What is it?
Within your organization, many projects will run simultaneously, in different departments, and on different topics. All of them will consume some sort of budget, e.g., resources, time, or money. To operate as efficiently as possible, you should have a clear view of your complete project landscape.
Having the necessary transparency will help you to stop and merge redundant projects to save money and make sure that every project contributes to your company goals.
Furthermore, transparency and a systematic project management process will help you to evaluate easily new project proposals and allocate effectively your budget to the most promising projects.
Learn in this article how to
- create a project template,
- use the ITONICS visualizations to map your project landscape,
- use visibility settings to restrict access to KPIs,
- use project tasks to steer project progress, and
- inherit individual project information on a parent entity
How does it work?
Create a project template
To start with, you should get clarity on your project process and what information you want to capture in your application. Do you also want to collect project proposals? Or, are you (only) capturing the information on running projects? Getting clarity on the setup will help you to create the project template that is just right for you.
If you also want to collect project proposals, you should check this article on Configuring a (child) ideation workflow. Also including project proposals will include some of the steps you would also use when collecting ideas.
Yet, in both cases, you will need to start with defining your project template. Therefore, navigate to the Settings Wheel > Entity Configuration > Entity Configuration. Use the button to add a new entity. Provide the name and select the modules that you want to activate for this entity. Please note that modules need to be activated by your Customer Innovation Success Manager first.
As a next step, you should navigate to the field configuration and add the necessary fields that you will need to collect the right information on all your projects in a systematic way. The following picture provides you with an example and consists of the following field attributes:
- Pearl Chain (list field | indicating the project phase)
- Description (RTE text field | expressing what this project is about)
- Project Status & Information (collapsible group field), incl.
- Responsible Business Unit, Horizon, Project Status, Strategic Benefit, Health Status (dropdown fields)
- Start Date, End Date (Date Picker Fields)
- Strategic Focus Field (Element Search Field | indicating a relationship with another element)
- Project Innovation (collapsible group field) incl.
- Strategic Ambition, Degree of Innovation, Type of Innovation, Degree of Innovation (dropdown fields)
You can now decide whether you want to provide a specific workflow for each project along which specific information on the project is added phase by phase or whether any information can be added irrespective of a certain phase assignment.
If you prefer the second option, i.e., any information can be added irrespective of a certain phase assignment, you just need to make sure that you place the attributes via the entity configuration in the create/edit form configuration. This will then allow the users with the respective permission to use the pen icon on the detail page to update any information.
If you prefer the first option, i.e., the information intake option is dependent on a certain workflow phase or you want to manage permission to add information more individually, you also need to design a workflow and add action buttons that will allow the information intake.
For example, you can create one specific action button for the intake of financial information. You can also define who will be able to see this button and who is allowed to enter information.
This will first require that you configure the project process and its values as a pearl chain field (or use the option to add independent buttons). Afterward, you will be able to activate the workflow module and set this pearl chain field on the page where you can activate the default modules per entity.
Now, a new tab is added to the entity-specific configuration page: the Workflow Configuration. From here, you can define the action buttons and trigger the actions as desired.
To add an action button, click the respective button, and you will see a new pop-up for defining it.
Once you have configured one action button, you can continue with the procedure until you have configured all the actions necessary to bring your process alive in the application. Please find further explanations and tips on the workflow configuration in this article.
Use the ITONICS visualizations to map your project landscape
To visualize your entire project portfolio, it is best to use either the Radar visualization or Board visualization. The radar makes sense if you have a rich project landscape as it has enough space to oversee it. In this case, please note that you need to create segment fields as a specific requirement.
The board makes the most sense when you have a clear process that your projects follow and/or if you want to aggregate financial data from the different projects in a general view.
In both cases, you will first need to activate the visualization on the first page of the entity configuration. Please note that the available modules depend on your license. After the activation, you will have the option to configure the default board and/or radar view.
For the board, you will be also able to indicate if you would like to use the KPI aggregation and which values should be shown as default in a board.
Use visibility settings to restrict access to KPIs
When you do not want that everyone can see every piece of information, you have the option to display the attributes in different tabs. To create such a confidential tab, you need to navigate to the view configuration of your entity. You can access it via the Settings Wheel > Entity Configuration > Entity Configuration and from there, select the respective entity by clicking on the pen icon.
