If you missed this years Deltek Insight virtual conference, you will have also missed the Cobra Roadmap 2021 news regarding the future goodies that will be on offer in Deltek’s up and coming release of Cobra 8.4, due out somewhere near the end of this year.
In response to the pandemic, Deltek offered the first ever virtual live Insight event, free to all those who wanted to attend. It included the same events that you would expect from a live on-premises event as in years past, but this time everything could be accessed via online meetings. Among these events was a presentation by Deltek’s Sr. Product Manager Kathy Boatwright titled “Cobra and wInsight Analytics Roadmap”, in which Kathy takes you through some of the new and exciting features on offer in the next iteration of Cobra.
If you did sign up for Insight 2020, then you will still have access to recordings of the various sessions presented at the event. So, you could feasibly check out for yourself the new features and capabilities of Cobra in that format until the end of this calendar year.
If you don’t have access to Insight recorded sessions, then read on, because we do and can offer you here some of the highlights as outlined in Kathy’s presentation and Deltek’s Cobra Roadmap 2021.
The first order of business is to talk about the addition of 11 more code places, bringing the number of possible codes for a control account, work package, or resource assignment from 9 to 20 codes.
The current limit for codes is 9, as has been the case for many years. We can only imagine that one of Deltek’s customers must have used up all the codes and requested an increase. Whatever the reason, it’s a good call and further increases the potential power and flexibility of the system.
In all other respects the codes offer the identical capabilities of the previous 9 codes and can be assigned to control accounts, work packages, and resource assignments in the same way as always.
All codes can be added to the tables views as columns, can be sorted, filtered, and used in reports. In addition, they can be grouped in the table view and summarized in the Time-phase area.
Coded Ranges in Cobra Forecasting
Okay forecast heads, you’re gonna love this one: coded ranges are a way to use multiple forecast methods in a single forecast class. Huh? How on earth does that work? So glad you asked. According to Kathy, some Deltek customers have be calculating different forecasts on a single project, and then using Reclass to combine these methods into a single forecast for reporting.
While this works, it does require a lot of steps. So, imagine if you could do this based upon code values within a single forecast class. You can call out a different code value and assign a different method whenever Cobra encounter a control account or work package (depending on the level as which you capture actual costs). In the example below, you can see different locations are being used as the example, but of course you can use any code and value set you wish to create.
One more nice to have that we need to share with you. Evidently, sometimes it is possible for Cobra to end up with both forecast values and actual costs to exist in the current period. This will cause an overstated EAC value. Cobra now makes sure that if there are forecast and actual costs in the current period: i.e. the forecast process has not yet been run; then Cobra will not report the forecast values. This solves that overstated EAC issue.
You will now be able to report on multiple projects without the need to create a master project. In the example below you can see a Project column to the far left. Rumor has it that this is achieved through an additional dialog in the report wizard that appears if you opt to include multiple projects on a report. We look forward to trying this out and sharing it with you all when it’s released.
Reports can now include Non-resource loaded control accounts and work packages, so even those with no budget values can be included in a report.
To wrap up, there are a few other enhancement items that will be helpful for many of you I’m sure. These include:
- Web Services Enhancements
- Saved Sort Order in Views
- Allow changing EVT on a work package during integration
- Primavera P6 19.12 support has now been added to the integration supported versions list
So, it looks like there are a few exciting things to look out for when Deltek Cobra goes GA (General Availability) on version 8.4. We will definitely be checking it out as fast as we can download and install the media. We haven’t got the inside track on an exact date for the release. Kathy’s Cobra Roadmap 2021 did suggest a Q4 2020 release, and there has been a history of releasing Cobra right at the back end of the year. With just days to spare, let’s see if they are going to be true to form this time.
As always, we’ll be back with an article once we get our grubby mitts on a version and start beating on it a little for the purposes of your education and entertainment. Until then my fellow Cobra peeps, this is the Cobra guy signing off.