Tuesday, July 31, 2012 3:41:53 AM
- Sometimes Approvals failed to complete if the server load is too high, causing the approved Document to remain in Drafts and not get issued automatically. Failed approval workflows are now re-scheduled to be executed at a later time, and the system will retry several times until the workflow completes.
- Sometimes Global Changes did not work because of a failure in SharePoint Batch Updates. Now the system no longer uses this type of process.
- When trying to select Related Documents, the picker displayed error "No exact match".
- Document History was not displayed sometimes.
Enhancements and New Features
The notification system gets completely redesigned in the new version:
- Task Assignees get email when they are assigned to a new Task. Similarly, Project Owners and Project Admins get a notification when they are assigned to a Project. They will also get notified when they are removed from the assignees and they are no longer responsible for the Task or Project
- Task Assignees get a summary email with a link to all of their Overdue Tasks (if they have such). The frequency of this email can be set to daily; weekly on a given day; or it can be disabled.
- Project Owners and Admins get a summary email if there are Overdue tasks in any of their Projects.
- For important Tasks, certain users can be subscribed to receive notifications each time a Task is edited, so they can stay informed as the work progresses. Task Assignees will also receive these emails. This is similar to SharePoint’s AlertMe notifications, but with the added convenience of the Project Category set-up.
- Phase Responsible will receive a one-time email when all Tasks in that Phase have been completed. This is also helpful if a Project Owner needs to keep track of the progress of her Project
When setting up a Project or doing some reorganization or scheduling, you may want to disable sending email notifications until you are done. We have put a setting for this in the Project properties – “Temporarily disable email notifications” for this Project. However, this does not apply to the weekly digests – so when a person has overdue Tasks, they will still be made aware of it.
Brand New Task Manager
We have replaced the list of tasks with a new grid, powered by the world-class components of Telerik. The new Task Manager allows in-place edits of Task fields, similar to working with Excel or MS Project. You no longer have to open each task in a different page in order to modify the project schedule. Task fields can be edited right into the grid. You can also edit multiple tasks simultaneously and save them all at once.
Project Plan and Project Category
Adding new features over the time has made the Project and Task forms long and hard to navigate. We have addressed this issue by grouping all fields into different sections, and displaying only those fields which the user needs to work with. For example, Task Assignees can now only update the Task with their work in progress, but cannot re-schedule it.
This is also part of our revised security model, which aims to prevent user mistakes.
Revised Security Model
- Task Assignees can update tasks assigned to them, but only a limited set of fields is available. A Task Responsible cannot delete a Task assigned to them. The full set of fields, including Auto-Scheduling, is available to the Project Owner and Admins, and also to the person who assigned the Task.
- Task Assignees can create sub-tasks. In this way, they can get other people to assist them with their work.
- Person who assigned the task (Task Owner) gets full control over the task
- Project Owners and Admins can create Tasks in their own Project, but not in other Projects. They get full control over the Tasks in their Project, and they also have full control over the Project itself.
Part of the newly designed forms is a section titled “Project Settings”. It provides settable options per project, as opposed to Site Settings which apply to all projects.
- Approval availability for Tasks: Required, Optional or Disabled. If Approval is required, the task cannot be closed without completing the approval. If Approval is disabled, the “Request Approval” button is not displayed
- Auto-schedule tasks (default for new tasks)
- Auto-adjust duration (default for new tasks)
- Temporarily disable notifications – when doing project scheduling and organization, you may turn this on to prevent unwanted email
- Auto-calculate % Completed for Project – before the update, this was settable only in Site Settings, which affected all projects. Now it can be set independently in each Project
The settings for Approval and the Email Notification Matrix will be dropped from the Site Settings page, as they are now considered deprecated.
Approval for Tasks and Phases
We have redesigned the Approval system in ProjectQuest to match GQI's latest Approval Workflows.
Approval for Project Tasks can be required, optional or disabled. If it is set to ‘required’, it means that final approval must be done when the work is completed, before the Task can be closed.
The same holds true for Phases (or gates), which are now very similar to Tasks. We have deprecated the ‘Phase Review’ feature in favor of the new Approval System. When all Tasks in a Phase have been completed, an email notification is sent to the Phase Responsible. They can then ‘request approval’ for the Phase, which is in fact doing a Phase Review.
We have implemented a Quick Approval page for Project Tasks, similar to the feature in DocuQuest. It enables approvers to quickly review and complete all of their pending approval requests, without having to navigate to each Project and Task separately.
The Quick Approval page shows a list of Tasks that are pending approval from the current user. The approver can select multiple tasks with checkboxes and click ‘Approve’ or ‘Reject’.
The Project Team feature now includes a new View page, which shows the default team as set in System Controls and the current Project Team. The latter includes all personnel assigned to the Project and Tasks.
There is an option to send email to the whole Project Team or selected team members. The email capability includes rich text and attachments. Email addresses of the Team members can also be copied to an email client such as Outlook.
