You can watch the replay of Sean Pales’ full presentation, “Tempus Resource 5.2: Customer-Driven Enhancements, Updates, and Brand-New Features,” below:
Attendees at the Tempus Resource 2020 European Virtual Conference got a special preview of the soon-to-be-released version 5.2. Sean Pales of ProSymmetry demonstrated a host of improvements, enhancements, redesigns, added features, and new capabilities—all driven by customer feedback and user demand. Read about them below and contact ProSymmetry to schedule your demo today.
Updates and Enhancements
- An editable and interactive Kanban View, which was introduced in 5.1. Now you can double click on any card to edit and interact with project attributes or drill down into sub-entities.
- Ability to insert columns; sort and filter by project attributes; and zoom and search within a new, portfolio-level, Gantt view.
- Configure Available Views is a new general setting that lets you allow or restrict which views are available to individuals.
- When cloning, the default will clear actual allocations and actual demand datasets (you can change this option with one click).
- New advance filtering for audit logs.
- Build Teams interface redesign now lets you search for resources using skills matrix data.
- You can now search and replace resources using skills matrix data.
Bulk Project and Single Project Allocation
- A new security feature breaks out project access entitlements, so that you can individually grant or restrict access to Planned Allocation, Planned Demand, Actual Allocation, and Actual Demand.
- Insert columns of resource attributes into an SPA grid.
- Cross-project allocation formatting now aligns with your 0/- preference from General Settings; and you can quickly browse these projects with new hyperlinks.
- SPA Resource Replace allows granular replacement—an individual day/week/month across one or multiple resources. You can sort and filter using this data, or insert skills matrix data into the net availability grid.
- Build Team has an updated layout, with support for resource attributes and skill matrix insert.
- Create and manage views in Bulk Project Allocation and Bulk Project Allocation Flatgrid interfaces.
- Work through bulk editing and forecast management more quickly by saving all filtering and layout options within each view.
- You can now save resources assigned to a project without a Plan/Actual Demand/Allocation with the new zero value assignments. These will persist in order to allow you to stage resources prior to entering Allocation/Demand data and create assignments without these specifics.
Resource Request Workflow
- You can now insert project and resource attributes into the resource request grid, as well as group, sort, and filter by project and resource custom attributes.
- Now you can manage attributes separately from the resource approval process when making decisions.
- A new function allows you to search for skills directly within the resource request workflow, and you can search using skills matrix data.
- Resource managers can now insert resource attributes and skill matrix values directly into the resource replacement grid.
- Reporting folders are a new feature to structure and organize reports, allowing you drag-and-drop functionality to move reports across the folder structure.
- In Reports, users can choose their preferred view, while the legacy report list view remains available.
- New ability to administratively exclude projects from timesheets.
- Now you can choose to enforce time entry at the task-level, project-level, or both.
- Improved copy-and-paste enables capture of all formatting and calculation details.
- Now your updates apply to single cell copy/paste as well as the entire row or multiple rows.
- We’ve improved row and multi-row deletion performance.
- Any column width adjustments persist when you Save.
- We’ve created a new tab for import time phased admin time by resource from Excel.
- New capabilities to write admin time via API; write allocation/demand by quarter, month, or week; and write capacity by quarter, month, or week.
- Use the API to lock and unlock projects.
Other Tech Enhancements
We have some big plans for Tempus 5.3 already in the works. You’ll be seeing a plug-in logic capability that will give you more control in building and deploying seamless custom interfaces inside Tempus. We’re also preparing more control of Orchestrator, a currently separate desktop development tool designed to help with integrations, automations, workflow, email alerts, and more.
What’s New to Tempus in 5.2
Now securely perform global searches across your entire Tempus environment to find anything, anywhere in the system. Quickly find projects, resources, attributes, reports, and more with fewer clicks and some cleaner UI updates.
This new reporting and analytical engine is the star of Tempus 5.3, allowing you to conduct project prioritization with multi-criteria scoring, evaluate existing or new portfolios under resource constraints, and identify what can or cannot fit into your portfolio given those constraints.
Portfolio Planner can be used as its own decision support analytic, its own what-if engine, or connected to the Tempus What-If tool. Designed for maximum flexibility and future enhancements, it allows you to dynamically assemble new portfolios and modify existing ones with live data or what-if data. The powerful algorithms and force-in and force-out capabilities show you the real impact of multiple options.
Additional features include:
- Create new portfolio planner reports from report management.
- Setup similar to RAR2-style reports.
- Supply-demand display with time filter and color-coded project ordering.
- Project Order panel that enables drag-and-drop reordering, column insertion, and force-in and force-out scenarios.
To learn more about all the powerful tools in Tempus Resource that can transform your organization’s Resource Management, contact ProSymmetry, makers of Tempus Resource, and schedule your demo today.
And be sure to check out all of our speakers from the Tempus Resource 2020 European Virtual Conference.
Transcript: Deep Dive into Tempus Resource 5.2
Thanks, everyone. This is Sean at ProSymmetry. I’ll be walking you through the Tempus Version 5.2 release preview. Thanks again for joining. I think what you’ll see again today is that we continue to make just huge investments in the product. This will not be a short overview. There is a comprehensive list. In fact, I’ve removed a number of very small items since those will be covered elsewhere in the release notes and online. But again, we continue to make major investments in the product and again I think you’ll see that today. I’ll be using slides exclusively today. I know normally when I do these I’ll walk through the product live. Things are still in flux a bit with QC QA work happening with multiple builds, so what I’m doing is just focusing in on slides and then there will be a number of updates coming soon.
