onepoint REPORT No. 44 (Q4/2014)

EDITORIAL The "old" and the New Year…
SOLUTION More usability improvements in Update 1…
NEWS onepoint improves Project Monitoring and Usability…
SPOTLIGHT Earned Value…
LINKS Documentation, Software, APIs…
ABOUT About onepoint REPORT…

EDITORIAL

Dear Readers,

2014 was a very busy year – we started with introducing strategic portfolio analysis for onepoint PROJECTS with our first major release since switching to HTML5. Shortly afterwards we launched our new bidirectional integration with Atlassian’s JIRA which was very well received both within our client base and by major analysts. Finally, we delivered a significant user interface and reporting facelift featuring vastly improved charts side by side with a number of new features such as, e.g., extended risk management. And we are rounding this up with another small update this week also including some additional nice usability improvements as outlined in the Solution section.

In parallel, we are already working on new features for onepoint PROJECTS 13 – our next major release. These features will include a new kind of integrated agenda planning tool, a project dashboard, and fully customizable document-style reports – you can find some early background information in the Solution section below.

We are also working on some other very exciting new things that we cannot yet share with you. However, if everything goes as planned we should be able to give you some hints already in the next onepoint REPORT ;-).

With this, I thank you for your ongoing trust and support in the “old” year and wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

Best Regards,

Gerald Aquila, Founder & CEO

SOLUTION

onepoint PROJECTS 12.2 Update 1

Beside a number of bug fixes the new update also contains a few really nice usability improvements that did not make it anymore into onepoint PROJECTS 12.2. The by far most practical new feature is an interactive filter bar in all project, resource, and user choosers that automatically narrows down search results as you type. Especially for larger onepoint PROJECTS sites with many projects or resources this will be a welcome improvement.

As usual, a list of all major changes can be found in the changes file that comes with the update. onepoint PROJECTS 12.2 Update 1 has been distributed to all customers with support contracts (both Server and Cloud) earlier this week. Updated personal server versions are also available for download.

onepoint PROJECTS 13 – First Outlook

onepoint PROJECTS 13 is our next major release that will be released in spring 2015. The big idea behind release 13 is to better support project and program managers as well as core project team members in their daily project work – especially, beyond “hard facts” project management:

  • A new project dashboard will serve as the overview page for projects. Widgets will include both graphical and tabular elements including the “project alien” (dynamic project symbol) that we introduced with our Portfolio Analysis Option earlier this year. The dashboard will provide a more integrated and clearer view of the project’s detail status at one glance.
  • Customizable document-style reports will make it easy to customize built-in standard reports such as project order, project progress, project closure, and work instruction. In addition, users will be able to create their own custom document-style reports without any technical knowledge, simply by using a significantly extended version of our report wizard.
  • Agenda planning and meeting minutes will be seamlessly integrated with the current “Checklist” tool. Project managers will be able to get rid of one or two more external documents by simply planning project meetings inside onepoint and by easily collecting meeting minutes for each agenda point. Both agenda and meeting minutes will be available as customizable document-style reports that can be generated on the fly with the press of a button.

In addition, we have identified a number of very “old” small traps and pitfalls in onepoint PROJECTS that have been there from the very beginning. Our intention is that by “disarming” these traps we can make it even easier for new users to work with onepoint and to further decrease the average timeframe needed to successfully roll out PPM tools in project organizations worldwide.

We know that even today onepoint PROJECTS is probably the most easy to use “real” project management solution on the market, but we believe there is no reason to stop here – we can always become better and we will continue this journey in 2015.

NEWS

SPOTLIGHT

Earned Value (EV)

The concept of earned value originally comes out of financial planning and controlling, but has also been applied to project management for many years. The idea is that the earned value (EV) is the value the project has “earned” over time based on the planned value (PV). The most straightforward way to calculate earned value is to multiply the planned value with the percentage complete factor of the project – both at a specific point in time. And this is also the way onepoint PROJECTS calculates earned value.

As earned value is a function over time, it is typically visualized in the form of an earned value chart. onepoint PROJECTS provides two earned value charts: one for project effort (in hours) and one for project cost (in currency, e.g., Euros or USD). The earned value is shown as an area chart where earned value being “ahead” of the planned value is rendered in green color and EV being “behind” the PV is visualized in red. Additionally, onepoint shows also the actual value (the actual time or cost tracked over time) in the form of a blue line chart overlay.

What is important to understand is that the major application for EV charts is not dynamically comparing planned or earned value to actual value (although you can of course do this), but to “see” how your project is doing over time regarding project progress. As you can easily see when you are ahead of and behind your project plan by looking at the green and red area chart you get a pretty good idea of your project’s performance and if your project plan is realistic and up-to-date.

If you are using onepoint’s bidirectional JIRA integration you can also see nice EV charts of your JIRA projects – even if time tracking and open effort estimation is done in JIRA.

LINKS

ABOUT

About onepoint REPORT

onepoint REPORT is a quarterly, electronic publication, issued by onepoint PROJECTS GmbH. Please use the following links to manage your onepoint REPORT subscription:

About onepoint PROJECTS

onepoint PROJECTS is the leading provider of integrated project and portfolio management solutions for innovative project organizations. Unlike traditional PPM software, onepoint PROJECTS integrates formal, agile and JIRA projects into a single project portfolio and resource utilization database. onepoint enables project-oriented organizations to increase project and portfolio transparency, shorten project lead times, better implement best practices and optimize resource utilization. By building on open standards and technologies, providing both cloud-based/SaaS and on-premise installations and with its strategic focus on making PM systems easy to deploy, onepoint redefines ROI for project management solutions.

The company and product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective owners as far as registered.