UMT360 Blog

Blog Posts from the Leader in Enterprise Portfolio Management

Archive for 2016

New tools and techniques turn project management into strategy execution

Written by Ben Chamberlain on November 1st, 2016 at 9:45 am

Gartner

Gartner recently published its Market Guide for Strategy Execution Software. If you’re a Gartner client, you can access it here. The report speaks to the “execution gap” that many organizations are struggling with, and the main culprit seems to be a reliance on traditional tools and processes that keep project success rates stuck at around 64%.

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Release announcement: UMT360 v5.0 (Unified Release)

Written by admin on September 26th, 2016 at 1:46 pm

We’re excited to announce the availability of UMT360 v5.0, a major release supporting SharePoint 2013, 2016 and Project Online. This release includes a set of new features, as well as significant performance improvements on loading and saving financial values, and various enhancements across all product areas:

  • New features and capabilities
    • Portfolio Roadmap Views: enable rich and dynamic slicing and dicing of related portfolios and their data, with the ability to save templates as custom views
      • Timeline View
      • Impact View
      • Slicer View
    • UMT360 Milestones: ability to manage milestone repositories that function independently or can be synchronized with project plans; managing inter-dependencies at the milestone level; display milestone relationships as part of the UMT360 Roadmap Views
    • Custom granularities for financial views – the ability to use one granularity (ie. monthly) for current year and a different granularity (ie. quarterly or yearly) for future years as part of the same financial grid
  • Core financial capabilities
    • Ability to set Allocation Centers as inactive
    • Values for deleted Breakdown Financial Custom Fields get emptied  correctly
    • The Field Width Financial Custom Fields setting applies only to individual Financial Custom Fields, not to all Financial Custom Fields
    • Addresses issues with handling of Flag-type Financial Custom Fields values
    • Addressed issues when Maintain Synchronized Financial Values is unchecked and values are imported to Financial Breakdowns
    • Fixed Sync Entity Project Plan queue job error when importing values in an entity that has an Enterprise Financial Type without the Use Allocation Centers option checked;
    • Integration values mapped only on Total Node are no longer imported if the node has values on Allocation Centers
    • Fixed Value’s period must match project’s period error when saving values on a Reporting Period not fully contained by the breakdown’s timeline
    • Financial Dimension Breakdowns can be created for Sites and List items
    • Financial Dimension Breakdowns can be ordered by Start/End Date in Manage Financial Breakdowns pop-up
    • Financial Dimension Breakdowns that use a Financial Breakdown Template inherit the settings and selections of the Template
    • When the timeline is cropped for an Enterprise Financial Type that has one Budget Financial Dimension in execution, values are now correctly calculated for the Financial Dimensions that are not in execution
    • Timelines are now adjusted to the nearest working day, when the predefined Start Date/End Date fall on a non-working day
    • When Timelines are extended, the next reporting period is automatically opened (also when the last period is in the Open for Edit status)
    • The Toggle All option is now persisted in the View dialog
  • Data Exchange
    • Multi-line values and Flag Custom Fields can now be imported
    • Added the possibility to use ProjectGUID as Project Identifier
    • Custom Fields of type Number with Lookup Tables can now be updated correctly
    • Fixed Import Entity Data queue job failure when creating projects
    • The child value of a Lookup Table structure can be imported in a Financial Custom Field or Custom Field of type Text
    • Fixed issue with projects not being created and values not being imported when Import UMT360 financial information is unchecked
    • Fixed character encoding when using special characters
    • Values added at node level are now imported when % allocation is used and financial values already exist
    • Actual periods get correctly updated when Force update to a specific period option and Fiscal Calendars are used
    • Custom Fields update issues for projects which were promoted from sites or lists have been fixed
    • Fixed issues with Queue jobs failing when multiple import jobs updating the same Financial Dimension, period and node run simultaneously
  • Relationships and aggregation of financial values
    • Lookup Tables are populated correctly when project names contain commas
    • Values are cleaned from the destination project/program/portfolio when the source project involved in the relationship is deleted
    • Lookup Tables are fully and correctly populated when projects are bulk imported are deleted using Delete Enterprise Projects
    • Users are redirected correctly when clicking on a list item/site in the UMT360 Relationship web part
    • Values are aggregated even when the Enterprise Financial Type does not have an Allocation Center Template assigned