Other Enhancements and Bug Fixes
- Hard Deadline: a new field is introduced for Tasks and Phases that have a hard date, for example a client deadline or other important milestone. This date is fixed and does not move with the project schedule. The Hard Deadline is displayed with a red milestone icon in the Gantt Chart.
- Improvements in the Gantt Chart and ability to print the chart
- 'Lag Time' now accepts both positive and negative values, so the next Task can start earlier or later then the completion of the current Task.
- ‘Overdue’ column in Tasks list. The SharePoint list of Tasks can be filtered to show only tasks which are ‘Overdue’ or ‘Coming Due’. It will also show as a visual cue – orange icon for Coming Due and red icon for Overdue tasks.
- ‘Task Description’ and ‘Notes’ are now rich text fields in the Task page. This allows formatting of text and hyperlinks, and also inserting images inline in the Task. For example, you can put links to documents which reside on a local server.
- Auto-populate the following fields when the task is completed: % Completed, Status, Date Completed. Sometimes users may forget to set all three fields when they complete a Task. If one of the fields is set, the system will populate the other two automatically.
- Project Team is included in the Excel export. The Excel workbook contains different sheets for Project Properties, Project Team, Tasks list, and the Gantt Chart.
- Project Category column is now filterable in Projects View
- Project Tasks button in Project Plan – opens the SharePoint list of Tasks filtered for the current project
- ‘All Tasks’ button in left navigation menu
- Bug: Some pickers were not working due to incompatibility introduced by the new version of SharePoint 2007 – Service Pack 3.
- Bug: Gantt Chart dates should not be required. If no dates are selected by the user, the Gantt Chart will show the Start and End dates of the selected Tasks / Project
- Bug: The Gantt chart displayed badly when no dates were entered for any of the Tasks in a Project
- Bug: Emails for Project Team assignment were sometimes being sent even if the option was unchecked
New Features and Enhancements
- Problem list view now includes Problem ID (Number) as selectable column
- Problems list is sorted by date descending on new installations
- The Problem Add submenu was removed from the left navigation menu, as it became too cluttered since the addition of several new Problem Types
- Tooltip that lists what is required for closure. Problem and Resolution forms now show a tooltip that lists all child records (Tasks, Costs, Disposition items, etc.) that need to be created and completed, before the current record can be Closed. These may be required by the Problem/Resolution settings or there may be open records that need to be completed.
- Related Record column is now available in the Tasks list. This column can be used to filter, group, sort, etc. the list of Tasks by their parent Problem or Resolution.
- Related Record field is included in the email notifications for Tasks
- Changed the order of lists (Counter Measures, Containments, Dispositions) in the Containment-Disposition form to better match the workflow.
- Made some field changes to avoid confusion in the CVA Task form. Now, each CVA Task has Interim Determination of the cause verification, while the Cause form displays the Final CVA Conclusion.
- Added tooltips to the CVA Task form to remind the user to update the Final CVA Conclusion in the Cause form: When all activities are completed, please update the final CVA conclusion.
- Containment activities are now presented as separate line items in the Containment-Disposition form, with Type and Quantity for each line item.
- Approval on the Disposition items can now be set to Required, Optional or Disabled.
New fields in the Problem form
- Problem / Defect Category - select from a list in System Controls. Can be used to group Problems into different categories based on the company needs.
- Suspected vs. Actual Quantity - two new fields in the Problem Details.
- Repeated Problem? - Yes or No.
New PRR record types
- Non-Product Problem
- Potential Problem
- Preventive Action Report (PAR) Resolution
- Preventive Action Activity (PAA) Task;
Batch Printing for related PRR records
PRR Problems and all of their related records (Resolutions, Tasks, Costs, etc.) can be printed as a single document using the new Print feature. Printing can be initiated from any page in PRR, and users can select only the records that they need to print.
A powerful template system for PRR allows complete automation of the creation of PRR Records. A PRR Problem with all required Resolutions and Tasks can be created with a single click of a button by copying from a template. Problem Types will still be used whenever different fields and different workflow are required for the Problem forms.
Causal Analysis Export
Ability to export PRR data in different formats using Excel templates. This allows the creation of documents, such as a Global 8D form, in a customizable format to meet the client requirements. An Excel document is auto-populated with existing information from PRR records - minimizing the effort to create such documents and avoiding manual data entry.
New security level is introduced - Problem Owner Workflow Role. Users with that role see the “Save & Continue” button when reporting a new Problem, and are able to edit all fields in the Problem form. They can also assign a Problem Profile and create the Profile records using the automated system. The addition of this workflow role intends to move Personnel away from the PRRQuest Owner access level, which gives too much access and should now be reserved only for power users. The other security levels remain as is.
- Sometimes the system sent an incorrect email notification when creating a Draft record
- Record History field is now removed from all New and Edit forms, because the field is read-only. The field is now displayed only in the View page.
- Sometimes the dashboard of Records Requiring Attention incorrectly displayed Closed records.
- When Re-Inspection Results is required, the user could still close the Containment-Disposition Resolution. Now, if Re-Inspection is not completed, the system prevents the Resolution from closure.
- The email subject was repeated twice on some email notifications.