Click the + Add Tab button.
If activated by your Customer Innovation Success Manager, you will find a permission menu in the tab(s) that are newly created by clicking on the plus icon. Via the 'Access To' user search field, you can select other users/roles/user groups who will then have access to this tab.
Please note: As of version 3.6.5, the behavior of the confidential tab has changed: If no user is entered in the Access To field, all users who have the respective Create/Display/Edit permission (depending on whether the tab is in the Create/Edit/View form) can view this tab.
Use project tasks to steer project progress
If you make use of a configured project workflow, you can also attach different tasks to each stage of your process. The tasks can be tied to the workflow phases and provide clarity to the project management team on what is expected from them per phase.
If you run a highly standardized process, you can define default tasks globally, i.e., being valid for all projects. To do so, navigate to the Settings Wheel > Task backlog > select respective entity type. From here, you can select for which entity you want to create default tasks. You can then also assign the tasks to the respective project phases. This necessitates that you have activated the task configuration on the respective entity.
Once done, the tasks will become visible in the respective phases of the project in the task tab on a project.
Please note: If a task is not visible it might be because the task filter is automatically set to the phase the project is currently in.
Inherit individual project information on a parent entity
There might be situations in that you want to collect information from multiple projects as an aggregate on a higher-level element. For instance, you are running multiple projects that are set up to contribute to an objective. You thus want to collect the completion status of the project content elements to see how close you are already to achieving your goals.
Technically speaking, this constitutes a parent-child relation. You inherit information from child elements, e.g., the projects' completion status, to a parent element, e.g., the goal achievement.
To make this work, you first need to enable the parent-child feature on the parent level in the entity configuration. This means that you need to create two entities, e.g., project and objective. The 'objective' will be the parent element to the 'project' entity.
Go to the Settings Wheel > Entity Configuration > Entity Configuration, create the 'objective' entity, and click the pen icon from where you can activate the Parent-Child Tile. If you cannot find the tile, please contact your Customer Innovation Success Manager.
Here, you first need to indicate the entity of the child element, i.e., project. Once configured, a new tab becomes available with the name "parent-child configuration". Here, you will find an option to check 'enable average rating of child elements'.
You will be asked to provide a name with that the aggregated rating will thus be displayed on the parent element's view page. The aggregation of the child ratings will be displayed in the right menu.
At this stage, you will also recognize that you need an aggregated rating criterion that you can put into the 'included rating criteria' field. To create such an aggregated rating, you need to create a group field within the entity configuration of the child element, i.e., the 'project' entity.
After navigating to the tab 'Group Field Configuration', you can add a new grouped rating criteria. You need to provide a name for the rating group. You need to check the box to indicate that this group field is a rating group field. Now, you will be able to select from your individual rating criteria defined, the rating criteria that should be grouped and aggregated. This can also be only one rating criterion.
It is important to check the box 'aggregate this rating group'. You will be asked for the name of the aggregated rating criteria. You are also asked to provide the values.
Please note: The number of steps of the Aggregated Label must be equal to the maximum number of steps of the rating criteria used for aggregation. Example: There are 3 evaluation criteria. The evaluation criterion with the most rating steps has 6 rating steps. Then the aggregated label must also be configured with 6 steps.
Do not forget to save your created rating group field. You will now be able to select this aggregated rating criteria in the aforementioned parent-child configuration tab on the parent entity. You also need to define at which position of the right sidebar, the aggregated rating criteria should be displayed via the view configuration within the entity configuration of the parent element, i.e., the 'objective' entity.
On a specific (parent) content element, you will now find the option to submit a child element, e.g., 'submit technology application'. This will create a parent-child relation. You can also set the parent-child relation from the edit form of a child and within the relation tab. At the bottom of the relation page, you will find the option to 'link parent entity'.
If ratings have been submitted on the child elements, their aggregate will now be inherited by the linked parent element.
Please note: Children can only have one parent element. The parent-child feature also offers you the option to steer the visibility of projects. Learn more about this feature in Inheriting visibility restrictions from a parent to children elements.