First off, 5.2 is scheduled for release essentially the week of the 19th. Release notes should be available next week and then you should start to see some things from our customer success team likely early next week around our 5.2 webinars and the specifics of the release itself, so lots coming. So, just as a joke here, I just had to add this because I’ve been laughing at it all morning. We’re closing in on the end of the year. Hopefully we can put all this craziness behind us soon. The year’s not over yet. Of course, here in the U.S. we celebrate Thanksgiving so someone told me we still have potentially a raging turkey war that could break out. The year’s not over yet, but hopefully we’re through the Covid stuff soon.
New to Tempus
What I’d like to do first is just talk about some real high-level new features, kind of brand new to the product. Of course, there’s lots of other stuff that’s new, but these are two areas that are brand new and you should be aware.
Number one, 5.2 now includes now a global search. Previously you could search in any of the screens, so the PM screen, RM screen, reports, you name it and you could search. Something that we wanted to add and had come up a few times with clients was how do we globally search. So how do we make sure that your security is captured and then with a few clicks find anything anywhere in the system. So with 5.2 at the very top of the screen, we’ve introduced this global search function where you can now look across your entire environment and you could add additional filtering so if you wanted to look for just projects, just resources, just attributes, just reports, you can do that, but this would be a secure global search mechanism. This also means that the conventional search is moving so there will be some UI updates on where the search is going to move to. In most cases it will land directly above the grids in which it’s designed to search so you’ll see that throughout the application.
Another huge add, and we’ll cover this in sufficient detail in the future section, is our new reporting analytical engine called our portfolio planner. This gives you capabilities to conduct project prioritization, utilize force in and force out capability, to see the impact of data from both your live system data or a connected what-if model. So you can actually run this. Imagine you’re at a multi-monitor type of setup, you can have your what-if on one screen and your portfolio planner on another and they will communicate with one another live and in real time. So you can use this to dynamically assemble new portfolios, modify or evaluate existing portfolios and understand what can and cannot be accomplished under constraints, in this case under the resource constraints that you specify.
So we’ll walk through this in more detail. This is a very powerful feature designed to address the needs of a handful of our most sophisticated clients that are using this to plan their product roadmaps, plan their portfolios, again under resource constraints. There’s a number of other capabilities that we’re planning to introduce in this feature set over time, but if you’ve been looking for that above/below the line type of analysis, the water line type analysis, those things are built into this as well. You’ll see more of that as we get to that section.
So those are two new features. The portfolio planner is huge and we’ll come to that in more detail in a moment.
I’ve tried to group these in some sensible collection. So the next section we’ll browse through will be portfolio program project management-like type features. You’ll be familiar with many of these. The first one I’ll go to is the Kanban view. Starting with 5.1 we introduced a Kanban style view of Kanban, literally a portfolio level Kanban or programmable Kanban, fully dynamic, configurable, customizable drag and drop, all that stuff. One thing we couldn’t was actually interact with the cards themselves. Starting in 5.2 you can double click on any of the cards to put it into an edit mode. So, from this modal window, you’ll have the ability to interact with the attributes for that specific project or then drill down into the project to update, of course, any other sub-entities, whether it’s the schedule, the forecast, the milestones, the financials, all of that. Alright so interactive Kanban, editable Kanban as part of Version 5.2.
Another new view we’ve added is a Gantt-style view. In the past we had the grid view, then we added Kanban, now we have the Gantt view. Now the Gantt view as the name implies will display a project list to the left and a Gantt-style display of those projects to the right. You’ll have zoom in/zoom out capabilities. Currently the bar, if you hover over, will display the details of the project, the name, start, end and some other details. You can zoom in/zoom out, you can search, you can insert columns here, you can sort by those columns, so you can effectively navigate your portfolio and it, of course, just utilizes security using this Gantt-style view. Some folks have a preference for this, others prefer Kanban, others prefer the grid view. It’s your choice. You can also access and drill down into any project from here by double-clicking and then you’ll see a context menu off to the left where you can access all of the other functions you would have in the grid view or Kanban like open, clone, snapshot, shift, delete, lock and of course the snap-to function which is unique to a Gantt-style interface. So, Gantt-style view is now available in Version 5.2.
Now going back to your view preference, currently everything is available. So, if you’ve got the licensing set up and the user has rights, they’re going to see any and all of these views. We’ve added something in Version 5.2, as you can imagine, the depth and breadth of the clients we’re dealing with and the preferences we have under general settings introduced a function that allows you to limit which of these views are available. If you wanted to prevent the use of Kanban, prevent the use of Gantt, only allow the grid, only allow the Gantt, those are all options you can select. You see those called out here under General settings. So this can all be configured in General settings.