    • Fixed queue job failure when aggregating values between projects with different granularities
    • Fixed queue job failure when changing the timeline of the projects involved in relationships
  • Custom Field Mappings
    • Fixed the update mapped fields issue when fields are mapped to Forecast and the Forecast is overwritten with Actuals
    • Added a notification upon saving values informing the user there are pending operations waiting to update mapped custom fields when projects need to be checked in
  • Change Requests
    • The Last Changed time stamp is now correctly updated after editing a Change Request
    • Fixed values display in Difference when removing a node from the structure
    • Fixed the issue of Automatic Change Requests created by timeline change not getting approved
    • First save now updates Financial Custom Fields values for Breakdowns in Change Requests
    • Fixed issue with updating the value of a Financial Custom Fields in a Change Request when a project using % allocation setting enters execution without financial values
    • Improved performance on Change Request and Reporting periods approval tasks
  • UMT360 OLAP Cube
    • Added validation for Start Date field when creating a new OLAP Database;
    • Fixed issue of OLAP Cube build failure when a Project Owner no longer exists in Active Directory;
    • Addressed issues with Survey Question Scores and Snapshotted Survey Question Scores calculation
  • Security and permissions
    • Added new permissions to View Surveys
    • Setting the Manage Allocation Center Templates permission to Deny disables the Templates button in Allocation Centers page
    • The View Budget permission no longer restricts access to Manage Currency Exchange Rates and now only affects the Budget web part
    • The Edit Items permissions on lists is no longer required in order to access the Workflow Viewer web part
    • Improvements to the job that runs when an UMT360 group is synchronized with an external group
  • Portfolio Center
    • Entity Types for which the user does not have Entity Access are no longer displayed in the New dropdown list
    • Improvements to Custom Filters created for a Date type column
    • Multiple choice fields are now correctly displayed for SharePoint column of type person or group
    • List items without names can no longer be created from Portfolio Center
    • Columns with multiple lines of text columns are now correctly displayed in Portfolio Center
  • Reporting
    • Improved performance by reducing the number of calls for Update Entity for Reporting, Update Custom Fields For Reporting, Synchronize Entity Information to Reporting, Snapshot Values for Reporting, Update Entity Values For Reporting
    • Other performance, reliability and data integrity improvements
  • Push Settings
    • A new Synchronize button has been added in Entity Settings which will be used for the creation of UMT360 entities
    • Fixed Invalid entity type error displayed at Push settings for SharePoint Sites which do not have an Entity Type associated
  • Surveys
    • Survey score is now updated on changing of associated Custom Field
    • The Create/Edit Survey or Question pages are now marked as mandatory sections
    • Fixed issue with inserting characters in Selection Range fields for a multiple selection question
  • API Improvements
    • A new public API method which triggers a Data Exchange session with an existing Template has been implemented
    • Workflow Approval Tasks are now created for Change Requests submitted via the API
    • Change Request Values are now aggregated in Change Request grid when invoked via the API
    • Update Change Request Values For Reporting queue job is now triggered when a Change Request is submitted via the API;
    • Other API consistency and reliability improvements
  • Upgrade
    • The UMT360 v5.0 requires at least UM360 SP1 CU4 Build in upgrade/migration scenarios in On Premise
  • Other
    • List Workflows are now supported for UMT360 entities
    • Improvements to the Promoting Ideas functionality
    • Added the ability to  map SharePoint Site Columns not only PS Custom Fields
    • Locked budgets are no longer impacted by changes in granularity from one workflow stage to the next
    • Forecast is copied to any Budget and Forecast within the same Enterprise Financial Type
    • A new reporting period is created (Opened) only if the latest period is Approved
    • Fixed issue with values not being correctly calculated in Approved Change Request Actuals Columns
    • Improved performance and eliminated timeout when editing an Enterprise Financial Type with over 100 nodes and several Financial Dimension families
    • Fixed issue with not being able to open Excel document resulted by using Export To Excel from Manage CALs page
    • Project name get updated in UMT360 database correctly
    • New events have been exposed for Actuals Periods
    • New events have been exposed for Change Requests
    • Improved support for Fiscal Calendars for UMT360 entities based on SharePoint containers
    • CALs are now removed for users that no longer belong to a synchronized group
    • Dependencies with conditions having Custom Fields without Lookup Tables can now be created in the UMT360 Fields web part
    • Fixed the Change Calendar action when using Redistribute adjustment type

