We are glad to kick start 2020 with the announcement of our most anticipated and feature rich version so far. Harmony PSA Version 4.20 includes the following changes and added features explained in this article.
Tasks are renamed to Activities
In Harmony v4.20, Tasks are now known as Activities. You can find the change of terminology under Reports > Projects > Task Budgets which has now been changed to Reports > Projects > Activity Budgets.
You will also see under Activity > Contracts > Projects that the name of the Task tab has been updated. This has been changed to the Project Plan tab.
This contains the same information, but you will notice that the Tasks tab has been removed, with the Gantt View and Assignment View remaining.
Within the Project Plan, you will see that Tasks are now included under the Gantt view as Activities. If you click on these Activities, it will take you to the related Work Item which acts as the Task.
Activity Types are renamed to Booking Type
We have also updated Activity Type which is now known as Booking Type. You can see this change via Setup > Static > Booking Types which was previously Setup > Static > Activity Types.
You can also see the change in terminology via Global Contracts, where Requires Activity Type has now been changed to Requires Booking Type.
Planning Tickets and Work Item Restrictions
In version 4.20 of Harmony, work items are only used as part of projects, so you can no longer use Quick Create at the top of the page to create a work item.
You can now simply add the planning directly to tickets. Or, create a ticket from the Quick Create option. This is called Planned Tickets. You can find this option on the lower left-hand side of a ticket.
Once you click on Create Plan you can then set the start and end date of the work that will take place in association with the ticket.
The Project Plan on the ticket will then update to look like this, setting the time frame for the work to be carried out by calculating the number of hours between the two dates. This should save you time and create a smoother process when dealing with tickets.
Project Planning and Management
Now you can plan, track and manage your projects using the Gantt View on a project level. Previously, we only had this feature at a global level where all the projects had to be managed through the Gantt with limited availability. From 4.20, you can do this within the actual project itself with a lot more features at your disposal. Additionally, the project structure and hierarchy were redesigned with added features such as the Assignment View which will show work assigned to all team members and teams globally.
Improved Gantt View
We have added a new Gantt view to the projects with the ability to create Activities (Tasks), Work Items and Sub-tasks in one page with ease. This new feature has introduced a new hierarchy to the projects, and this is demonstrated in the numbered diagram above (No 1-4).
New Gantt Structure:
- Project name
- Work Items (Single Tasks)
- Sub-Tasks (multiple Tasks within a work item)
- Resource Histogram
You can access Project List, Project Activities, Work Items and Tasks through Finance > Tasks > Projects menu to access a global grid view of all the projects etc. You also can drawdown estimates from the main budget from this screen as well as switch between different Gantt views such as Gantt, Tracking, Max Gantt (maximum Gantt view) and Resources from the Project Plan page shown above.
We have redesigned how you can create work items. Now that we have planned tickets, work items are exclusively used within projects. To use work items, you can create work items via the project plan:
Create an activity. Once the activity is created you can then add a work item.
Multiple Tasks and Assignees in Work Items and Tickets
The latest version also includes the ability to add multiple tasks and assign them to different users when creating work items and in tickets. This can also be done through the tickets by the create plan option on the left-hand pane. You can now add planned dates for tickets and work items via the Planning option. This will allow you to add planned start and end dates to them and also create sub tasks with planned start and end dates.
You can do this when creating work items through the projects as shown below. This feature has introduced new work item planning modes and when you select the ‘Multi Task’ option, you will be able to add multiple ‘Sub tasks’ which will give you the ability to individually assign these to people within your organisation.
You can also add planned start and end dates for each task. The ticket planning dates and the tasks are then shown when saved, on the left hand pane where you can see the percentage completion of each of the tasks and an overall completion bar.
Schedule Work Item in Hourly or Daily Basis
Another differentiating feature between the previous releases and version 4.20 is that now we have enabled you to plan work items and tasks through a Daily Mode and Hourly Mode. This gives you the ability to have an Hour and Minute slider which comes in handy when planning work that won’t last a full working day.
Percentage complete and projected end date at project level
Projects now have a Percentage Complete and Projected End included at project level. You can find them in the Key Metrics on the Overview tab. Percentage complete indicates how much of the project has been completed and projected end indicates the when the project is likely to end.
Projected End Date Calculation
You can set the start and projected end date when first creating a project.
However, you can also update the new projected end date by calculating it from the percentage complete and time booked on tasks. Adding a task is done under the Project Plan tab.
The Gantt chart will then show the green bar which is the end date you have entered, plus the new predicated end date which is shown by the red dotted line. For example, if you set the projected end date as in three days time, but you are only 5% complete, then the Gantt chart would show the projected end date as longer than the one you have entered based on the amount of work that still needs to be completed. This new feature should help you to keep on track with projects and make it easier to manage your time.