Another update in 5.2, when we’re copying projects, when you’re cloning a template or cloning an existing project, something we didn’t do before was remove any of the actuals. Invariably there will be someone out there that says I want to keep my actuals. What we’ve done with cloning is we’ve defaulted two new settings that clear the actual allocation and clear the actual demand. So if there’s actuals you can clear them out. It will happen automatically. You’ll see both of those are selected yes by default. You can turn them on or off if you wish, but again this would remove actuals when conducting cloning so you’re not having to drill in and clear those values with an Excel upload or a modification through SPA or VPN. Alright, so clearing actuals on cloning.
Two more updates that I’ve consolidated into one slide, and this is the audit log functionality. So inside of each project, inside of each resource there is an audit log screen and that gives you a contextual audit log for that specific object, so if I’m the project manager, I can look at all the audit information for my project or any of the projects that I manage and have rights to do so. The same for resources, as a resource manager or somebody else. Something we didn’t have before is advanced filtering, so start/end date filtering, as well as more detailed filtering to look by specific actions and so on. So some of the capabilities we have at the enterprise level. So enterprise-wide audit log has now been duplicated or replicated under the project audit log and under the resource audit log.
To be aware, this isn’t necessarily a feature update but more of something to be aware of. Because we replaced the top level search with a global search function, we did move the context search for that particular screen closer to or somewhere underneath or near the grid that it’s associated to. So, the search windows have changed, documentation will have to update. You may have to update yours, but please be aware that the search window has shifted to be closer to the grid it’s searching and obviously in response to putting the global search on the top ribbon.
Next what I’d like to do is move on to skills management. The big updates here in 5.2 around skills management relate to visibility of the skills data inside of a host of different screens so when we’re searching or we want to insert those columns to see more details when performing various actions, that has been accomplished now and that has been a main part of Version 5.2.
The first place we’ll go is to build team. We’ll talk about this a little bit later, but do notice that the build team interface has been slightly redesigned, cleaned up, refactored, looks much nicer, a bit cleaner, a bit more modern so some updates there. We’ll talk about that a bit later, but you’ll see in this case when working with the build team function, we can now search for resources using skills matrix data. You’ll see, in this case, I’ve inserted in the filter here programming C-Sharp based on the unit of measure. In this case, it’s a range. You can choose if it’s set to a certain value, if it’s null, if it’s greater than or equal to, less than or equal to and so on any specific value that has been applied globally. So we can fully search in the build team for skills using skills matrix data. We’ve also added inside of the build team grid the ability here to insert the skills matrix data itself. So if I wanted to look at my programming skills matrix, I could insert that as you see here, overlay the heat map information, and now I can, in one screen when building the team, look at resources, their availability, and their skills matrix data. You can also of course filter as you’ll see in a moment, and also insert additional columns now into build team.
Inside of resource replace, so if you’re familiar with single project allocation, there’s a function to conduct a resource replacement. There’s been a huge update there and we’re going to get to it in a moment, but when you are conducting a replacement, you’ll have the ability again to search using skills matrix data. Again, I’m using that here to look for someone who has a C-sharp of level three or higher, so I can search by skills matrix data. We’ve also added here the ability to insert the actual skills matrix details themselves. So, inside of Research Replace, I can now insert the skills matrix information. So, again to be clear, what we’ve done is made skills matrix searchable through any of the interfaces. You’ll see in a moment when we get to the resource request workflow functionality enhancements that the same is the case there, so it will be a bit repetitive but inside of resource replace through the resource request workflow, we’ve added the option to search by the skills matrix data and also to insert the skills matrix information itself. We’ll get to that in a moment.
Bulk Project Allocation and Single Project Allocation
Bulk project allocation and single project allocation screens, so a number of updates coming in 5.2. The first, and this has been requested for quite some time in security. What we’ve done is we’ve broken under project access rules or project access entitlements access to actual allocation, actual demand, planned allocation, planned demand so you can now separate out users that have access to the actuals, versus those who have access to the planned information. So this is now available in 5.2 so we can break those rights apart. That’s been asked for quite a bit.
We’ve also introduced in single project allocation the grid, much like we can do inside of BPA Flat Grid the ability to insert columns. So right, and there’s more coming because I already know what the feedback is going to be, we’ve introduced the ability to insert resource centric attributes into the single project allocation grid. They are inserted “read only” and they will be, of course, useful in identifying who is part of the team, whereby pulled resources from, what attributes are being utilized and then there will be more to come with this. Over time the assignments, of course, will make their way in and there will be additional functionality here with regard to sorting and filtering, but in 5.2 inserting columns of the resource entity type “read only” will be available.
Two modifications to cross-project allocation so those of you who are drilling into individual assignments or resources to look at cross-project allocation, that minor pop-up or report under resources, two changes there. 1) We now set the data in this grid to conform to your preference around zeros or dashes. I know my screen capture is still showing zeros, but you just have to trust me on some screen captures, of course whatever you’ve selected for null values would appear here whether it’s a zero or a dash, that’s how we’ll render inside of cross-project allocation. 2) Something that’s been requested from a few different clients, from cross-project allocation (CPA), I want to quickly transition to a specific project. So we have made the cross-project allocation project the listings hyperlink. So when you click on those, it would launch and take you to that specific project so you can more quickly navigate from CPA out to the projects that are, of course, associated to what you’ve clicked on. So CPA has been updated.
