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Changes to the Edit Task Information page in version 4.8

If you’re like me (and I’m sure you are on this count), you’re chomping at the bit to get your hands on version 4.8. Hang on, it’s coming.

In the meantime, here’s a preview of some changes you’ll notice in version 4.8’s Edit Task Information page.

1. The Assignment tab disappears

That’s right! No more navigation required to assign users to your task. You’ll have an «Assignment» group right underneath the Details field for that. When creating a new task, the assignment grid will be displayed. Otherwise, it will be hidden by default and the «Show the Assignment Grid» toggle will allow you to reach the grid in order to make changes therein.

2. Smartphone support for the Details and Comment fields

If you’re a smartphone user, you’ve noticed that your device does not recognize both of these fields as text boxes. We’ve come up with a solution which will now allow you to input data in both of these fields.

3. Estimates and Actuals

Many of you have requested […]

By |2010-06-10T20:14:00-04:002010-06-10|

What happened to Microsoft?

Remember that software giant that helped make computers mainstream, thanks to its operating system called Windows? Remember the company that took the market shares of Corel, Lotus and IBM back in the 90s? Remember that browser that we all used to surf the web, you know, the blue E? Internet Explorer, that's right. I'm talking about Microsoft. Brings back memories huh?

Microsoft used to crush their competitors back in the day, but things have changed dramatically over the last few years. A combination of bad decisions, lack of improvement and innovation, and especially, lack of success with everything related to the Cloud has led them to where they are today. This is sad, really sad. Actually, Microsoft still offers some of the most robust and reliable applications on the market, there is not even the shadow of a doubt about this. However, other players have released innovative products that make Microsoft's products look more 1995 than 2010. Microsoft isn't  #1 in so many fields, it is such a pity they let their products slip away to […]

By |2010-05-04T14:08:00-04:002010-05-04|

A workaround for sub-tasks

Sub-tasks are definitely one of the most requested features to add in AceProject. We are still unsure as to whether they will be added someday or not. There are technical reasons, but also usability reasons. Actually, sub-tasks wouldn't be used by everyone, and most users who would, don't need all the sub-tasking properties available in products like Microsoft Project. Our biggest challenge is to keep sub-tasks as simple as possible, and usable by anyone.

That being said, there's a workaround for sub-tasks in AceProject that works for many users. It simulates sub-tasks, although it doesn't replace them per se.

All you need to do is use integer task numbers for tasks and decimal task numbers for sub-tasks. If necessary, you may set dependencies between specific tasks. 

Here's an example:

We are aware that this is not ideal, but it works pretty well for basic sub-tasking.

By |2010-04-07T13:56:00-04:002010-04-07|

Latest development news on expenses management

As you already know, we are currently working on adding expenses management to AceProject. Basically, users will allowed to record expenses against projects or tasks. Each expense can be sent for approval and tracked in reports. As a teaser, here are a few screenshots:

This page will be available in the "My Office" section. This is where you'll see all your expenses. There will be filters and a text-to-search field. New expenses can be added using the "Quick Action" drop-down at the top of the list.

Now, here's the "Add an Expense" window:

An expense can be recorded against a project or a specific task. You can enter a summary, an expense type and date, the amount, a supporting document (e.g. a PDF invoice) and enter comments (usually, to justify the expense).

Finally, here's the "Expense Report":

Basically, this report shows every expense's detail and provides the sum at the bottom. Just like most reports in AceProject, the "Expense Report" will be available as a "Printer Version" and […]

By |2010-03-22T15:18:00-04:002010-03-22|

New interface skin preview

A new default skin will be introducted in our next version (4.8). All users who are currently set with the "Classic Blue" skin (the default right now) will see the new skin as soon as they get upgraded.

Michel, our graphic designer, has been working hard on that skin for quite a while. The skin is still under development, but should pretty much look like this:

The header tabs look more modern, as they have no rounded corners. We also added a touch of our logo to the skin. Actually, Michel decided to use the circled arrow's red for the "Print the Main Page" button.

Furthermore, the skin uses our upcoming new website's colors.

