Monday, January 4, 2010

XPM News

During the 2009 GeneXus USA User Event in Chicago, we introduced our Software Project Management Tool called XPM, since then most of you have not heard more about it or do not know what we are working on at this time, so the purpose of this post is to update you with all the new features we have accomplished so far and which features are soon to be completed.

Regarding XPM web, we have been working on fixing bugs so the system is more stable, also we have been enhancing the usability of the system. The main feature we are working on right now is the dashboard (It will be shown in a future post once we have it done), we are redoing it in a collaborative effort with the GeneXus Consulting based in Artech. We have heard many of the needs of customers regarding Dashboards and based on that we are building a Dashboard that will accomplish those needs. XPM will be released in March but we will be doing a beta testing phase with some customers late January.

Now I would like to talk about the Add-Ins and other clients XPM will offer:

GeneXus Add-In
This Add-in was created so the GeneXus developers does not have to login to the XPM in order to know which Work Items have been assigned to him, read the descriptions , specifications regarding the Work Item, etc.

A GeneXus developer can read the detail of the assigned Work Item by clicking on the title column of the WI selected, soon you will be able to also see the complete specification so I will keep you posted

Also the developer can take/release a Work Item (Once he takes it, the timer start to tick and when you release it or complete it, the timer stops). The thumbs up icon will move the Work Item to the next workflow status set for that project, the thumbs down icon will send the Work Item to “Specification” status and also the developer can asks questions, doubts etc to the Front End (Project Manager).

Once the GeneXus Developer has released or complete a Work Item, a popup will appear so he can report hours in an easy way as shown in the picture. (The hours and minutes spent in that WI will be taken from the timer, also the roles, services and tasks will be loaded as from the defaults set in the XPM).

The feature to complete is to connect to GeneXus server to log all the objects changed by working on a particular Work Item , we are working on this so keep checking this blog for updates.

Microsoft Word Add-In
This Add-In was created so the Front End or Business Analyst can write specifications for a particular Work Item. The Front End will only see the Work Items in status “To Specify” and assigned to him/her, basically he/she will be able to perform many of the features shown in the GeneXus Add-In such as Take/Release and complete a WI, report hours, etc.

The features we are working on are being able to save the word document (Specification) in the XPM database and also to load specific templates to write a specification for different types of Work Item. Keep checking the blog for updates.

Microsoft Project Add-In
This Add-In was created so the Project Managers can keep a transparent relationship between Microsoft Project and the XPM so he/she will be able to perform tasks such as: Creating Project, Version, tasks (Work Items), participants from Microsoft Project to XPM.

Also the Project Manager will be able to update the EVM (Earn Value) from Microsoft Project to XPM so the Dashboard indicators can show the most updated data.

Now we are working on matching the hours reported by the developers in XPM to the assigned hours for that Work Item in the Microsoft Project.

Microsoft Outlook Add-In
The features such as creating a Work Item from an email of a customer, etc have not been implemented yet but you will hear about them in the next posts.

Note: The important thing to mention is that there is a single login for all the XPM Add-Ins, meaning that once you login in any of the Add-Ins you do not have to login again when you use a different Add-In

iPhone Client
We want that XPM be available for Project Managers, Developers, etc wherever they are and that is why we are implementing some features of XPM to be available in the iPhone. The following pictures show the Work Item Tracking where you are able to see the Work Item assigned to you and also the details about them. You can also search Work Items. In the next post you will see more about what it is coming in the iPhone for the XPM.

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