestones, and all of the other tools that have traditionally only been available on team projects. These tools have been tailored for improved usability in these new single-person projects.
- On new team projects (created or relaunched after the installation of this update), team members can enter planned and actual size directly in the WBS Editor. This provides a number of significant benefits:
- The WBS allows much easier data entry than the old size management approach, which centered around the Size Inventory Form. (Users can still enter data on the Size Inventory Form if desired, but the WBS is now the official system of record.)
- Using the WBS makes it easier to review size data for completeness and accuracy. (This task was extremely difficult in the past when size data was scattered across Size Inventory Forms in multiple personal dashboards.)
- Using the WBS makes it possible to enter size data for a component written by someone else. (For example, one person on the team could now measure and enter the actual sizes of all components that were finished during the previous cycle.)
- A number of enhancements have been made to earned value baselines:
- The Task & Schedule window will now allow you to save a periodic snapshot of your plan without altering the official baseline.
- Two new charts scan the baselines/snapshots that have been saved for a team project, and illustrate how the planned effort and planned completion date have evolved over time.
- The Team Dashboard now automatically saves EV snapshots when a team project is starting, and periodically thereafter. If a team forgets to save a baseline of their plan after the launch, they can select one of these automatic snapshots later as their official baseline.
- In the Task & Schedule window, when choosing “Tools → Manage Baselines/Snapshots,” teams can now view an EV report for one of their historically saved baselines. If the number of baselines is large, this makes it possible to identify the data each baseline contains.
- The storage of baselines has been improved. In the past, a Team Dashboard would use more memory when it contained a large number of saved baselines. This problem has been resolved.
- The usability of various user interfaces has been improved:
- The completion checkbox (on the main dashboard toolbar) now makes it easy to enter a specific day and time when a task was completed. Just press the “Ctrl” key while clicking the checkbox.
- A new “Add Link” option makes it easy to add items to the script menu. An ‘edit’ icon is also displayed on these custom links, making it easy to correct mistakes.
- The toolbar in the WBS Editor has been reorganized onto two rows. This prevents toolbar buttons from disappearing behind the tabbed pane.
- On the Task & Schedule Flat View, a new button makes it easy to sort tasks into milestone order.
- The LOC Counter generates a report with redlines, showing the lines of code that have been added and deleted. Now, this report allows the interleaving sections of unmodified code to be expanded and collapsed, making it easier to focus on the changes themselves.
- Several improvements have been made to the team project joining process:
- A new file-based mechanism has been introduced for inviting team members to join a project. This mechanism is easier to use in organizations that employ tight network firewalls.
- When an individual is joining a team project, autocompletion hints are now provided to help them pick the initials that were assigned in the team member list.
- A new, standalone WBS Editor is available. This application makes it possible for coaches to perform a TSP-style launch planning session with any team (even if they don’t use the Process Dashboard) to rapidly create a detailed, evidence-based plan for project work. The standalone WBS application:
- Can be launched by double-clicking the app file. (Java must be installed on the computer; but no installation process is needed for the WBS application itself.)
- Opens with a window showing a new, empty project. The File menu offers traditional options like New, Open, and Save As.
- Offers a dramatically simpler set of node types, removing items (like the PSP and PROBE tasks) that aren’t of interest to non-dashboard teams.
- Enables teams to experiment with scope and schedule to produce a capacity-driven release plan.
- Saves plans into ZIP files, and supports Export to Excel.
- Prototype integration logic is available to synchronize data between the Process Dashboard and external systems, including Jira, TFS, and Azure. Organizations that are interested in piloting this functionality are encouraged to contact the development team.
- The Process Dashboard now supports the creation and use of metrics frameworks that exclude some or all of the PSP phases. The WBS Editor will hide the pentagonal “PSP Task” type for projects that use a PSP-incompatible framework.
- After a hard drive crash, an individual might have to create a new personal dashboard and rejoin the team project. The joining process now includes a check for this scenario, and asks the individual if they would like to restore their time and defect log entries from before the crash.
- When a task has been deleted from the WBS or reassigned to someone else, the “Sync Work Breakdown Structure” operation asks for your permission to delete the element from your personal plan. A new option on the project parameters and settings page allows you to disable this permission step if you desire (essentially auto-approving future task deletions).
- The dashboard’s interactions with the Enterprise Server received a number of security upgrades in keeping with current best practices.
- On Windows, better support is now provided for third-party Java distributions.
- Fixes are included for a number of bugs.
Teams are encouraged to upgrade together. Some features may not work properly until all team members have upgraded, and exported their data at least once.
To download version 2.6, visit https://www.processdash.com/download