At HarmonyPSA we have been working on another major release to bring you new features and fixes. The features included in this release will be linked to documentation on our help site. You will be able to access the full list of releases through here.
Funds replaced by Block Purchases
We have completely redefined the way pre-payment functionality works in HarmonyPSA. This new approach to funds has greatly simplified the process of dealing with pre-purchased time or services and retainers without losing any existing functionality. A complete overview of this new functionality can be found here.
We have introduced the pre-purchases as blocks, which can be purchased on an ad-hoc or recurring basis. Once purchased they can be used with pre-defined rates on the rate card to offset against any invoices when released for billing. The newly introduced block purchase approach allows you to use these pre-purchases with a time limit. Therefore, the customers will have to use these by the expiry date or they will be automatically consumed.
Furthermore, the blocks have the ability to be topped up on an ad-hoc or recurring auto top-up basis. In order to create auto top-ups, you must configure a product with the correct sales terms. The sales basis and the sales unit have to be the same as the block that needs to be topped up. You can also top up blocks using a new quote or with the contract. More information regarding topping up block purchases can be found here.
We have also included numerous ways for our customers to access reports on block purchases in Harmony PSA One of these reports is the T&M billing position report which tells you across customers where your current T&M billing stands with regards to what will be invoiced and what will be offset against blocks. This shows time bookings that are not released yet, grouped by contract and how many of those will be offset against a block, as of when you view it (current day). This report can be found on Reports > Time > T&M Billing Position.
A list of all of your pre-purchased block purchases can be accessed through Finance > Activity > Block Purchases. The report will show the total amount of pre-purchased units in the contract and what is left unused on the block. The Unused column is what was not offset in terms of usage.
The running balance of a Block can now be easily seen from Tickets and Timesheets without having to visit the Activity > Block purchases page. The running balance displayed in two different values; 'Pending Charges' and 'Available Block'. This can be found in the Tickets 'Relationships' section and on the Timesheets page next to each contract name. You will be able to find more information regarding all of these reporting methods here.
Capacity Management and Work Planning
The new Gantt (both the Company Gantt and Project Gantt) is a completely reworked tool allowing direct manipulation and re-planning of work items, and viewing of those changes against team and even individual utilisation. You will be able to visit the company Gantt through Activity > Calendars > Company Gantt. The company Gantt will allow you to plan your days, weeks or months in advance with regards to demand for people’s time versus the capacity for the supply of people. The full walk-through can be read here.
For team utilisation figures to appear, staff need to have a percentage of their time allocated to the teams they are a member of for planning against. Less than 100% of a user's time can be allocated to teams leaving a reserve of free, unplanned time for the user. One staff member can be added to more than one team and their time can be distributed throughout the teams by assigning a percentage of time per team. For example, X person can be in 1st line and 2nd line teams. He or she would have 35% percentage of time for the 1st line while 65% as a percentage of time for the 2nd line.
Now project managers will be able to second team members' available time to other teams. Use the secondments to temporarily move resources from one team to another. Users can have their time allocation to teams 'seconded' to other teams for a defined period. This enables staff to temporarily cover absences for other staff or be seconded to project teams, and this immediately affects the utilisation figures, perhaps meaning work items need to be re-planned. User Absences affect the capacity of the teams as well as secondments into and out of teams. More information about teams and secondments can be found here.
The recommended usage for the capacity planner is to assign work items to teams with a large forward horizon, and only allocate these to individuals on a short forward horizon.
If you would like to be able to switch to view individual forward capacity rather than teams, in the current release you need to limit allocations to work items to a single person by enabling 'Allow Single Allocation To Work Items' in Operations > Setup > Tickets > General. However the capacity planning should possibly be used at Team level in any case to reduce the amount of work for the planner, and the fragility of plans.
New Team Scheduler
The team scheduler has been replaced with a different component which is more readable and easier to use. The new Team scheduler can be found in Operation > Activity> Calendars > Team Schedule. This is used to review and schedule a team’s time quickly and effectively. You can create events or actions and easily move or clone them between team members. You can create events or actions simply by right-clicking on the selected date. The ability to switch between timeline and standard calendar view is also included for increased usability.
When you create events, you will be asked to select a ‘location’ for it. This location is used to navigate and map the journey from the staff members' branch location. The travel time can also be added when creating an event which will highlight the entered travel time on the team schedule. A detailed article about the team scheduler functionality can be found here.
Time Booking Review
HarmonyPSA v4.17 now allows users to review your time bookings before they are released for billing. This allows the users to check if the charges and bookings are correct before finalising the booking to create invoice lines. Therefore, the booking review stage acts as a final audit stage for the bookings. This feature also allows a group of bookings to be billed as one single invoice line.
You can simply select the rows that need to be reviewed and select 'Mark As Reviewed'. This will send the selected item to the 'Reviewed Bookings' page. On the 'Reviewed Bookings' page, you will be able to validate the amount of billable and non-billable hours booked. Furthermore, you will also be able to clearly analyse the number of units that will and will not be offset against the blocks before they are billed. If you are happy with the booking you can select 'Bill All Bookings Reviewed By Me'. This will be sent to Tasks > Invoices > Un-assigned Invoices.
However, if you do not want to send the bookings to be billed, you can simply select them from the table under 'Bookings Reviewed By Me' and select 'Mark As Un-reviewed'. More information regarding this feature can be found here.
More Uses for Work Items
Work Items can now be used more readily throughout the application and are now a first class citizen within Harmony PSA. Work Items are used to plan work activities where there is an estimated effort, and planned dates.
These are used where you know there is a certain number of hours required but you do not necessarily care what hours. In other words, this is not a calendar entry, it is a workload to be done at some point over a number of days.
You are now able to 'Quick Create' Work Items through the quick create drop-down menu. They can now be created against Rate Contracts and Schedules as well as Projects unlike in previous versions where you were limited to just projects. When processing a sales order, you get the option to create a Work Item per order line at time of processing. You will be able to tick the box which will create a work item and automatically create a staged payment on the project. A dependency between the staged payment and the work item will be applied when the 'Release Billing When Complete' tick box is selected. This means, when the work item is completed the staged payment will be ready to bill. The latest version will also allow the cloning of a ticket to a work item.
Harmony PSA now integrates directly with Continuum, supporting ticket passing and synchronisation, device import and customer synchronisation. When configured correctly the integration will allow the users to import assets and customers from Continuum. Harmony PSA can also create tickets and ticket updates from Continuum using the Callback URL. You can also create customers, send tickets and ticket updates from Harmony PSA.
As always if you have any questions or issues please get in touch.
The Harmony Team
About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. Follow HarmonyPSA on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website