Project Snapshot Versions

Note: This feature is iControlled Availability, and will be released for general availability soon. For early access, contact your Customer Success Manager.

What's New

Project Snapshot Versions provide a standard and extensible way for Project Managers to snapshot high-level historic versions of a Project to track, evaluate, and compare project data at different stages of planning and execution.

 

As a Project Snapshot Version includes timephase summary of work, costs, and resource details, it can be used in many scenarios, such as:

  • saving a high level estimate of a project, before creating a detailed estimate
  • capturing a monthly forecast
  • storing an estimate at each milestone, or gate
  • storing more detailed project and resource data when saving a baseline

Currently, the data from Project Version Snapshots can be incorporated into reports, dashboards, custom panels & custom fields, data warehouse export and other API integrations. 

Future development plans include out-of-the-box reports and comparison tooling for insights into evolution of your Projects and their data over time. 

Benefits

By comparing version snapshots across the Project's timeline, you will be able to:

  • understand resource costs and forecasts over time 
  • track changes to milestone dates and content, over time
  • improve planning and estimates for future Projects

How it Works

Each time you save a "Version" you are capturing a Snapshot of key project data fields and of their sub projects and milestones, Project Labor and Non-Labor Resources and their Timephase data. 

You can extend Version Snapshots by including your own Project, Milestone and Resource Timephase custom field data in the Version Snapshots by selecting a new field option "Saved In Snapshots".

You can extend the Version Snapshots objects themselves with custom fields and workflow rules.

Project Managers/ Editors can save a Version Snapshot whenever they choose, or at set events. Version Snapshots creation can be automated with Workflow Rules, Scheduled Workflow Rules and Custom Actions. 


Saving a Version Snapshot 

Versions is a new Work Plan Ribbon tab with 2 options, both of which can be managed via Profiles. 

  1. Save Version
    This option will create a new Version and it's associated Version Snapshot objects and fields.
  2. Latest Version
    Will drill down in to the last Snapshot Version saved. Its property card fields and relations can also be configured via Profiles, as with other standard objects.

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To create a new version:

  1. In the Work Plan, select a Project line and open the Versions tab.
  2. Click Save Version
  3. Give the Version a name, for example: "Sold", or "Jan 2020" and optionally, a description.
  4. You can automate creation of Snapshot Versions with Custom Actions, Workflow Rules or Scheduled Workflow Rules. 
  5. Once a Version is created, a short process will snapshot all the Project & Milestone fields to be "Included in Snapshots", all Financial Resources and timephase: Financial Data, Project Assignment, Work and Actual Effort. Typically this will take 5-10 seconds, though can depend on the amount of field data being saved and number of sub projects and milestones. 
  6. Click Latest Version to open and review the saved details. 
  7. In the Add Related panels, you can access more Project Snapshot Versions and their fields. 
  8. About Versions and Version Snapshots while you can expose both project Versions and Snapshot Versions panels, most of the interesting data is in the Version Snapshots, with the Version holding only some basic properties. 

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As Sub-Projects can have their own Version Snapshots and those created from parent Versions, you may have cases where you have different numbers of Versions and Snapshot Versions. 

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By expanding a Project's Snapshot Versions panel, you have a simple exportable report of the top-level project fields in the Snapshot Version.

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And by drilling down to the Snapshot Version itself you can review the resourcing with their summary financial and effort data. 

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Reporting 

Once you have saved a Project Snapshot Version, you can start using the data to review changes to projects and their resourcing over time. mceclip5.png

As every Snapshot Version is linked back to its source Project or Milestone with its "Version Of" field, use the "Version Of" field in filtering when you want to present data from multiple Snapshot Versions.

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Example Report: evolution of a Project's budgeted cost structure over time. 

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Example Configuration Ideas

  1. Use Validation Rules to block the creation or deletion of Versions Snapshots.
  2. Use Workflow Rules to set custom numbering schemes of Version Snapshots, or notify when new Snapshots have been created
  3. Use Workflow Rules to save a new Version Snapshot every time a Milestone is completed
  4. Use Scheduled Workflow Rules to save a new Version Snapshot on the 1st day of each month

 

Some Limitations

  • There are no particular limitations to how many Snapshot Versions you can take. However, as Clarizen Reports have a limit of how much data they can present, you should consider how you intend to use it. 
  • Snapshot Versions do not contain a full workplan (WBS), tasks, hierarchy and dependencies.
  • Snapshot Versions do not currently have a Financial Planning panel. Financial Timephase data can be viewed in crosstab Reports.
  • Multi-Select Picklist Fields can not currently be saved in Version Snapshots.
  • There is no mechanism for backfilling of historic data. Custom fields that created after Snapshot Versions have been saved, or were later selected to be "Saved in Snapshots" will only contain data in new version snapshots. 
  • Snapshotting a Version of a Program or Portfolio is not currently supported. Using configuration you can save Versions of all of their Projects. 
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