Now this is a big update. This is another one of the replacement functions. The screen capture I have on the top is really designed to give you context to what I am referring to because a lot of folks are unaware of this feature set, we may have to improve how we display it but inside of single project allocation, there is a little pop-up, a little modal window that appears when you’re in edit mode that allows you to replace a resource. In this case I’ve selected Claire Peterson and there’s two options. I can access Claire’s cross-project allocation or replace Claire on this particular project for that specific assignment or across the entire project. In the past it would take you to a screen so you could drill into a screen from which you could pick up other resources, you could search by name or by role, position title, any of the attributes, but it would basically do a full replacement so it would say from the beginning of time in this project, I’m going to remove Claire and put on another resource. It would keep the actuals, but it would essentially take Claire off the entire project, any planned information. You could do that with multiple resources. The challenge we had, of course, was that it’s never that simple so if I wanted to replace Claire, it might not be for the entirety of the project. It might just be for a month and then she would resume her efforts on the project or it might be for a longer period, a specific day, a week, a month, maybe just the back end of the project for whatever reason. Maybe she’s planning some time away and we’ve got to make that adjustment just for that particular window of time. So what we’ve done is we refactored and adjusted and redesigned that interface, so now when I drill down, you’ll notice in this particular case in the screen capture below for payroll system upgrade phase 15 the project, in this case Carol Castillo, what we can do is pick from different resources to assign them and then modify the allocation on a time phase basis by month, week or day in an interface that’s almost identical, very similar, to the resource replace workflow screen, so I can now more granularly choose how to replace Carol. I can choose from a particular date to a particular date, maybe it’s the entirety or again it might just be a specific timeframe, and I can then choose how to break out the reallocated quantities over one or multiple resources without having to do a global replace inside that project. So a much more granular level of editing capability here when performing resource replace. I’m a big fan of this one.
Some other capabilities here, which I think we talked about a moment ago but just to reinforce, inside this resource replace screen you have access to insert not just the skills matrix data, but also any of your resource attributes. You can sort and filter by these data as well. So just imagine you’re doing a replacement here the amount of insight you can gain. It’s pretty awesome. So I’m seeing the remaining availability off to the right with the heat map I’m filtering for my resources that I like, I’m inserting various attributes to see more about them, and then I’ve also entered their skills matrix. So I can very granularly identify who has the right skills, roles and availability to do this particular work. Remember these capabilities are updated both in single project allocation replace, resource request, workflow replace, as well as build team so you’re getting these capabilities in a lot of different areas. It’s not just an isolated subset of the product.
Another feature added inside of the single project allocation resource replace is, if you are using the team functionality of Tempus, you don’t have to. It’s not enforced unless you ask the product to enforce it. So if you are enforcing it and you’ve built your team and you’re going to now do this resource replace, it’s only going to show you who’s on the team and that can be really limiting because when you’re trying to do a replacement, my team is already taxed and I have no one to assign. As a result, we’ve introduced an ability here where when you’re performing the replacement, you’ll notice the two different screen captures here illuminate how that button will change, we can look at our team members or we can tell the system to show me all resources that I have access to which would let me look outside of my team across the entire pool, again enforcing security, and allowing me to choose who is available to do the work. I can then select them, assign them and the product will automatically add them to the team. It does all that for us. Of course if the resource request workflow is enabled, that’s still going to fire, that still has to happen, but again, this lets you peer outside of the team and/or at a minimum, minimize the searching back and forth instead of having to go to the team, add the person, find the person, put them on the project, now go back to the replacement. You get the idea. When I’m doing the replacement itself, I can tell it to let me see everybody, I’ll do the replacement, and then it auto adds me to the team. Lots of simplification here but giving you a much broader range of access across the entire resource pool.
Again, as I mentioned earlier, the build team screen has been redesigned. Instead of showing the team off to the right, you’ll notice the section collapsed above will show you the team, of course you can add or remove people from here, the option to clone from the other teams is still here up top. So, all the same features, and we’ve added a number of new ones, are all here. We’ve just kind of changed the layout, updated the look and feel. Again, remember we can insert resource columns, we can also insert the skills matrix. One slight change is that in the past as you selected resources and you’d have to click an unnecessary option, which is add them to the team. So what we’ve done is the moment you click on them now they’re automatically inserted into the team. They still have to save, so if you moved back without saving they wouldn’t persist to the team, but removing that saves and shaves off an extra click that really isn’t necessary. All part of the redesign for the build team interface.
Those of you, and it’s probably a large number, who are heavy users of bulk project allocation or bulk project Flat Grid have asked for some time for an option where you could save different views. Those have now been incorporated into Version 5.2. So as you use the product you can now save and persist. Individually you can do this. Your various filters, your selections, your BPA modes, the various fields that have been inserted, column widths, things of that nature all get persisted to the view. Like other views in the product, you can rename them, clone them, lock them, make them your preference, you can delete them, but again, both BPA and BPA Flat Grid now support a view creation function.
