What is new in MPI 6.0
Introduction to MPI Version 6.0. Another big step forward
We at Marstrand Innovation are very proud of version 6. It is a major launch. V 6.0 contains a multitude of innovative and basic improvements. Furthermore, it is the most tested version ever. We have gone through MPI customer databases and their perspectives and tested them thoroughly on customer data.
We have also conducted a basic functional test. This has all led to several corrections and re-testing.
Our customers in Denmark and Sweden have given us valuable information and inspiration to improvements. Thank you.
MPI was from the start designed as a generic platform handling the 4 dimensions:
MPI is also a platform in the sense that it is extremely configurable to easily set up MPI to fit every culture and preference right down to the need of the individual user without any programming. With Version 6.0 we have reached a new level of comprehensiveness and ease of use.
The development has been focused on technical performance, usability, management information and data interfacing.
The many development points included in Version 6.0 are described below under. 10 different headings with our opinion of most important at the top of the list for each paragraph. You might think other points are more important. Each point has a reference number which you can use as reference if you want more information. We will gradually extend the documentation for each point.
About performance. Users will experience much faster response when opening perspectives from menu, faster data input, faster calculations and faster generation of management information as dashboards and spreadsheets. The smarter database interaction reduces the traffic between central database to the workstation, putting less pressure on the infrastructure and allowing more users concurrently with satisfying response times.
On usability, we introduce more display options, smarter and quicker data filters, formula based calculations. The most unique and most used function in MPI is no doubt the unique double and synchronized Gantt charts – PG with projects and jobs with resource assignments as primary access and RG with resources and assignments as access primary dimension. We have made synchronization of the Gantts even smarter.
We are confident that the novel, built in Spreadsheet functionality on web including automatic import and export from and to Excel will become a small revolution in its combination of familiar spreadsheet flexibility with database structure and interactive graphics. It will mean ease of implementation with consistent workflows combining off-line and on-line input. With this technology, we, so to speak, clean up and speed up the spreadsheet disorder, which complicates the processes in many organizations.
A similarly dramatic extension if found in the rich Business (Planning) Intelligence extension, primarily used for decision and management information. In MPI you don’t need to think in abstract data cubes but work directly on the easy to understand database where resource assignment to projects and task drive everything – capacity, capability and financials. You build intelligent dashboards on the fly, store them and distribute them on web. Analytics, status, forecasts and performance indicators as you may need.
The gradually enhanced platform has led to new domains of use of MPI. All based on the same standard platform. No programming, only skillful configuration. For our clients it means low total cost of ownership, safe budgets and the highest quality.
Examples of new applications based on MPI, which are handled by Version 6.0:
- MPI CRM. Customer Relations Management which integrates sales and offer processes for project driven companies with budget- and financial control based on one common database.
- MPI Budget. Resource driven budget management for big project organizations within IT, product and investment projects, e.g. water and spill water. The MPI concept and
- MPI Contract. Management of contracts including documents and timelines for creation and renewal.
- MPI Invoice. Mapping of invoices against projects and contracts as support for procurement and controllers.
- MPI KPI. Tools to define and control performance initiatives.
More and more we define MPI as a platform for:
Corporate Performance Management.
Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and for a brainstorming workshop.
- Performance. Reduction of response times with big data and complex calculations
- Planning Behavior and Tools. Better synchronization of information
- Advanced filters, groupings and Business Intelligence. Dashboards
- Data Editors
- Data Interface. Advanced spread sheet functionality
- Security / Data Integrity.
2. Planning Behavior and Tools. Better synchronization of information.
4. Advanced filters, groupings and Business Intelligence. Dashboards.
6. Data Editors
|701||Financial cost/revenue accounts defined on tasks. This allows you to relate any physical input like hours, and the pricelist generated cost and revenue result to a specific financial account number. This makes it possible to make a complete Profit & Loss overview where you can drilldown to financial accounts.|
|702||When a financial cost/revenue account is set on a task, you are linking any physical unit, cost or revenue to a financial account. Financial accounts are both for cost and revenue defined by kind. The financial account, holds up to 5 sorting/grouping texts that defines the financial account breakdown. Grouping by them in Project Gantt chart lets you see hours, direct costs, resulting cost and revenue from a financial account breakdown perspective. Finance Sort 1-5 on task, can be used for grouping in Gantt and P&L dashboard.|
|703||When a financial cost/revenue account is set on a task to link any physical unit, cost or revenue to a financial account, it will be possible to filter tasks in Project Gantt chart according to the input U/M on financial account. This allows you to shown only budget lines (tasks) related to time input affecting cost. Input U/M can be Time or Amount. A financial account is either cost or revenue related. Filter By in project Gantt is extended with: Cost Time Input, Cost Amount Input, Revenue Time Input and Revenue Amount Input. All controlled by Financial Account property Input U/M.|
|704||Our Project Gantt chart is a powerful tool to display projects and WBS, with graphical details and account values by choice. Furthermore, multiple grouping on any columns is possible, resulting is completely new ways to look at account data. The new financial account, holds up to 5 sorting/grouping texts that defines the financial account breakdown. Grouping by them in Project Gantt chart lets you see hours, direct costs, resulting cost and revenue from a financial account breakdown perspective. In this mode, you properly do not want see anything other than values in the “graphical” part. To do this, we added an extra option to “What to display in group row”. New option: Only Account, map will not show.|
|705||Resource category is introduced as a smart dimension for overview in complex resource set ups to control and standardize outsourcing with optional financial accounting and pricing.