Next Task and Date Columns
The naming of the next action columns has been changed to Next Task. This column will show the next earliest action or sub task in the future associated with that ticket, whichever is earliest. Tasks and actions can be seen under the Daybook tab:
In the Gantt view of a project, you can view a team’s availability via the newly designed histogram. Below shows an example of the histogram and the explanation of the graphical changes.
You can preview the utilisation of the teams before saving the changes. This means if you amend the planned start and end dates for a work item the histogram will show the utilisation of the resource or team before you try to save. This is useful so you can better plan for resource allocation.
Resource Capacity on Gantt
You can now get an overall review of the utilisation of resources by going into resource view on the Gantt chart. For example, go to Activity > Calendars > Company Gantt. Select Resource View. You can see the loading of resources either in team capacity or individual capacity.
This can also be used in project Gantt Charts. When showing a red section, it shows the team or individual overcapacity.
Global Contracts with Projects
In previous versions of Harmony, the use of Global Contracts was restricted to time bookings through just Rate Contracts. Global Contracts allows you to set a global set of rates and time booking rules and use them across all customers, which removes the requirement to set up T&M rates per customer/contract.
We have enabled the ability for Projects to be linked to a Global Contract which allows you to use these Global Rates for T&M bookings made through Projects. This feature can be enabled through the project settings page by clicking the ‘Edit & View More’ option on the project ‘Overview’ page.
Portfolio projects let you track key metrics of multiple child projects under one ‘parent project’ called the Portfolio Project. You can mark a project as a Portfolio Project and link other projects to this when you create new projects.
When this is set up, you can monitor and track the key metrics of all the child projects through the portfolio projects and receive a global view of the related child projects.
Improved Assignment View
We have included an enhanced Assignment View in projects which gives you the ability to easily check the availability of different teams and members globally. The Assignment view is not limited to the assignments of work in that project and it will show all assignments across the organisation. This is useful when project managers are looking to free up and plan team members' times before assigning work or if resource clashes occur.
You can easily drag and drop work items and actions on user rows to assign and allocate items to them.
Unallocated items in Team Scheduler
If there are any unallocated work items and tickets for a team, they will now be shown in the topmost line of the team scheduler as Unallocated:
You can then drag this to a team member to assign it to them.
We have added a new feature that allows you to store skill sets an employee has. This is extremely useful to review the skill set in a team, an individual’s progression and when making decisions choosing users or a team when assigning them to a project.
To store skill sets in Harmony, go to Setup > Static > Skills. The screenshot below shows an example of the skills section where you can add certifications, and skills.
You are able to link skills to your employees through their employee record through the ‘Skills’ tab and these skills can be updated and edited easily here. Certifications are also set up through the static skills set up page and added to employee records. With the new skills feature, you can also filter users in a team with specified skills in team scheduler (Activity > Calendars >Team Schedule).
By selecting Include Skills, you can select the desired skill, level and certifications which will then narrow the user list to show users with those skills in a specified team.
Quote Line Group Management
Quotes are now much easier to deal with in Harmony PSA due to the introduction of grouping. This enables you to group lines together to make it clearer to differentiate between them. You can also clone groups and drag and drop lines which makes it much easier to handle and sort lines.
If you need further information on this new feature, you can manage the grouping of quotes with a large amount of lines by following the steps in this document found here.
A new report has been created, that has the ability to show the utilisation of departments, line managers and individuals in the company. You have the ability to group by date, week, month or year or by adhoc date ranges. These billable utilisation calculations can be compared against targets set on employee level.
In Opportunities you now can see the potential revenue over a time period by using the Split Revenue Feature under Opportunity Deal profiles:
You can select the number of months the opportunity revenue is split over and from a certain date.
You can get a report on this split review from Pre-sales > Revenue Forecast which will show you the revenue breakdown for each of the 12 months.
As always if you have any questions or issues please get in touch.
The Harmony Team
About the Author: CloudBlue PSA is the most complete cloud professional services automation (PSA) software on the market. Purpose-built with functionality to simplify every need of MSPs and Professional Services Organisations, CloudBlue PSA introduces a state-of-the-art PSA system built for today’s modern service provider. The platform empowers services organizations to scale recurring channel revenue and diminish operational complexity via its advanced product suite, which includes automated billing and reconciliation, an industry-leading customer support center and network operations center (NOC), real-time profitability analysis, and much more. CloudBlue PSA is available globally. Follow CloudBlue PSA on Twitter, LinkedIn or Website