Customer access can be activated per project (or subproject)
Since not all customer-facing contacts are always involved in projects, only the customer users who should have access can be selected
Each customer user can also be given its own role to control permissions
With customer access, only those users can be assigned to a project who are also assigned to the customer in question
This is an additional security mechanism that prevents accidentally assigning the wrong customer users to a project and thus allowing one customer to see another customer's projects
New feature General guest access
Unlike customer access, general guest access is not limited to a customer's projects
General guest users are for example partners, suppliers, service providers, consultants or external reviewers/auditors
In the Users menu item, customer users and general guest users are now added and managed in addition to internal users
New feature Roles for guest users and customer users
Assigning permissions to customer and guest users is easy and secure by using roles
Roles are managed centrally in the new menu item Guest Roles, which can be found under Settings > More
Identity and users
Previously in Octaved Flow there were only Users
Now there is a distinction between users and identities
An identity basically consists of the user name (email address) and the password
Several users can be assigned to one identity
This makes it possible for a person (identity) to act as a customer user in one organization and as a regular user in his own organization (company)
There is no need to log in again or write down another password
Switching between the two organizations is possible without logging in again
All user accounts have been automatically switched to the new logic. No further actions are required from the user's point of view, everything works as before
Changed functionality Login now in two steps
Previously, username (email) and password were entered on one page to log in to Octaved Flow
To enable the above features, the login has been split into two steps: In the first step the username (email address) is entered and only in the second step the password
The division into two steps also corresponds to the general trend in the SaaS sector
August 03, 2023
New feature Board also for tasks
The board was previously only available for projects, subprojects and work packages
Now the board is also available for tasks
Tasks had so far only a simple text editor for additional notes to the task, which was accessible via the icon yellow sticky note
Now it is possible to switch between the simple text editor and a complete board with all elements such as meeting report, image/drawing or release request (note: switching is only possible as long as there is no content)
As tasks can be used for collaboration with customers, the board's functions offer much more possibilities for this purpose
New feature Board element image now with additional text area
Previously, the board element image could only contain one or more images
Text was not provided
Instead a text element could be added
The feedback of our customers has shown that in the collaboration with customers, for example, technical drawings are discussed, which are inseparable from the explanatory text
Therefore it is now possible to save such an explanatory text directly with the image (the technical drawing)
New feature Comment function to board posts
To each board posts now a comment can be delivered
This can be several comments from different users
It is also possible to reply to comments and to write your own reply to replies
With comments and the corresponding replies, a two-level structure is created, which remains clear even with longer progressions and discussions
This function is useful for everyone, especially if you do not want to change the content of a board post yourself, but only want to draw the author's attention to something
With the coming function customer users this feature then unfolds its full benefit. Because with it it is possible that customer users do not receive permission to edit board posts (one would like to keep control over contents), but comments as for example change requests can deliver
With the comment function in the board this is then transparent and traceable
New feature Additional sorting option for board posts
Board posts were previously sorted by default with the most recently edited board post on top
However, with the comments feature, where comments and replies are sorted chronologically from top to bottom, this sorting is confusing
Therefore, the default sorting is now that the most recently edited board posts are at the bottom
The sort button can be used to reset the sorting to the previous order
July 27, 2023
Improved design in Project controlling
In the Project controlling section, the colors have been refreshed and the design has been made clearer.
New feature Export of project plan in Excel format
The project plan can be exported in Excel format.
Even though the Guest access feature for customers is about to be launched, many of our Octaved Flow users' customers still want the project plan in Microsoft Project or Excel format.
New feature Filter by user in Kanban board for work packages
In the Kanban board for work packages, it is now possible to filter by user as well as by project.
When mapping workflows such as To do > In progress > Review > Done, the progress of a project as well as the status for individual users across projects can thus be displayed.
According to the octaved flow model for the division of work, at least the project manager permission level is required to change work packages. To enable workflows for work packages, normal users with write permission can now edit labels for work packages.
More notification options in Inbox
Project managers can be notified via Inbox when a work package for which they have the Project manager role has been checked off as completed.
If work packages have been scheduled with a time dependency, a notification can be sent when the previous work package has been checked off as completed. In case of a time dependency, the following work package is then not really the next one, but it is good to know that you can start earlier if necessary.
As always, the notification can be done only in Octaved Flow, additionally via the system notifications (different for Windows than for Apple products) and additionally via email. This is adjustable per notification type.
