Thursday, September 25, 2008

Project Dashboards and SharePoint

If you're running more than one project at a time, you probably have more than one audience. IntelliGantt has already provided the best way for a project manager to communicate with the team, now its providing a great way to communicate with project stakeholders as well.

IntelliGantt now communicates with project dashboards from Microsoft (the Project List from the 'fabulous forty' SharePoint templates) and Bamboo Solutions (their newly released Project Portfolio Dashboard).

Here is a screencast of IntelliGantt and Bamboo in action.

What this demonstrates is the ability to use SharePoint both as a project execution tool and as a reporting tool. The real power with the reporting solution is that you don't need to be a member of the project to see the project summary.

As an example, say a company has 5 project managers each running 5 projects. With the IntelliGantt solution, each project manager can run their project with their teams AND report their progress to one central SharePoint site. When they report their progress, IntelliGantt will create a new entry in the dashboard if one doesn't exists, or update the entry that does exist. The overall goal is that once a week, those 5 project managers can keep project stake holders informed with 5 simple clicks.

We think this is a powerful solution and are happy to be working with Bamboo Solutions to bring it to you. And we expect the solution to only get better as Bamboo improves the web experience and TeamDirection improves the desktop.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IntelliGantt BETA Update

Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the inital BETA. We've tackled a lot of issues and put in our final feature-- reporting!

No screencast yet because its getting late (or early, depending on your point of view). Suffice to say if you install this release ( you will see a new menu item called... wait for it... 'Report'.

IntelliGantt will initially recognize two SharePoint reporting web parts. The first one will be from Microsoft (part of that 'fabulous forty' template pack) and the second will be from Bamboo Solutions (their new Project Dashboard).

The idea is, as a project manager, you run a project with two constituents: 1) your team and 2) your management. IntelliGantt has always been great for the team, but now you have an additional 'share and update' capability-- you can describe where to create and update project reports.

Whether you synchronize your tasks or synchronize your reports, it can be done independently. The scenario is you may work with your team all week, synchronize every hour of every day, but at the end of the week you send the report data to a SharePoint web part so others can see the current state of things without getting bogged down in the details.

Speaking of details, check our latest release page for more information on the current BETA.

Screencast coming soon!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My One Comment on the Banking Fiasco

Apparently we like to privatize profits but socialize losses. Or maybe the management of these failed financial institutions I now own a part of returned their ill-gotten gains without notifying me yet.

On the other hand, maybe I can stay at their house during the holidays.

Nothing like a new BETA release

We've been burning the midnight oil to bring the major new version of the IntelliGantt Suite to market. First up is our IntelliGantt Add In for Microsoft Project 2007. The market has shown a tremendous response to product and as a result we had an enourmous number of suggesstions to sift through. I'm pleased to say we just about got all your requests!

The BETA for version 4 of the IntelliGantt Add In for Microsoft Project is now available (we'll be updating the TeamDirection site over the weekend, you just get to see it first). Among the improvements:

1) The basic Task List, the more advanced Project Task List and the Issue List can all be used. You can even supply a SharePoint template ID and use a web part list of your creation.

2) An easy, convenient way to reassign and/or remap Microsoft Project resources to SharePoint members.

3) An IntelliGantt resource pool to help you keep track of those SharePoint members for inviting them to projects.

4) A Dashboard that rolls all your shared tasks in to one view. You can filter this dashboard view by task properties (Late Tasks, Unread Data, etc) combined with resources (who is assigned to what).

5) Enahnced Workspace Settings (was Collaboration Settings) that describe what type of tasks you want to share in addition to what fields.

6) Significantly improve Estimates and Actuals support. You can report estimates to a specific baseline to aid in project tracking. You can also report actuals such that only tasks with values will be updated.

7) Enhanced synchronization reporting-- see exactly what is being changed when you update.

8) Awesome customization. Change any menu and most any label on every IntelliGantt UI form. This can be used for Localization as well. You can even share your customizations with others.

And many, many more. One in particular we will announce just before shipping :)

If you're curious what the new version looks like check out this screencast.

If you're really curious to see it in action, you can install it. This is a ClickOnce deployment which means you receive updates automatically. One thing to note, you must be using Microsoft Project 2007 at a minimum. We are taking advantage of new APIs in the Microsoft Project 2007 package that solve issues like storing the MPP file in SharePoint, for example.

The baseline requirements are:

Microsoft Project 2007 Standard or Professional
.NET 3.5 SP1 (included in install)
.NET VSTO 3.0 SP1 (included in install)
Version 9 of the C Runtimes (include in install)

If you decide to install the beta, please make use of our feedback menu items under 'Help' and let us know what you think!