Last week, Deltek released its latest version of PM Compass 8.1. There are some welcome new features, particularly for Primavera P6 users, which includes improved integration with P6. Let’s take a look at what’s in this release for you.
Primavera P6 Integration
PM Compass 8.1 now supports Primavera P6 as a scheduling tool for entering and approving schedule progress. This allows multiple people to enter schedule progress, have it approved, and update the P6 project using an automated process you can schedule to occur without user intervention.
The benefits of integrating Primavera P6 with PM Compass 8.1 include:
- The CAM or project manager can view and report schedule data in PM Compass that is related to their work
- You can identify users to enter and approve progress in PM Compass 8.1
- You can set scheduled alerts to create progress entries and send notifications to let users know that they have to enter or approve progress
- You can run schedule and resource traceability reports to help ensure alignment between your costs and schedule
- You can view a barchart of the P6 schedule from within PM Compass 8.1
Mapping Primavera P6 Fields
When the Primavera P6 integration is run, the standard fields such as early dates, and so on are automatically loaded. User Defined Data is used to specify additional fields in your schedule that are used to identify the control account, work package, and other important information needed to progress your schedules.
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in Primavera P6 is automatically mapped to the Code 1 field in PM Compass. You can use User Defined Data to map additional fields to fields in PM Compass.
You can use the Activity Notes table to specify which P6 notebook topic is available for editing while in Enter Schedule Progress.
Projects Schedule Integration Tab
After you enter valid Primavera P6 credentials in System Settings, you can select Primavera P6 as the scheduling tool on the Project Schedule Integration tab. When you associate a Primavera P6 project with a PM Compass project, you can select the projects baseline or an alternate project to use as baseline.
There is a new Steps tab on the Enter Schedule Progress Form and in the Schedule Analysis View. The tab is only visible when the project, or sub-project, is linked to a Primavera P6 schedule.
Dedicated Process Queue
The P6 Integration queue is a dedicated queue that processes the Primavera P6 integration jobs. It is automatically added to the PM Compass 8.1 Process Server’s list of Default Process Queues during a full or upgrade installation. When you have a dedicated queue, it is easier to view the queue and see if any of the processes fail. Also, it’s easy to have the processes run on a different server and it allows you to specify how many processes run at once.
Support for Master Projects
PM Compass 8.1 now supports master projects. A master project is like a shell project that contains many sub-projects. It allows you to work with any number of projects as if they were a single entity. A master project includes the project properties and allows you to validate sub-projects. but does not contain any data.
- Show Master Projects in Project List View – when you make a master project visible in PM Compass, you should select the check box in the Sub-project Visible column to make the master project sub-projects visible
- Show Master Projects in Search – if you select a master project in Project Search, when you run one of the above reports, data for all sub-projects related to the selected master project displays on the report
- Workflow Dashparts and Master Projects – when you add a workflow dashpart to your dashboard and select a master project in the Global search, all of the workflows with projects that are in the master project display
- Master Project Reporting – The Workflow List report now supports master projects. If you select a master project in Project Search, when you run the report, data for all sub-projects related to the selected master project displays on the report. Reports using master projects use the master calendar
Like most releases, Deltek have incorporated several time-saving navigation enhancements to help users navigate and find their work. Here’s a couple that should please most users.
- Enter/Approve Schedule & Cost Progress – you can now access progress for Master Projects to update across all your assigned projects
- My Schedule Analysis/My Cost Analysis – you can now analyze activities and work packages assigned to you
Ease of Use Improvements
- Bar Charts enhanced – added to Schedule and Cost Analysis Views & Dashparts. The new Schedule Analysis view barchart displays scheduling information for activities based on data in the Schedule Analysis grid. The new Cost Analysis barchart displays baseline, forecast, and earned value progress information for control accounts and work packages based on data in the Cost Analysis grid.
- Select a Different Bar Set for Each Project – you can now create bar sets that you want to use on the project barchart that displays in the Schedule/Cost Analysis view, on the Schedule/Cost Analysis dashpart, and in the Change Details view
- Create Custom Bar Sets – You can use the Bar Sets form to set the types and colors of bars that display on the barchart in the Schedule/Cost Analysis View
- Project List View Enhancements – Select Columns to Display – You can now select the columns that you want to display in the Project List View grid
- Color Banding Added – in addition to viewing color banding in cost analysis and cost progress, PM Compass 8.1 now uses color banding to indicate how metrics in the Project List View should be colored to ascertain whether a control account is doing well or having a problem. The color codes are defined based on Thresholds
Reporting is a key component of PM Compass and the reports extend the analysis capability provided by views such as Cost Analysis. They also provide a mechanism for presenting workflow, cost, schedule, and performance information in printed reports or dashboard views with a high degree of configurability.
- PM Compass reports can be emailed or saved as Word, Excel, or PDF documents. You can give users complete access to reports with the full array of options available, or you can limit user access to pre-configured reports prepared by the PCA or project administrator.
- Reports are a key component of dashboard content and you can render any report in a dashpart. Built-in features enhance the performance and use of reports in dashboards. Here’s what’s new in the reporting department of PM Compass 8.1:
- New Portfolio Report – this report can be used to analyze the total or at complete values by cost set and/or result. The Options dialog box allows you to select the cost sets and results that display in the columns. This report is also useful when analyzing custom cost sets.
- Deleting Stale Archived Reports – When you create a report archive, you determine how many hours the archive should remain in the database using the Archive Report dialog box. The new Delete Expired Archive Reports scheduled process runs nightly and deletes any old archive reports.
- Report Search Dialog remembers Display Type Selection – previously, when you opened the report search dialog box, it defaulted to the Standard display type. Now in PM Compass 8.1, when you select a display type and run a search and then reopen the search dialog box, PM Compass remembers your display type selection until you exit the Reports view.
Work Authorization Export – Support for Earned Value Analysis Systems (EVAS)
Use the Work Authorization Export feature to export the latest authorized dates and costs resulting from Work Authorization and Change Management workflows in PM Compass 8.1.
You can use the export file as an import file to other systems, such as Deltek Acumen for use in Earned Value Analysis Systems (EVAS) metric tracking. In Acumen, this data is used to evaluate whether control account baseline costs, hours, and dates are the same as the authorized values, or if related tasks fall within the authorized dates.
The data exported is similar to the Work Authorization report. You select workflow types such as the Initial Work Authorization and the Budget Change Request, and the last published workflow for each control account in the selected project is exported to an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet includes columns such as the workflow ID, title, control account ID, baseline dates, and the total hours and dollars. The control account scope is included if the last published selected workflow includes the Statement of Work memo field like the Initial Work Authorization workflow form.
PM Compass 8.1 is a solid release with Primavera P6 users benefiting from the integration features and opens up PM Compass’ capabilities to a large P6 community. Not to be forgotten is the Work Authorization Export which Deltek Acumen users will be very interested in. This release also adds some nice improvements for existing users who will, no doubt, welcome them.