Improvement Color groupings for tasks in work packages
Tasks can be grouped into groups, each of which can be collapsed
These groups can now be provided with individual colors
After copying a time entry from a previous day, it automatically jumps to today.
In Work times/off-days there is now a button to edit regular weekly working hours instead of a somewhat hidden entry in the menu.
In the task list, the drop-down box for selecting labels can now be closed with an "X".
Selecting a new board item to create a post automatically closes the list of available board items to make more room for content.
June 15, 2023
New feature Mark projects as templates.
In the project settings, a project can now be marked as a template:
With the help of the filter it is possible to hide templates in the project overview or to show only templates:
Archived was previously a checkmark (checkbox) in the project settings and has now migrated to the selection field. This makes Archived another possible project status.
All possible project statuses:
New feature Lock projects.
It is possible to lock work packages in Octaved Flow. No project work time can be posted to locked work packages.
A possible use case is that there are fundamental discussions with the customer at the moment, so the work package should not be processed further
In order to lock an entire project, all work packages had to be locked up to now. Although this is possible via a central function with just one mouse click, other statuses such as Closed are overwritten in the process.
With the new selection field for the project status, it is now also possible to lock a complete project while leaving the status of the individual work packages unchanged.
May 25, 2023
New feature Restore from trash
Trash for deleted tasks, work packages, meeting minutes in the board, time bookings or entire projects
Trash cannot be emptied manually, not even with administrator rights
The trash cannot be bypassed
Automatic deletion of data in the trash (at least) 30 days after the deletion date
Restore of deleted data via the new menu item Trash_, on the left side of the menu under Advanced
Items are restored with full integrity preserved. Restoration is done in the same state as at the time of deletion. For example, if a work package has some deleted time bookings, then the work package is deleted and later restored, then the same time bookings are present and the same time bookings are deleted as at the time of deletion.
In other words, the deletion process itself is undone
Note: Tasks are not restored via the new menu item, but via the 3-dot menu in the task list. Analogous for board posts.
The trash function has already been activated from some weeks, now the restore function is added. So you may find deleted data in the trash already now.
Improved Display of license information
In the new menu item Info & license under Settings > More license information is displayed: license level, number of licensed users, etc.
During the 30-day trial period, a gray banner is displayed at the top with the remaining days for the trial period. As an Octaved Flow user with licensed users, this does not affect you.
May 11, 2023
Enhancement Revised Design for the Board
The Board is the central place in Octaved Flow for project documentation and collaboration
The design has been reworked from scratch, improved and made clearer
Added the possibility to filter board posts by labels. For example, a problem label can be attached to a board post so that it can be further processed or discussed in the next project status meeting
It can also be filtered by types of board posts. For example, only meeting reports can be displayed
New feature Board also for projects and subprojects
The board was previously only available for work packages
We have heard from our users that a board for the project, independent of work packages, would be useful for them
Therefore, there is now a board also on project level for overlapping topics
With a button you can switch between the two views, in which only the board posts for the project or additionally the board posts of all contained work packages are displayed.
This way you can see at a glance everything that exists in a project and what has been done.
Since subprojects essentially work like projects, the same applies as for projects
New feature Filter for board posts also in project overview
Labels are an excellent, powerful and easy to use means of categorizing according to a wide variety of criteria
For example, a label Problem can be attached to all tasks and board posts to be discussed at the next project status meeting
The question now is how to quickly find all things marked with the problem label in the project status meeting
For this purpose, there is now the possibility to display only those projects and work packages in which there are tasks or board posts with a certain label. So you can see directly in the project overview, what is a topic for the meeting at all.
Advanced feature: In addition, you can set whether empty subprojects should be displayed. If you see them, you can still see the project structure despite filtering. If you really want to see only the "problem cases", you can hide the empty ones.
New Feature Additional languages
The Octaved Flow user interface is now available also in the following languages: French, Italian, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish.
New feature Recurring planning with gap bars
Recurring planning can be created in project planning
For example, maintenance of machines can be scheduled every first Monday of the month or updates of servers can be done every week on Tuesdays
Series of planning bars can now be created even more easily:
In the 3-dot menu next to Bars there is now the option Create series of bars
Note: Gap bars must be enabled for the option to be visible. Enabling gap bars works as follows: Settings (bottom left menu) > Advanced > General > Features (topmost).
New feature Time tracking per project role within a work package
With this feature, the time allocation for a work package can be further divided per project role
If, for example, there are the project roles Design and Text in a work package, the time (effort) planned for the work package can be divided between the two project roles.
