Project and Programme Management (PPM) Release | Development Roadmap
Project and Programme Management (PPM) Release | Development Roadmap
Integrated knowledge AND project management
Dom Moorhouse wrote this on November 7, 2019
Talk about a journey!
From the first whiteboard session that sketched out the basic concept for Method Grid, through to early private beta iterations and our first paying clients, there hasn’t been a week where the solution has stood still.
It’s this aspect of the product-based entrepreneurial adventure that we love the most: the observation of, and dialogue with, our growing community of real-world users.
This dynamic has always sat at the heart of our agile development mindset and has led to the incremental evolution of a solution that no one mind could ever have predicted all those years ago.
We now stand at another major milestone on this path.
The starting point of which was the comprehensive user survey back in the summer – see results here.
The findings reinforced what we were seeing in practice. Once organisational leaders (and it does need leadership!) have grasped the benefit of systematically investing in the build of structured, repeatable playbooks (methodologies, service propositions, operating procedures, training syllabi etc.) then it is a small leap-of-logic to use such “grids” as the basis for organising consistent delivery and quality assurance of such practice.
In simple terms, a powerful challenge was agitated by our users: to make Method Grid a platform for integrated knowledge AND project management.
With that goal framed, we have spent the last few months holistically designing how this major new release should work – as led by our talented UX designer (Tom Knights) and in close conversation with many of you (a huge thanks to everyone who has contributed – this is truly a design shaped and refined by a hundred minds).
The following assets describe this release through the device of a typical Method Grid user situation: a professional service firm using developed, structured intellectual property (e.g. a client service methodology) to project manage these services to a real-world client commission.
The description also focuses on distinct user avatars: firm executives (seeking dashboard overview), project leads (seeking easy project set up and assurance oversight), project team members (seeking productivity enablement) and, as required, external project members (say, an end-client seeking visibility on engagement progress).
These will give you a sense of the work needed to get to this point: the starting gate for this new – and very exciting – set of features.
PPM Release | Development Roadmap | When will we see these new features?
By common request, you now want to know when these features will appear.
This blog seeks to answer that question but before doing so, a reminder as to how the (lean but perfectly formed) development team works here at Method Grid HQ.
Essentially, we subscribe fully to the agile school of software development. Whilst, with this release, we very much needed to have a formed sense of the “big picture” (how it will all fit together), we always seek to then develop fast-paced, incremental benefit for our users.
Typically, we work to a fortnightly “sprint” duration – deploying upgrade releases with no disruption to our user community i.e. they just happen in the background. We communicate this regular stream of updates in our “Product News” blog stream.
To this end, many of you will be pleased to receive our next release: the ability for professional users to enjoy single-sign-on (SSO) in integration with their own common-place, corporate active directories (Microsoft and Okta initially).
With SSO almost out of the door and the high-level PPM design “locked down”, the development team are now raring to go with this major piece of work.
Following Monday’s full-team sprint planning session, we can now communicate the following major new release (target deployment) plan:
DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 15 November 2019:
Interface updates (as foundation for new release):
new dropdown design (improved corporate look/feel)
After nearly eight-months of solid release development – maintaining this ambitious, fortnightly-release schedule – we are going to take a short operational pause from the PPM development roadmap for 4-5 weeks. The reason for this is that there are a number of infrastructural improvements and core solution updates we want to make ahead of this final tranche of PPM feature build. We have also agreed that our (brilliant) development team can take a short summer holiday! 🙂
Thereafter, the development team will continue to eat away at the remainder in the following proposed order:
DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 04 September 2020:
Task Comments – this was not part of our original roadmap vision – so thanks to all of our users who suggested this (and emphasised its value – now added as a priority item!).
Following a recent team “summit”, we have decided to take another short break from the PPM roadmap.
Essentially, we want to improve the initial “day one” experience for all of our new users. This has long been an aspect of the solution we have known we need to improve and now – with the growing number of sign-ups – we really can’t wait any longer to address this part of the user journey.
So, for a short period, our development effort will focus on this new user experience; for example, with improved guidance as to how to get going, guided steps that provide the most useful initial grid content.
As soon as this aspect is improved – over next 2-4 weeks – then we will return to the main effort of product development i.e. continue our fortnightly sprints through the following.
We will update scheduled dates at the point of recommencement.
Sprint scheduling to follow for final backlog items:
Executive Dashboard (Stage 03)
Additional data filters
Full “Drill down” functionality – from portfolio grid view – to selected grid’s elements – to element’s tasks
Ability to update grid information in this view (e.g. status updates)
Dashboard views fo “all tasks” and “all elements” at the account level
Task log (Stage 05)
Graphical management information overview at the top of task table
“My Elements” view available also
Executive Dashboard (Stage 04)
Graphical management information (portfolio) overview at top of account-wide grid table
Grid information pane – ability to build bespoke (grid level) information dashboard (with information widgets)
Checklist Task Flow – the ability to enforce logical “flow down” within checklist task lists
Checklist Task – the ability to configure recurring tasks
Activity Log (Stage 03)
All edit-based activity within the solution to be logged
That is a lot of work ahead of us.
Hopefully this helps give you an understanding of how you can expect to see Method Grid continue to improve over coming weeks and months.
If this direction of travel excites you (the unique integration of knowledge and project management!) then you can sign up here to join us on the exciting journey!