Upgrade and data migration known issues and fixes:

  • Data migration issue when upgrading from build 4.1.0701.1000 to UMT360 v5.0: provider connectivity settings cannot be read if the URL post-migration is different
    • Fix: run Set-UMT360ProviderConnectivitySettings with the same provider used on the older build before creating the new UMT360 extension
  • Configuration of UMT360 forms is lost when migrating  from versions 3.0.5112.1001 or 3.0.5218.1001 (SharePoint 2013) to UMT360 v5.0 on SharePoint 2016
    • Fix: before performing the backup of the DBs that are to be restored on a new SharePoint 2016 environment, run UMT.Upgrade.Webparts.exe -o export. The export tool can be provided upon request
  • Data migration issue when moving from an older version of UMT360 on SharePoint 2013 to UMT360 v5.0 on SharePoint 2016
    • Fix: Before migration, upgrade the 2013 environment to UMT360 v5.0 on the same platform (SharePoint 2013), and then use the upgraded DBs for the migration to UMT360 v5.0 on SharePoint 2016

Visit the UMT360 Product Version History page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download v5.0 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.

Thank you,
The UMT360 Team

UMT360 for SharePoint 2013 – Cumulative Update 7

Written by admin on August 24th, 2016 at 11:08 am

We are pleased to announce the release of the UMT360 for SharePoint 2013 (UMT360 v4.1) – Cumulative Update 7 / CU7. Cumulative Updates include all previously released public updates and private hotfixes. We strongly recommend that any patch and release is validated in a non-production environment first before being applied to production environments.

  • Core financial capabilities
    • Changed behavior to not update Financial Custom Field values when financial values are overwritten by Actuals
    • Altered behavior for the Submit button for Actuals to also force-save
    • Reset values for mapped Custom Fields when the Execution state is reset for a project
    • Improved behavior for Copy Actuals/Forecast to Budget for past/future periods when granularities are different
    • Removed stage validation that requires a Financial Timeline to be set for an Enterprise Financial Type that reaches Execution when financials values are not in used
  • Other
    • Resolved a number of issues with configuration for Views, Surveys, Relationships not being updated correctly when using the Import / Export Settings option
    • Addressed problems with the SharePoint farm backup / restore process where an UMT360 site would not be restored properly
    • Fixed UI refresh issue when using Fiscal Calendars and the Timeline is changed
    • Resolved issue with width settings for Financial Custom Fields being applied to all Financial Custom Fields rather than just the selected one
    • Resolved issues with the Is hidden condition not working properly for a multiple-line text field under specific conditions
    • Improved Queue cleanup reliability for jobs that are no longer supposed to be executed (cancelled, obsolete, etc.)
    • Improved logging for the Financial Timeline change operation
  • API and Programmability
    • Modified the Get-UMT360WebInstance method to return all UMT360 extensions if the SiteCollectionUrl parameter is not set
    • Added new public API method (ReadBreakdownValues) which allows reading Financial Breakdown values by project
    • Added new public API method (UpdateInstanceCurrency) which allows changing the default currency for a project programmatically

Visit the UMT360 Product Version History page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download CU7 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.

Thank you,
The UMT360 Team

New Pricing & Options For Microsoft PPM Cloud

Written by Margaret Wallace MPM, MCP, MCTS on August 17th, 2016 at 8:45 am

UMT360_Blog_Image_MSProject

Microsoft recently announced new pricing for its Project Cloud PPM platform. As with any pricing change, how this new plan may impact your organization depends on your particular situation. Let’s first take a look at the facts, which will help provide a clearer idea of what it could mean to you.

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UMT360 for SharePoint 2013 – Cumulative Update 6

Written by admin on July 26th, 2016 at 8:36 am

We are pleased to announce the release of the UMT360 for SharePoint 2013 (UMT360 v4.1) – Cumulative Update 6 / CU6. Cumulative Updates include all previously released public updates and private hotfixes. We strongly recommend that any patch and release is validated in a non-production environment first before being applied to production environments.

Here’s the list of fixes and improvements addressed:

  • Core Financial Capabilities
    • Adjusted UI for the Create Change Request page to better promote the use of templates
    • Added the ability to deactivate Allocation Centers no longer relevant while maintain their values
    • Change behavior to automatically apply financial settings in the workflow stage where the Financial Timeline is first set
    • Improved reliability of the Copy Financial Values to Forecast operation when re-submitting a reporting period
    • Extended the Copy Budget action to work for any Financial Dimension within an Enterprise Financial Type, not just for linked Financial Dimensions
    • Addressed issues where corrections to the invalid Financial Timeline values were not handled properly
  • Other
    • Improved reliability when upgrading from older major versions
    • Addressed issues with OLAP cubes failing when a multiline custom field has values exceeding 1024 characters or the Analysis Services serve name is long
    • Added a new API method (ReadQueueWorkItemDetails) that provides details on the affected items or errors for a Queue job
    • Improved performance for the Configure Workflow Visualization page, which would sometimes fail on large datasets
    • Removed unnecessary keyboard hotkey in the Create Change Request and Create Snapshot dialogs
    • Updated number format to use the Global Options settings for number of decimals when exporting data to Exce
    • Workflow stage settings are now correctly applied for entities promoted from SharePoint when the Financial Timeline is linked to formula-based Custom Fields
    • Addressed issues with Filter by Department not working for entities promoted from SharePoint
    • Improvements to the Queue performance and reliability
    • Addressed issues on Exporting to Excel and across some configuration pages on specific locales and language packs
    • Improved behavior for the Is Hidden condition when the UMT360 Fields web part is rendered as read-only
    • Survey scores are now properly mapped to Custom Fields for projects with a large volume of data
    • Improved identification of default Project Server / Online default permissions groups when security is set to SharePoint mode

Visit the UMT360 Product Version History page for version details.

Customers and Partners can download CU6 via the online portals on www.umt360.com.

Thank you,
The UMT360 Team