This is a rather rare use case, since two separate work packages would normally be created for this purpose
However, it happens more often with advertising/marketing agencies and in the event sector that an offer item (= work package) was agreed with the customer, the customer also wants to have it shown in this way (time sheet), but internally the division is necessary.
The splitting can be done not only for two, but for any number of project roles
The time tracking is then done per project role.
If you are responsible in a project role yourself, it will be automatically preselected during time booking:
April 18, 2023
New feature Relative shifting of planning when copying projects.
When copying a project, the planning can now be copied along with it and the planning can also be moved relative to an entered date in the process
The use case is, for example, that there is a template with a standard schedule of a certain project type. The template is copied into a (regular) project. A date is specified by which the project should be completed. From this date, the planning is then applied "backwards" so that Octaved Flow determines the required start date based on it.
Not only the start date is converted relatively, but of course the whole project planning including all dependencies.
When relatively copying the planning, the calculation can be done from the end date or from the start date
The new function can be used when copying templates as well as when copying current and past projects
Subprojects can be copied in the same way as complete projects
If there are holidays in the project plan of the original, they will be calculated out of it
If there are holidays in the copy, they will be added and the project duration will be extended accordingly.
Improved Inbox for notifications.
What is the Inbox? The Inbox is the central source of information for collaboration. In the Inbox, all events are displayed chronologically: Was I assigned a task, mentioned in a post, or asked a question?
The new design makes it even easier to see what's important:
March 28, 2023
New feature Dashboard/Status directly in the project details
Octaved Flow offers comprehensive possibilities to analyze and track projects in Project Controlling
But sometimes a quick look at a project dashboard is sufficient
This dashboard has been added to the new menu item Status
The most important data for assessing the project scope as well as the basic key figures on progress are displayed
Companies and organizations that track project working time get the complete overview and the time booking status in the menu item Time bookings.
The breakdown makes it transparent how much unpaid work time, for example for acquisition, is included in the project. Thus, the profitability analysis can be done on-the-fly at any time.
New feature Check off tasks only with completed subtasks
If you try to check off a task, although the subtasks of this task have not all been checked off yet, a warning will be displayed
You can set how strictly this should be followed
In the default setting medium a warning appears, with strict it is not possible to check off the task and with relaxed neither a warning nor an error message appears
New feature Mark work package as done only with checked off tasks
This feature works similar to tasks/subtasks
Here a warning appears, if the user tries to mark the work package as done, although not all tasks of the work package have been checked off yet
How strict this should be can also be set in the levels medium, strict and relaxed
March 21, 2023
New Feature Gap Bars
Gap bars are bars in the planning view that have interruptions
In classic project planning according to Gantt, each task has a start and an end date, thus exactly one bar
However, in many cases this is not flexible enough and too limiting
With gap bars this restriction is removed
Example for use case: Short-term higher priority topic
A work package is regularly scheduled from Wednesday to Wednesday of the following week
Then another topic should be prioritized higher
With gap bars the original work package can be interrupted for two days so that the higher prioritized work package can be scheduled into this gap
Without gap bars, the work package would have to be split into two work packages. With gap bars this can be done with one mouse click.
The process can also be repeated, so that several interruptions of a bar are created
The interruption can also be undone with only one mouse click and several bars can be merged again
Gap bars provide transparency, a clear picture and avoid unnecessary queries
Especially in team planning (resource planning) gap bars provide a much clearer picture
Without the function of gap bars and an overload is displayed in the team planning:
With gap bars, workload can be clearly calculated and displayed:
Example for use case: Recurring activity
A machine builder schedules maintenance work on a customer's machines for a fixed day each month, for example, the first Monday of each month
An IT system house schedules updates for a customer's servers every Monday
Gap bars are also perfectly suited for this purpose. For this use case, you think less in terms of breaks in a bar and more in terms of repeating bars, but in the end it's the same.
There are 3 ways to create gap bars
In the project planning drag another bar in the same line with the mouse (click and drag).
