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Project and Programme Management (PPM) Release | Development Roadmap

Project and Programme Management (PPM) Release | Development Roadmap

Integrated knowledge AND project management

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).

PPM Release | What will it look like? 

Asset 01: Recent Webinar – 20-minute video describing the PPM Release

Asset 02: Detailed description through an example (project based) user story

Asset 03: Illustrative new screen designs for the PPM Release

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:

15 November 2019:

  • Interface updates (as foundation for new release):
    • new dropdown design (improved corporate look/feel)
    • new button colours (improved corporate look/feel)
    • updated off-canvas design (improved corporate look/feel)
    • repositioned buttons (consistency across application)
    • other improved design consistencies 

 

22 November 2019:

  • Add checklist progress bars to stage/theme headings
  • Improve collaborative editing – lock elements being edited by another editor to mitigate freak data loss

13 December 2019:

  • Activity Log (Stage 01)
    • Initial foundation for “Activity Log” feature
    • Capture account-wide user view access of grids/elements/cloud docs viewed/file downloads etc.
    • Available to account Architects (super admin)
  • Profile avatars to show initials if no image uploaded
  • Architects can edit any user’s profile – update images, update name, update email

 

03 January 2020:

  • Assign users to elements and checklist tasks
  • Search feature available when adding experts (improved large enterprise experience)
  • External members visually accentuated
  • Tasks allocated to a user are visually accentuated in open element view
  • Checklist tasks can only be completed by assigned user or by grid members with edit rights

 

For now, that’s as far as it makes sense to communicate a deployed date ambition.

Thereafter, the development team (rejuvenated by the holiday season) will eat away at the remainder in the following proposed order (updated dates to follow in the New Year).

Indicatively, one or two first-level new-feature bullets per fortnightly sprint.

  • Improved notifications – to include additional notification triggers (e.g. access provided, task assignment etc.)
  •  Task Log (Stage 01)
    • Available in element and grid view i.e. detailing all tasks (and their owners)
    • Expanded table view of element/grid tasks
    • Print/export functionality
  • Task Log (Stage 02)
    • “My tasks” dashboard available for all users
    • Linked to home page – also showing “Top Five” Tasks
  • Assign users to stages, themes and grids
    • Update notifications to incorporate this new assignment feature
  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 01)
    • Details grids (live projects) and assigned owners
  • Activity Log (Stage 02)
    • Introduce at element and grid level
    • Include task/element/stage/theme/grid assignment activity
  •  Assign “due dates” to checklist tasks
    • Updated notification functionality to incorporate this
    • Date displayed on task/element/stage/grid
  • Task Log (Stage 03)
    • Include “due dates” on all task logs
    • Task Log column filter
    • “What’s new in last 7 days?” filter available
    • Include task status (overdue, open, closed)
  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 02)
    • Grid “due dates” displayed
  • New element display rule options
    • Element overdue
    • Task overdue
    • All tasks complete
  • Task log (Stage 04)
    • Schedule “due dates” to tasks in Task Log view
    • Bulk assign users to tasks in expanded table view
  • Checklist tasks evidence linking
    • Assign task to “Evidence required” attribute
    • “Evidence required” task can only be completed with uploaded link
    • Ability to download evidenced files
    • Update notification feature set to incorporate
  • Manually set grid, stage and element “due dates”
    • Notifications updated to reflect
  • Assign “flags” to grids, stages, elements and tasks
    • Executive dashboard updated to incorporate flags
    • Notifications updated to reflect
  • Assign RAG status to grid
    • Executive dashboard updated to incorporate grid RAG status
    • Notifications updated to reflect
  • Set checklist task reminders
    • Set reminder in “My Tasks” view
    • Set reminder in element view
    • Notifications updated to reflect
  • Introduce “master” grid concept and ability to archive grids
    • Ability to toggle on/off master grids in dashboard views
    • Ability to archive grids (grid info pane)
    • Improved grid thumbnail presentation (to show flag, owner, due date, status)
  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 03)
    • All data filters
    • Full “Drill down” functionality
    • Full grid info (flag, status etc)
  • Activity Log (Stage 03)
    • All edit-based activity reported
  • Checklist Task Flow – ability to enforce “flow down”
  • Checklist Task – ability to configure recurring tasks
  • Grid Information Pane – ability to build bespoke information dashboard (with information widgets)
  • Task log (Stage 05)
    • Graphical overview at top of task table
    • “My Elements” view available also
  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 04)
    • Graphical overview at top of account-wide grid table

Phew!

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 incrementally improve over these coming 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!

 

 

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