The challenge is, that you might as a project manager want to outsource work to other departments or organizational units, e.g. to a Nearshore development unit in Poland or elsewhere. That might be done from many projects in different departments. You want to see the total load assigned in this way to such units coming from external sources and compare this with the capacity in the unit in the normal red-green diagram. You also want to calculate cost (and revenue) based on the unit’s rates instead of the rates from the sourcing unit on the task and thereby contribution to the entire project.
We introduce a new field: Resource Category to handle this. When you define the task you also set the resource category (own, nearshore, offshore,…). With this reference, MPI uses the pricelist for the category to define task cost/sales rates and to the defined financial account.
On the other dimension, Nearshore capacity is defined by summing up all the named nearshore people with nearshore resource category set and with reference to outsourcing department.
Resource- and Assignment Gantt chart Display are extended with “Red/green Event Resource Category Map (account/capacity)”. This allows you to make a red/green display of the load on specific resource categories, defined by resource category set on task. Capacity is defined by the resources with same resource category. The same applies to cost and revenue calculations.
This means that all assignments automatically are linked to the desired financial account depending on the category. In the profit and loss statement you will get lines for each category summed up across projects.
Example: Nearshore is a resource category. Nearshore is set on a budget line (task) and any budget/role/department resource assigned to this nearshore task will get nearshore cost/sales rates, and hours allocated are nearshore hours.
|706||It is always possible to display two account values (actuals and budget) side-by-side, but sometimes you may just want to see actuals to a given date, and after that date only budget values. This gives a much more compact and clear budget/forecast overview. Actuals/Budget Mode (in Project Gantt and dashboard) will merge (switch between) actuals and budget values into one cell. This also affects any bottom/up summations and grouping summaries in Project Gantt and dashboard. Actuals End Date in settings to define actuals range, after date budget is displayed, before actuals are displayed. Actuals data can be made read only by a switch in settings.|
|707||Actuals End Date can now be from/to in Date Range Filter.|
|708||Before negative (minus) could not be used in account cell values, because it would activate the popup cell calculator. This is now possible.|
|709||Possible to prevent edit of budget account cells by setting Is Budget Locked (on task/project).|
|710||Project Status Report is extended in many areas regarding better project budgeting:
1) An Approved Budget (matrix with accounts and time periods) to enter values manual.
2) A Baseline Budget (manual, copy of approved budget or planned).
3) Planned is the result of the current plan.
4) Forecast Budget is plan/budget, actuals, provision, not allocated and forecast is the sum of all before split by a date, actuals before date, plan/budget after.
5) Not Allocated is a simple list, where expected costs can be entered before adding them to plan/budget, a kind of reservation.
6) Not Allocated Overview is a list of bottom/up summations if sub projects exist.
7) Housekeeping is also a simple list to maintain a log of budget changes.
8) Resource Budget Follow-up contains many values/KPI’s on how the project is performing. Example: In last report, how did we budget for this month compared to the actuals.
9) Historic WBS is a snapshot of the WBS + a lot of account summation data.
10) Business Case is a simple spreadsheet to contain business case information’s.
|711||Creating and updating multiple project status reports is made a lot easier. Projects can be marked with “Is Report Required” to indicate projects status reports are required.|
|712||Workflow status is added to project status report, to lock report when approved.|
8. Data Interface. Advanced spread sheet functionality.
9. Security / Data Integrity
|1001||Start and Finish in Project Gantt are now default dates, to display hours just right click column (in design mode) and select format.|
|1002||Locate in Project Gantt can now be deactivated by selecting None option in dropdown list.|
|1003||Word wrap in print is now fully supported.|
|1004||F9 is no longer available to do total recalculation, because it was too easy to hit F9, and start a time-consuming process. Recalculate is still available form ribbon Tools.|
|1005||Grid: Extended lookup field list with fields like Kind. Added Integer as type, so that S/N is now an integer instead of a decimal number.|
|1006||Negative capacity input is now allowed. This is relevant, if the total capacity of a department is to be reduced, without showing details. You just have an adjustment resource in the department, where a negative capacity is given, total capacity sum of the department will include capacity from all resources in department.|
|1007||Grid: Allow zero width columns in grid, to “hide” column.|
|1008||Database information is shown in database schema has changed dialog. This is helpful when many database connections are used.|
|1009||Project Number is no longer read only on external data, this allows you to change it, after a local project has been synchronized with and external project from SAP, as example.|
|1010||Use Attachment Root Path as default directory when browsing in Maintain Attachment.|