Right click on a bar and use the context menu:
In the list of gap bars of a work package (detailed view of the work package) click on the button:
Merging of bars can also be done via the list in the detail view or with the right mouse button:
Dependencies to and from gap bars are easily possible. This means that interruptions can be planned also if work packages are chained. For gap bars, the dependencies apply to the first or last gap bar in a line:
The gap bar feature is disabled by default, because the possibility to create a bar more or less everywhere in the Project Planning might overwhelm newcomers to Octaved Flow
The gap bar feature is activated via Settings (bottom left menu) > Advanced > General (topmost)
Gap bars are available from the Professional license level, but are available for everyone to try out for the next 3 months
New feature Milestones
In addition to the due dates in Octaved Flow, milestones can now also be created and displayed in the project plan.
Milestones are fixed events that should basically remain unchanged even if the project plan changes
Examples for milestones
Trade fair at which a prototype is to be shown
Appointment with customer to present the interim status
Self-imposed objective of the team ("commitments")
Milestones can be defined per project or per subproject
A single milestone or a list of milestones can be specified per project or subproject:
Milestones are displayed as blue diamond, due dates as purple diamond
If a due date and milestone are on the same day, the diamond has both colors and the info popup shows the details:
The API can now be used to retrieve the user's email address from the ERP system Flow, making the assignment easier
When the timesheets (statement of work for billing by effort) are generated in Octaved Flow, this is not necessary. This is because the column with the name of the user who booked the project work time can be shown or hidden.
The use case is that the time sheets are not created in Octaved Flow, but the individual time bookings are synchronized to the ERP system so that the time sheet can be created there. Then, using the email address, the user can be more easily assigned in the ERP system.
Another application scenario is that it is a corporate requirement to synchronize all project time entries into a central system. Here, too, the e-mail address facilitates the assignment.
March 09, 2023
Even more efficient project time tracking.
Who really likes to track project working time? Probably no one. That's why we've made it our mission to make project time tracking as fast and efficient as possible in Octaved Flow. And even though we have already achieved a very high level of optimization, we have managed to go one step further. It's just a few small things, but all in all they add up to a few percent more efficiency.
Until now the time tracking was started in the menu item Track time via the icon green clock.
The icon with the green clock does not exist anymore. Now a click on the work package starts a new time booking. This is not only more intuitive, but also easier to hit with the mouse.
Above the area on the left where the work packages for time tracking are displayed, there is now a selection My, Last and Search
The content of My is what was displayed there so far.
Newly added is Last. The last 10 work packages on which the user has booked time are displayed.
The possibility to see (only) the last 10 work packages improves the user experience of Octaved Flow users with a lot of work packages in many cases
The search is done globally in all work packages.
Additionally a customer filter can be displayed. The selection field is searchable.
This is a another improvement for Octaved Flow users with a lot of work packages.
The customer filter is displayed via the 3-dot menu on the right side of the search field
The area on the left, where the work packages for time tracking are displayed, is now no longer opened via the bold purple plus
Instead, the area can be moved away via a unobtrusive icon in the lower area.
Moving away the column with the work packages is anyway only necessary with very small monitors
Time bookings can now be started in the menu items Edit projects and My tasksdirectly from the 3-point menu of a work package.
This option is also available for tasks. In this case the task text is automatically taken over as comment for the time booking.
If there is an open time booking from a previous day, this is indicated by a permanently visible, clear error message
The link in the error message leads directly to the open time booking
Several open time booking can be processed one after the other
If there is more than one open time booking for the current day, a note is displayed
Again, the link leads to the open time entries one after the other
Octaved Flow does not restrict users unnecessarily and allows multiple open time bookings per day. In practice, it is not uncommon that another time booking needs to be started quickly, for example when a customer calls.
Therefore, only a note is displayed in this case. An open time booking from a previous day is considered an error and is highlighted more clearly.
The number format for using thousands punctuation and decimal separator can be selected. If Octaved Flow is used in European countries the language is English, but the user is still used to the non-English number format 1.234.567,89.
The setting of the number format is done under My Settings (in the menu, bottom left, own name)
In Project Planning and Team Planning not all planned work packages and tasks of the past are displayed anymore, but only those of the last 2 weeks. Thus no more place must be reserved for older work packages and tasks, which makes the visualization clearer in many cases. Via the filter icon the user can choose between last 2 weeks, last 3 months and all.
The filter Hide completed projects has been removed. This is now no longer necessary, as the Archive projects function is better suited to hide expired projects.
Groups (of work packages) are now called Subprojects. The function is identical, only the name has been changed. Since Octaved Flow users typically used groups to represent subprojects anyway, the change is obvious. Also project phases are rather subprojects than groups.
The icon to collapse the main menu on the left side has been moved from the bottom to the top. This is the place where users expect it (by now).