Deltek has just released Acumen 8.4. While this may look like only a ‘point release’, Deltek always offers much more than that and this software release is no different. Deltek Acumen 8.4 has some rather useful new capabilities along with a bunch of bug fixes and real performance improvements. Here’s a look at what’s in Acumen 8.4.
Risk Analysis Calculation and Display Now in Hours
The granularity of Acumen 8.4 has been improved using hours and minutes when you run Risk Analysis. This makes the risk analysis and results more accurate. With this, the Risk Exposure Chart Analysis bars can now be set to display in Hours. This is enabled under the Risk Exposure menu, clicking Configuration | Hits Bar Width | Hours.
You now also have the option to display the Risk Comparison Chart date scale in hours. Although this will change the time scale to hours, it’s important to note that the graph does not change. This is because it’s built from the cumulative results of risk analysis.
Fiscal Calendar Data
Import Fiscal Calendar Data from DCDE or a .CSV File
Deltek Acumen can now read fiscal calendar data from a DCDE file and a .csv file. In order to read the fiscal calendar data from the DCDE file, you must re-import the file. This data is now used in EVAS/DDM metrics.
Fiscal Period Metric Function
A new FISCALPERIODNUM function on the Metrics tab in the Acumen function library can return the corresponding fiscal period number for a given DateTime. The function includes two parameters:
Any date field on the object
The Project field
For example: FISCALPERIODNUM(Start, Project)
Project Server Import
Previously you selected the Server Type when you imported a Project Server project. In Acumen 8.4, the Server Type field has been moved to the Deltek Acumen Options dialog box Platforms (Microsoft) page. This ensures that you only have to select the Server Type one time and Acumen will remember the setting for each Project Server import. If you do change this setting, you will need to close Acumen and reopen it.
In addition, you can now select ‘Project Server 2016 with July 2018 update’ to enable Microsoft’s performance enhancement included in this release. This must only be used if you are already using this particular Project Server release otherwise it may have the opposite effect and cause timeouts.
Import Multiple Project Server Projects into a Single Project
Acumen 8.4 now allows you to link to and import data from multiple projects on a Project Web App (PWA) site into a single project in Acumen.
After you select the projects, you can enter a name for the single Acumen project.
After importing the projects, if you need to make a change, you can click the Original Project Name field ellipses button on the Activity Details General Tab to select alternate projects. If you make changes to the list of included projects, you need to re-import the Acumen project to see the updated contents.
Set Number of Rows Per Server Request
The Platforms (Microsoft) page on the Deltek Acumen Options dialog box now includes an option to set the number of rows per server request.
Use this option to set the number of rows that Acumen will request each time from the server. For example, if you set the number to 10, Acumen requests the first 10 rows and then goes back for 10 more, and so on.
If you set the number too high, you may get timeouts on the server. If you set the number too low, the system may become slow. The value you use depends on the performance you see with your PWA (Microsoft Server) environment.EVAS Metrics Enhancements
Previously, you could only use calculated fields to roll values up or down from one level to another. In this release, you can now use calculated fields at the same level at which they are defined. For example, if you create an activity calculated field, previously you could only use it in a control account or work package metric whereas you can now also use it in an activity metric.
This allows you to place common functionality in a calculated field and use it in several metrics. It also allows you to use functionality that was previously allowed only in formulas, in metric filters.
Physical % Complete Field
A Physical % Complete field has been added to the Acumen standard fields. For Primavera P6, it is auto-mapped to activity Physical % Complete. or Open Plan, it is auto-mapped to PPC.
For Microsoft Project, it is auto-mapped to Physical % Complete.
This new field has also been added to several EVAS metrics.
Turn Mentor Messages Off
The Acumen Mentor is designed to provide you with advice; similar to what a real-life mentor would do. In many cases this provides a safety net to minimize inaccurate results because of unreliable information.
If you no longer wish to see the mentor messages, Acumen now allows you to check the Don’t show this again option on the message box. To see the message again, you can re-enable it on the Deltek Acumen Options Mentor page.
New TimePhase Fields
The following TimePhase fields have been added to Acumen and are read from cost data (either Cobra or CSV format).
These fields are available in the CSV Template.csv file (Control Account and Work Package sections), metric filters and formulas, and as selections on the Define Columns and Detailed Report tabs.
The Logic Sensitivity vertical axis secondary label text has been renamed from Finish Variance to Project Finish Variance (calendar days) and the horizontal axis label text has been renamed from Duration Variance to Duration Variance (work days).
A UNCEFACT import now includes mappable activity WBS Code and WBS Name fields.
Acumen 8.4 has some great new features that many users will find useful. In addition, there are quite a few bug fixes in this release and the obligatory performance improvements. A few of these performance improvements address Acumen’s interaction with Project Server which if you are using, will welcome these. These include the time that it takes to import from an MSP Server file, the ability to set the number of rows per server request, etc.
Acumen 8.4 gets a solids two thumbs up and an upgrade most users will want to take advantage of!