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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:

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 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 

See feature update blog.

 

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 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

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 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

See feature update blog.

 

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 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

See feature update blog.

 

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 17 January 2020:

  • Improved notifications – to include additional notification triggers (e.g. access provided, task assignment etc.)

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 24 January 2020:

  •  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

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 31 January 2020:

  • Task Log (Stage 02)
    • “My tasks” dashboard available for all users

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 14 February 2020:

  •  Assign “due dates” to checklist tasks
    • Updated notification functionality to incorporate this
    • Date displayed on task/element/stage/grid
    • Updated home page – showing “Top Five” Tasks
  • Ability to send instantaneous “nudges” to task owners – reminding them of the task

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 21 February 2020:

  • 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)
  • Task nudge notification

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 06 March 2020:

  • Assign users to stages, themes and grids
    • Update notifications to incorporate this new assignment feature

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 13 March 2020:

  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 01)
    • Details grids (live projects) and assigned owners
  • Executive Dashboard (Stage 02)
      • Grid “due dates” displayed
  • Activity Log (Stage 02)
    • Introduce at element and grid level
    • Include task/element/stage/theme/grid assignment activity

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 27 March 2020:

  • New element display rule options
    • Element overdue
    • Task overdue
    • All tasks complete

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 09 April 2020:

  • Task log (Stage 04)
    • Schedule “due dates” to tasks in Task Log view
    • Bulk assign users to tasks in expanded table view
    • Elements updated with due date (taken from latest task due date)

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 24 April 2020:

  • 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

See feature update blog.

SCHEDULED > 07 May 2020; DEPLOYED > 17 May 2020

  • Manually set grid, stage and element “due dates”
    • Notifications updated to reflect

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED – BACK ON SCHEDULE! > 22 May 2020:

  • Assign “flags” to grids, stages, elements and tasks
    • Executive dashboard updated to incorporate flags
    • Notifications updated to reflect

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 05 June 2020:

  • Assign RAG status to grid
    • Executive dashboard updated to incorporate grid RAG status
    • Notifications updated to reflect

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED TO SCHEDULE > 12 June 2020:

  • Set checklist task reminders
    • Set reminder in “My Tasks” view
    • Set reminder in element view
    • Notifications updated to reflect

See feature update blog.

DEPLOYED > 21 July 2020:

  • 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)

See feature update blog.

UPDATE @ 21 July 2020:

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!).

See feature update blog.

UPDATE @ 26 September 2020:

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

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 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!

 

 

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