Planscope is all about helping consulting agencies and freelancers better manage their businesses. These days, we’re making improvements that we hope will let our customers and their clients answer some basic questions about their projects. Questions like “is this project coming in on budget? or has the scope crept?”; “do we have enough man-hours available to complete the work we have in our pipeline?”; “when will this project be completed and at what cost?”
Amongst other things, this latest release addresses part of the first question (“is this project on budget?”) by showing you more financial information and in more detail. We’ve also improved our permissioning and project-level settings and have fixed some bugs.
Task and Milestone Cost Transparency
The biggest change is that we’ve added actual/estimated/price details to tasks and milestones. Before now, you’d only see the time logged and estimated on tasks and milestones, but now you’ll see what those hours add up to financially (and the currency display is better, now too!).
Naturally, we’ve also included this information to the Workload Reports’ tasks.
The keen-eyed might notice we’ve included “Unassigned” tasks in the list as well–those weren’t showing and made the % allocation a little weird.
A More Helpful Dashboard
Rather than capping progress bars at 100%, they now reflect the actual time and cost actual-to-budget ratio. If you’re over budget, you’ll see it. The bar goes from blue to orange at 80% and orange to red at 100%.
And like the task/workload detail, you can get the project total actual/budget/estimate financial numbers on the dashboard.
And at the bottom of each project card on the dashboard, you’ll now get the # of tasks in the “To Do”, “Active” (i.e. with an active timer running), and “In Review”.
Project Settings Improvements and Additions
We’ve been working on the Project -> Manage tab a bit, including
- Allowing the current user (you) to change add a custom billable rate if they are an admin:
- Allowing developers to “leave” a project (project owners/admins will get an email notifying them of this):
- If you were ever confused about what the permissions did, we’ve updated the permissions menu so that you can see what’s going on a bit better (and we’ve now consistently applied these permissions where they should be):
We’ve Taken Care of Some Bugs
- The “download as CSV” link on the timesheet screen now works! This might have been broken for a long while, and the fix was released a few weeks ago, but you might not have noticed or have given up on that feature altogether.
- We’ve fixed some inaccuracies on the Dashboard, and the project list will now be sorted by the date they were created (i.e. so the order doesn’t change in unpredictable ways).
- You can now see and unarchive archived estimates
- We continue to tweak and try to improve printable views (like for estimates and the task list)
- We’ve made a few more tweaks to the Edit Task form, like updating the Activities when the task’s phase has changed or a timer is started or stopped, so you don’t have to refresh the task to see what’s changed.
- We’re working on making the billing calculations more bulletproof by accounting for more edge cases (e.g. logging time on a task, then making it fixed price, then removing that price and keeping the amount billed consistent with each state).
- We’ve improved the display of currencies and made it more consistent in more places.
- We’re continuing to make wording more clear and add helpful inline help and tooltips here and there
But Wait, There’s More!
We’ve heard from a good number of folks that Planscope has a bit of a steep learning curve, so as a first step to making it easier to jump in and get control of your projects, we’re rethinking the overall navigation of the app to make it easier to find things and get from place to place. Our goal is to make this an organic change, not a drastic, confusing one, and we’ll be reaching out to some of you to ask for feedback before we settle on anything. We’re still in early stages, so there’s not much to share, but I’ll keep you posted as we progress.
And if you’re wondering about the status of the long-term roadmap, we’re still working our way down that list as we get feedback from all of you about what’s most important and most helpful.