Another, which seems like a pretty basic one or simple, is actually very complicated to do, and the reason we didn’t do before actually made perfect sense. If someone was allocated to a project and had allocation you obviously would persist the assignment. But if I assigned a person and there’s no allocation, planned or actual, there’s nothing to save so we wouldn’t save it. Well, we’ve changed that. So for those of you who have been looking to stage resources, assign resources without actually assigning them any allocation or demand data but be able to come back and then later modify the information when you receive more information or it’s the right time to do it, you can now accomplish this. So SPA, BPA and bulk project allocation Flat Grid all support this capability to persist zero value assignments. Again, the ability to create assignments without actually specifying the planned or actual allocation or demand. So it’s a pretty big add. You can see in the grid here I’m currently checked in so I have the option to check out. I have three resources “assigned” but zero allocation and I guess I should have showed you demand to prove I wasn’t taking it, but yes it does indeed keep the assignments so you can stage them and then come back and modify those allocations once you have more information.
Moving on. I want to go a little bit more quickly. I want to be respectful of your time. I know for most of you it’s already after hours so I’ll try to speed it up a bit.
Resource Request Workflow
So resource request workflow, something that again has been asked for for quite some time is when I’m evaluating my resource request from my resource request review screen, I want to be able to view project fields and resource fields. This is now part of Version 5.2, so when performing this action, you can now insert as part of your view, you can sort, filter, all these other options available inside of this grid using project attributes and resource attributes. So if you needed to make any type of decision of which request will I treat first, I’m going to look maybe by project priority, maybe project stakeholder realistically, maybe other dates from the project so we can insert those different columns here, sort, filter by, group by, to then make better decisions around how these resources being requested will be treated. Am I going to just treat these as they come in or am I going to handle these in batches and then treat things based on some prioritization that I come up with? So project custom fields, resource custom fields, attributes available for use inside the resource request workflow screen.
Again, we’ve talked about this quite a bit already, but I want to make sure that you have all the information and again, skills matrix, we can now search inside the resource request workflow screen so when I’ve been asked to replace or assign a resource through this workflow, I can now look for resources that have certain skills matrix values so we can fully utilize skills matrix data as part of the resource request workflow process. Similarly, I can insert both resource custom fields as well as skills matrix data inside that net availability grid when performing the resource replacement or resource request workflow process. So notice in the grid below, I’m seeing a request for Sarah Allison a hundred hours or two months. I see the remaining availability off to the far right. It gets scrunched over and of course you could scroll but there’s only two months in this case. And then I could insert, in this case, three different fields: Employee basis position role, resource department and, of course, the skills matrix data. So now we’ve sort of exponentially increased the amount of information available to managers when making decisions and imagine if you’re using those assignment attributes if you said I need Sarah, but the person, but let’s say the person I need is a generic, you might have additional details saying that it has to be someone that’s full-time, it has to be someone that’s ITAR compliant, it has to be someone with a background in GDPR. Who knows, right? Well, you can now search for all these things and filter for all these things inside the grid below and also leverage skills matrix data. So, massively expanding in what’s available for decision maker when determining which resource(s) to assign.
This is another one that’s been asked for for probably three years, maybe longer. We have a report list and that’s great. We want a report folder. Version 5.2 incorporates now a folder structure capability. You’ll notice we have not removed access to the report list so in the top right corner of this screen capture, you’ll see report access is still there, report list is still there, but now we have a new option for report folder. The system is going to remember which view you were last on, so if you prefer the folder, it’s going to bring up the folder each time. If you prefer the list, it’s going to take you to the list, so you have that flexibility as an end user.
The folder structure is globally available, so as you’re building out this folder structure, it’s not just for you, it’s for all users, so you may want to determine who’s going to make decisions on what that folder structure looks like. There are security touch points there so not everyone can manipulate that and, of course, each report has its own security as well. So you can create a hierarchal folder structure, you can drag and drop report across the folder structure, you can drag and drop the folders themselves to realign them within the section.
The other feature set when working in the folders view is we’ve changed some of the menu layout. Now if you’re in the report list screen, which like you know the legacy interface, that hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, we have now a new tile for the portfolio planner feature, but if you’re using the report folder layout, notice here this new icon and then the ability to create a new folder and then create a variety of different purpose-built reports we have inside of Tempus. So, a slight change in navigation when we’re working in the report folder view.
There’s a number of other smaller updates on reporting. I didn’t want to take up much time with them, but things like certain coding, certain layout of numbers, certain formatting options have been updated, but I won’t talk about this today.
So, moving on to portfolio planner, this is kind of the crescendo of this discussion and then we’ll move on to additional stuff as well. Before I actually get into the portfolio planner functionality, I just want to talk at a high level some of the value proposition here because it does a lot of stuff. We’re going to do things real high-level. We will do sort of a level 400 review once it’s live and we’ll launch that out and make everyone aware of it. That will come through our customer success team, but a few really important things to keep in mind:
- This feature lets you evaluate existing or new portfolios under your resource constraints.
- This will allow you to prioritize projects using scoring, multi-criteria, calculated values, subjective values and essentially normalize your selection by using filtering which is essentially what normalizing would do inside of a list. So you can restack your priorities or restack your project programs, etc. by way of attributes that are already in the system that have been calculated or those that have been synchronized from third party systems.
- We can identify what can fit or not fit under resource constraints given your preferences. So, as you can imagine as a resource driven system, our primary constraint here is the resource side of the equation. As Donna mentioned earlier, resources really are your money especially in an era where governments print money with abandon, but people are a real constraint, so that gets us down the road, and this gets to sort of number five, there will be additional options for optimizing under different types of constraints.