Feedback is always appreciated!

By |2010-03-15T18:37:00-04:002010-03-15|

Good news – Private accounts for everyone!

We are proud to announce that all paid accounts will have their own private SQL Server database from now on. Previously, only the Hosted Gold package and the grandfathered Hosted Pro used to have a private database. 

As a result, Hosted Standard and Hosted Advanced accounts will get the following benefits:

  • FTP access for downloading your database backups (*.bak files) and project/task documents.
  • The ability to query your SQL Server database remotely in real-time and generate custom reports using tools like SAP Crystal Reports or Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
  • All branding options (including application rename and logo/header background upload).
  • Get your sub-domain (new for all packages), that is, No more generic login page URLs.
  • Performance is better in a private environment than in a shared one.

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any inquiries in this matter.

By |2010-02-08T15:40:00-05:002010-02-08|

Irritants are important, too

When selling a product or service, we tend to focus on the attractive traits of the product. Having the best features. Meeting the bestest, newest requirements on the market. Making the prospective customer's eye twinkle when they see our product.

That's very important, because if there is no seduction, no twinkling in the eyes, there is no sale. The product has to be attractive.

However, once the client has been won over,  we have to keep her interested in the product. If the product is aggravating to use, all the seduction in the world won't keep the client using the product.

You see, it's like dating

On the first date, we're on our best behavior. We're dressed in our best and we make every effort to shine a positive light on ourselves. As the weeks go, we become more comfortable and that's when we find out if we can tolerate the other's quirks. That's when light sleepers find out if their new love snores, and when neat freaks figure out that they're dating a slob.

Don't let your clients be […]

By |2010-02-01T18:55:00-05:002010-02-01|

eBook review: Coaching Practices for Managers

Project management is, in my opinion, much more about soft skills than processes and forms.

In this short ebook published by the government of Canada, we get valuable advice and techniques to improve our leadership.

Coaching Practices for Managers is a handbook to learn how to understand beyond what the person is really saying. It's built to make the reader think about their own acts and their own situation, so it makes it less theory and more practice.

For example, the book teaches us how to see the hidden request and commitments on complaints. If someone is complaining that it takes too long to receive approvals, we can see that this person is committed to delivering on time, and that she is looking for ways to speed up the approval process.

None of what's in Coaching Practices for Managers is rocket science. It's simple stuff that we can take away and use to improve how we manage our project teams.

Something I especially likes about the ebook: it can be […]

By |2010-01-19T16:00:00-05:002010-01-19|

How to get technophobes into the online groove: project management tools

Ah, Seth Godin. If you're involved with marketing, branding, or life online, his blog is required reading. Seth has a very inspiring, no-nonsense way to think and express ideas.

In an interview he gave for the Spark 97 podcast, he was talking about how to get from living life offline to getting on the bandwagon and become present online. His point of view was quite interesting: being online is now required. Period. No ifs. No buts.

Then he said this: "Online project management tools force people to use the tools. Because
if you don’t, then you don’t know how to do your part of the project."

The challenge of moving to a collaborative project management system is also its strength

If you and your team choose to use an online project management system like AceProject, be prepared for the culture switch. The team goes from depending on the project management to know what they need to do, to sharing the responsibility of communicating with the rest of the team. Project […]

By |2010-01-11T13:52:00-05:002010-01-11|

Smarter structure for the new year

Structure is good. Structure helps us make sense of our projects. Structure guides us.

But does structure have to be so darn inflexible?

Nouveau Variation from Syntopia

I vow that in 2010, we put some smarts on our structure. That we walk away from rigidity and embrace a more intelligent way to structure our projects.

  • Let us be open to suggestions from others, even if they know nothing about project management.
  • Let us be open-minded about changing the way things are done now.
  • Let us walk away from "just because" as a reason to do things a certain way
  • Let us examine our processes and structure with a fresh, open mind
  • Let us have the guts to change something, even if it means walking away from tradition.

What are your resolutions for the new year?

Have you made a list? Chosen just one? Or already abandoned them all? 🙂

By |2010-01-05T15:45:00-05:002010-01-05|
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