We're excited to formally launch our brand new Schedule Dashboard! After building out and enhancing this screen through an open preview period, we've now activated it in all Premium Accelo accounts and put links to it in the primary navigation (under both the Dashboard and the Schedule icons).
The Schedule Dashboard is a completely new view for managing project and team schedules - from the very high-level view of your team's work across many months, right down to the nitty-gritty tasks that a user is working on this afternoon.
There are 2 main views, toggle-able on the upper-left, to get excited about:
The Work tab of the Schedule Dashboard can pull in as much data as you like, allowing you to insert things by name as well as saved filters - so if you need to quickly compare the timelines for your current projects, it is as simple as choosing "Project" in the search panel on the left and typing in the name of your filter.
As you'd expect, expanding a project to view the milestones and tasks within is fully supported, but what we're hoping you'll be surprised by is the flexibility of the drill-down panel on the right-hand-side. Blink and you'll miss it, but the GIF below is revealing the 2 users working on a specific milestone and then an extra panel is opened to reveal what else Patsy is working for that day.
Unlike many traditional project portfolio views, the schedule grid/timeline for your projects, tickets, retainer and even sales are displayed based on the planned & estimated dates plugged into the tasks, since it's the tasks that contain the estimate of hours, start & due dates and of course the assignee. This explains why a project in this schedule view might not line up with the original dates in the project plan; Accelo adapts when tasks become overdue, or finish early, or have their remaining time increased.
Built with the flexibility to look backward, manage the present day/week of work, and look into the future, it was essential to handle time that has been logged, time that users have committed to work on, and time set-out for tasks well into the future. Nothing is too insignificant, but of course, you've got the flexibility to hide types of time which you don't care to see, like external calendar events and non-billable time.
You might also notice that where work has been logged, admin-level users can see the billable value and administrative cost of the time spent. We're working hard on making this data possible for future/scheduled time too.
We know that not every minute of the work-day can be utilized for billable client work, so fixing the utilization limit at 100% seemed a bit unfair - but then rather than guessing an appropriate limit we've made this customizable for each user. Not only that, but the colors used in the grid are also editable by you ;-) If you're wondering why the primary grid color has several shades in the grid, this is because Accelo automatically darkens or lightens each cell based on how close to a user's daily/weekly utilization they are. The secondary color will only display if they hit that percentage limit you set.
When you need to know exactly what's going on for a particular day or week, clicking on the cell will bring up a right-hand panel which lists out the high-level work a user is allocated to (or has been working on already). Each object can be drilled-into to see precisely where the numbers are coming from, and we can even show you the nature of the work, e.g. whether it was automatically scheduled from the task detail, or whether it was specifically scheduled to a certain time-slot.
In the near future, you'll also be able to assign work from this screen, and we'll be rolling out this new Assignment interface to make it available on almost all of our screens, making Schedule easy and adaptive. Once we bring in the ability to assign work to users, we'll be retiring the existing Team Schedule screen.
With these two main phases complete - reporting and then assigning - we'll be moving onto the third part of this major project - extending scheduling to more than Tasks in Accelo. This is where we'll be tackling popular issues like assigning multiple people to a single task, allowing time against Milestones, Tickets and Retainers to be assigned to users without needing a task to be created, and more.