- You can use this as its own decision support analytic on its own, so you can use it as its own little what-if engine, or you can use it connected to a Tempus what-if model. You’ll see that in a moment. I even have two little screen captures here, but the two talk to each other so you can tie this to a model and as I start making changes here, you’ll see your shale chart, mountain chart, sand chart, stack bar, whatever move around as well. So we can say we’ve got an issue on the front end of this portfolio, I can make changes here, see what goes under, exclude projects here. It would exclude them here. So, they’re talking to each other if you choose to use it in that mode.
- It was designed to be super flexible, so this is used not only as a decision support analytic, what-if analysis tool set, portfolio builder prioritization feature set, but longer term this will tie into more features we’re adding especially, dare I say, Version 5.3 with strategies, with road mapping, those ILP capabilities, energy linear programming to optimize under certain constraints, machine learning, AI evaluation to tell you things you didn’t know before. Perhaps adjusting or modifying what specific skill gets you the most gain earliest across your portfolio.
So this is a starting point for a whole host of additional capabilities that are coming on top of what’s already in the product, which is pretty fantastic.
Working with portfolio planner, the option exists under reports, and you’ll see two different screen captures here, of course if you’re using the list view or the folder view, and as you click on the tile, just like any other report, it’s going to take you into a report designer. It will have two tabs versus the conventional three-tab configurator, and unlike other reports where you save the definition and then you move on, with the portfolio planner, you’re really continually modifying its definition because you’re doing things like forcing in and forcing out, changing the ordering, changing timeframes, changing color codes, interacting with underlying data that might be stored in a separate model. So set up slightly different but you’ll see there’s essentially a basic config with the name, timeframe, description, the source model, the source data, is it live data or a what-if model, but most importantly you might say the other reports already have connectors to what-if models, that’s true but there’s not a live synchronization in real time. So what happens is you can run those reports off of model data but you can’t see updates live inside of a report as they are happening. That’s another really unique feature of this portfolio planning setup. Lots of other options of course, FTE, timeframes, and then we can incorporate a variety of data series. This is going to feel much like RAR2 style reports where we can choose from a variety of data sets, the plan, the actual, allocation demand. We can aggregate by projects or in total and then we can choose if we wish to stack by different attributes and you’ll see that in a moment. There’s filtering and various layout options as well.
Now, once you’ve assembled this you’re going to get a view just like this, and it’s all very dynamic. So, on the outset you’ll say that it looks very much like RAR2. Well that’s true, but 1) all these panels could be moved around, 2) you’ll notice again our supply demand info, and 3) you’ll notice a time slicer down below. So, the time slicer, if I wanted to drill into just these three or four months where we have major issues, I can drag this time slicer back and focus on just that narrow subset to then maybe start altering things in my model to maybe move this particular project, which looks like focus group product implementation, and maybe move that out three months and that would then fit under my supply line.
You’ll also see color coding and search. You can look at the data as well in a tabular fashion, which I totally forgot to insert here; you can modify the colors within here, which are persisted; you can see the numbering where the lowest number takes up the first resources. So, this is our position in the line when we ultimately get up to the point of breeching or go beyond. Very dynamic.
Off to the left you will see other options like accessing the portfolio planner’s configuration and this little option here that shows me a pop-out window where I can re-prioritize the project and also access an analytic or an algorithm that will identify which projects fit, which projects don’t fit.
So moving on to this next screen, in addition to doing this at the project level, we can also do this at a product level, a portfolio level, a program level using any of the attributes you have in the system. Previously we were looking at it by individual project. In this case you’ll see we’re looking at it by either areas of the business, client, whatever this is in my system and you’ll see the stack becomes markedly different and you’ll see the number of options here becomes markedly different as well. This will let you make decisions at this level. Off on the left is an example of that pop-out menu that lets us do the force in/force out and also change the ordering. So this can be done literally by product line, if you’re doing some agile stuff you can tinker with that, and of course conventional groupings of programs and portfolios and clients and regions and any other attributes you have, so we can do this at a very granular project level or roll it up and do it by any of the attributes used in your system.
We can apply color coding. This comes up a lot with RAR2. It’s available here inside of portfolio planner. You can click on any of the projects that are incorporated, choose the color coding you wish to use, and we’ve added some things here that are very stark so if you wanted to call out a specific project and code it as white, gray, black, any of these colors, it’s entirely up to you and they are persistent so you don’t have to worry about colors shuffling around as you start to make changes. You can very clearly hone in on, I want to see these three as these specific colors and you’d see them float through the shale levels, sand levels, stacked bar levels, however you prefer so color coding is retained.
Now here’s this pop-out window. This gives us a host of additional capabilities. You can see here there is a force in/force out capability, and this does tie back if you are connected to a model so it would give you the ability to force a project out and exclude it from the connected models. There is that additional inter-activity.
