Octaved Flow Blog
Updates, new features and functions
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 tasks directly 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).