There are also options here to drag and drop. You can see the positioning here of one through, in this case, I’m showing 19, and I can insert additional columns here to make decisions or to perform sorting. We don’t need an elaborate number of screens to do this if you are capturing various criteria, which are then used as a calculated, multi-criteria calculated score, I can just insert that score into this grid like I’ve done here. You’ll see project score, project priority as two examples and I can now use a sort mechanism, so I just sort by score and you’ll see all of my 95s then 45s and 25s below. So this gives me some additional prioritization capability to sort these and I can then choose which will I force in, which will I force out. Everything would be in by default unless you modified it and I can then drag thigs around in terms of priority order even if I did have any resource constraints applied inside this model. So, again, a range of prioritization and optimization, frankly capabilities, built into this interface.
You’ll also see, and there could be some changes in the color coding before this actually ships, but there are algorithms running behind the scenes to say, Okay in this case you do have a constraint which could be your resource load here. I’m going to color code for you which of these can be done and which can’t. So, if you’ve seen this elsewhere maybe called a water line, above or below, stuff like that, it’s the same concept, what can get in or what can’t get in based off of that supply line so working underneath the constraints of our resources, what can we do, what can’t we do. This can again be leveraged against live system data of against your what-if analysis.
Here’s one example and this is really cool. I’m still trying to figure out the screens and how to do it live, so that you can see everything because there’s a lot moving around. But in the event that you have this connected to a what-if model, with the real-time integration when you find a scenario like this, and obviously I put something together here that’s a little crazy and that’s fine. It’s 2020 after all. Even though this was scheduled for 2019, the project is called, “Go to Mars.” This is really valuable to me. I can’t do it here because the others take a higher priority and very clearly this is one of the major issues. It’s above our supply line. When can this happen? I want to visually see. Well, it looks like there’s some capacity here. On the what-if side we have lots of other tools as well to help understand the effects and where we might have that ability, when this is connected live to a what-if analysis. So, now I’m showing side-by-side. When I find and take that project, so here’s Go to Mars and you’ll see the prior position and I shift it out, in this case outside early August, which appeared to be the point in time when I could do this, you’ll notice that immediately, and of course I have a screen capture so you’ll have to just believe me, this would immediately show this shifting to now sit here. So, I now see my Go to Mars, my color codes have been retained, I now appear to fit well under or very closely at my supply line, and again, all using a concurrent relationship between a what-if model and a portfolio planner report. So a really, really cool feature set here that can really help convey maybe additional capabilities that you might not have in a what-if model and trying to convey this to executive management or others trying to make decisions at this higher level.
So, that’s all part of the Portfolio Planner. Again, a really big feature set, a really big add. There’s much more coming, and of course we will do some additional breakout sessions, not today but after the release walking through the capability in greater detail.
We still have lots more to cover so hopefully everyone’s hanging in and has a nice cup of coffee in front of them. Not too much though. I think I’ll still end by the top of the hour.
A few updates here. This one’s a little older in the backlog, but it did get completed. Some customers have asked us if there is a way to prevent certain projects from appearing in timesheets for whatever reason, maybe it can’t be built, we don’t want to track time against it, people could accidentally book time when they shouldn’t, a variety of reasons. Well, in any case, from your timesheet configuration you can now exclude certain projects from appearing in a timesheet regardless of if anyone is assigned or not. So, even if you have people assigned to it, it should flow through. This intercepts that process, blocks it from appearing in the timesheet and your users would never know. So, we can prevent projects from appearing in the timesheet.
I don’t have a screen capture for this one yet. It’s still wrapping up, but in the past we did offer an ability, and we continue to, to enforce time entry at the project level only. So a client might say, “I don’t want you to book time at the task level. It’s a waste of effort. I want to keep it really simple,” blah, blah, for whatever reason. Well, with 5.2 we’ve now added additional options. You’re not seeing them here. They will be there. One of them is to continue to enforce time entry at the project level, but now we’ve added the opposite. We can now enforce time entry at the task level where a user can only book time at the task level from their timesheet, and of course, we’d offer the third option, which is that you can use whichever one you want. We don’t care. So, you have three options underneath enforcing time entry: project level, which already exists; task level, which is new; and then you choose whatever you want, which is sort of the inferred option if you’re leaving the other two disabled.
This has taken off in popularity. There’s lots of stuff planned here, some complex, some simple, but I do want to include a few of them because I thought they were really high priority, especially for me. I use this feature quite a bit internally. Copy and paste formatting. So, before we could certainly do copy and paste, but it would leave off certain formatting, certain calculations, it didn’t work for entire rows or entire columns. With 5.2 we’ve greatly improved the copy and paste capability for formatting and for calculation details. You can apply this to single cells. You can see on the left I’ve copied the risk rating, high, high, high, from probably row 6 through 7, 8, 9. And the screen capture on the right, you can copy and paste entire rows as well. Now copy and paste has been massively improved inside of the sheets functionality.
We’ve also introduced a delete icon so it’s easier to find this, more clear to execute. We’ve also implemented a number of performance improvements for deletion and this works with both single row deletion as well as multi-row deletion. So, improvements there.
This one always bugged me. We’ve got it solved. Persisting your column width so when you would open a sheet everything would kind of be scrunched together and you started manipulating and expanding the various column widths. You got it the way you like it, you hit save. Boom! Everything comes back to the way it was. Again, starting in 5.2 just a minor update but I want to make people aware of it. Maybe I rank it more highly than you do, but this will automatically persist that column width upon save so when I return I get the same width. In this case for risk cost. I don’t have to tinker with my column width thereafter. So those are some updates on sheets.
Okay, so we’re coming into the home stretch. I hope this wasn’t too fast. There are three remaining sections I want to talk about. Excel Import, so we have a minor update there. We have some really important and valuable updates on the API. And then one other technical golden egg here that I want to share is a product that we’ve been working on for a while. Just to give you a heads-up, it’s not necessarily ready yet for clients but I want to let you know that it is underway. It’s something we call Orchestrator, so you might have heard this a few times on calls with Support, with Customer Success. Maybe I mentioned it or Greg or someone else. Just giving you some insight as to what we’re really talking about. In 5.2 admin time. We’re continually adding features around admin time. There were a few ways to get this imported previously but you really have to work with us directly. Starting with 5.2 you now have a new tab inside of Excel Import with a new template that allows you to import your admin time by resource over time according to whatever time phase you wish. Of course, the admin category must exist, the resource must have a timeframe that overlaps as well, so there are some audit items there, but this does enable bulk import of your time phase admin time by resource using an Excel template.
We’ve added a few endpoints here to allow you to update admin time via the API so we can programmatically interact with admin time. The admin categories have to be there, but the actual ability to write those values by resource now available via the API.
We’ve also updated how we can write to allocation and demand data sets planned and actual to allow you to insert these data by quarter, by month or by week. For those of you who have written connections to Tempus, you’re aware that in the past it had to be a by-day array. Then we improved it to say, well it has to be a by-day array, but it can target just a specific timeframe. That was a huge step up. Now we do all of that, but now you can say that you want to update just one month or just one week. You’ll be able to do that with 5.2 and specifically inject the month value, the week value, whatever versus again having to break out an array by day. The same goes, you can just copy what I said a moment ago, your memory for capacity. So if I’m updating resource capacity, I can do it again by quarter, by month, or by week.
And then lastly in the API, we introduced an option to call the project lock and project unlock functionality. That’s something we released I’m going to say almost a year ago, but now we’ve introduced the ability to do it programmatically. So, if you had some external system, let’s say Salesforce.com, PeopleSoft, or whatever, or workday where you take a project and it goes into sort of like a financial close and you want to now lock that project in Tempus, you can now make that call back to Tempus programmatically and lock that project to prevent any edits, changes, timesheet submissions, whatever it may be. So, locking and unlocking available programmatically.
Two things I want to mention briefly and this is really important for future capabilities. This is not to discuss 5.3. I didn’t think we’d have time and I’m glad I didn’t include it but, of course, the 5.3 plans are huge as you can expect.
A few technical bonuses for 5.2: We’ve introduced a plug-in capability to make deploying custom interfaces, custom screens much easier. So those of you who might be looking to build something inside of Tempus, where you literally have your own custom interface, those are things that are being worked on. So, you’ll at some point have that ability on your own. Right now you have to work with us to do that but that’s something that’s been introduced.
And then lastly, I just want to touch on this Orchestrator, which you might be hearing about quite a bit. The Orchestrator itself is a separate product. It’s not on the Web at the moment. It’s essentially a desktop development tool that lets you do a few things with Tempus. It’s designed to help with integrations, it’s designed to help automation, it’s designed to essentially help through workflow through e-mail alerting, all the types of stuff you might want to activate or perform from within Tempus. It’s like, I change a custom field to this level and now I want a bunch of stuff to happen inside the application, or I make a change to something, a resource or a project, and I want to send out alerts. All that is now done using our Orchestrator platform, which eventually we plan to put in your hands. When that will happen, I don’t know, but I wanted you to at least be aware. And what I have here are a few screen captures from the Orchestrator. So, those of you that have worked with drag and drop workflow-style designers will understand what I’m showing here. Essentially the Orchestrator is just that. It’s a development environment that lets you drag and drop different actions onto a design surface, configure the timing of those connections, build out the variables and other settings that go into each of the actions, and the deploy it. These utilize all of the API capabilities of Tempus, web hooks and so on, and you’ll see how from the left I’ve got a handful, not all, of the actions that are included. You’ll see a range of control flow actions, state machines, workflows, flow charts, parallel actions, if-statements for each looping. You’ll see different connections to other systems, a range of service now connectors, SharePoint connectors, Sequel connectors, and lots of other tools that our clients might have connections or need connections to. These are again just basics. You’ll see regex operations, and so on, and then a range of Tempus actions: create project, clone project, create resource and so on. So, this lets us drag and drop and these are examples of what this Orchestrator looks like, tying together a various set of actions where, in this case, retrieving a project, updating the project’s value and the same here, looping through various projects, updating that information or maybe sending e-mails. So, I just wanted to give you a heads-up. This Orchestrator product is totally separate from Tempus and, again, designed for drag and drop automation of Tempus actions, integrations, and workflow. It’s your own unique set of tooling and there’s more and more and more stuff to come on this.
Thank you again for joining us and participating. I hope this was useful. I know we went pretty quickly. We will be doing more sessions on 5.2. Keep an eye out from our Customer Success team. You’ll be hearing from Samantha and team on when we’ll be doing those coming up very soon and the release dates. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, to Greg, anyone on the team. That’s it for me. Greg, back to you.