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2017.3 Beta 4 feedback

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Level 10
Hi - I did some testing in Preview today. Lots of good stuff is coming by the look of it! Here is some feedback. Note - I don't have time to raise tickets for each of the issues I found, so hopefully Product Management can take it on board from here. Duplicating Tasks This looks awesome in the video! However, I can't yet use it in Preview…the button to Duplicate is not showing. Assignment Automation We still can't use the Scheduling screen (period) until a Task Custom Data filter is available. For the moment it is impossible for us to use it due to the tasks we need to filter out, though we really want to use it. I heard a while ago that such a filter option is coming. Do any Workfront people know any news on this? I can see this type of filter on the new Portfolio Utilization report but not on Scheduling (yet). I tried using a Role filter to filter down the unassigned tasks for a certain role. I then clicked 'Auto' and it took quite a while and then said it had made 48 assignments, however they didn't display. Only white space was visible below the unassigned tasks. This issue also happened in the video demo. I like the concept of 'Pending' tasks showing with dashed lines….with further modification could that be used manually by users for other reasons? This could be useful when tentative scheduling is required. Bulk Assignments for Top-level Tasks. Sorry to be critical, but this part of the video really needs to be re-done so as not to confuse customers. There were a number of data issues and errors which meant that the demonstration of the features actually didn't work for assigning and swapping. Only unassignments actually worked. Portfolio/Program Utilization Report. Slow loading (in Preview at least), but this is sort of understandable given the amount of data it is dealing with. We will have to see how it performs in Production though, as other users may not be as tolerant of slow loading. Some of our larger programs do not show any total figures, even though when you expand them out they have values at the project level for the given time scale (month/week). Perhaps the total value is too large to display? When I click the Saved Filters button, the drop-down appears behind the button and I can't read it or click on it. So, whilst there's a few issues I encountered, I really like the direction of this release and I'm looking forward to our users getting access to it soon. Regards, David Cornwell
24 Replies

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Level 10
I could be being really stupid (this might not be a 2017.3 issue) but in People > Scheduling why can I only filter on Programs / Portfolios / Projects in the "Unassigned" area, and not in the "Assigned" area below it? Jamie Hill JLL EMEA

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Level 10
I had a similar question in the call with Workfront last week. They said you need to add yourself as the Resource Manager to the projects to get them to show up here. Not sure if that's the issue you're seeing, but thought it worth mentioning. But it appears you still have to apply a filter.

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Level 10
Hi Jamie, As far as I know, that's just the way it is designed. You filter on Program/Project related stuff at the top on the unassigned tasks, and at the bottom you can filter the assigned tasks based on the companies/teams/users. Like you, I wish you could filter the assigned work based on project/task related info. When I raised this I was advised that the Scheduling tool is designed for working with unassigned work, not reporting on assigned work, and that the Utilisation report is for reporting on assigned work. Regards, David Cornwell

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Level 10
Wow if Scheduling is just for unassigned tasks then I must have missed every mention of that that there's been! Jamie Hill JLL EMEA

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Level 8
Duplicating Tasks is not working in my Beta 4 preview either. I, like several others, were working with the product managers on this feature and was excited to actually have a working beta. It would be a big win for our planners in efficiency. Matt May Stream Companies

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Level 10
You can see assigned work as well. You just need to apply the appropriate filter to see the projects or portfolios etc. that you want to see. At first I thought it was weird they don't just show up, but I imagine Workfront coded it that way so you're not always displaying you're entire environment's tasks by simply clicking into "Scheduling". It would be inefficient and probably slow the system down significantly. Just apply a filter and you'll see both the assigned and unassigned tasks. Vic Alejandro Denver Water | IT | Sr. Technical Program Manager

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Level 8
Has anyone tested the Filter System Updates feature? The video on this change was slightly disjointed and glazed over very quickly, however it's something our team is interested in. If I understand it correctly, you turn off the System Updates in one project and it will that way in all projects until you turn it back on again. However it's not working. I thought maybe I misunderstood and it was only for one project, so I tested by turning off the updates closing the tab and reopening it and they were on again. Anyone else having issues with this one? FYI - I tested the duplicate tasks in our Preview and it worked for me. Super excited about this feature. :) Wendy White AmeriCredit Financial Services, Inc. dba GM Financial

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Level 10
At first, I was excited about the "Duplicate" feature. I was really hoping this would reduce some overhead that our PMs don't like about the day to day management of their project schedules. However, in using the duplicate feature in Preview, this will not benefit our PMs or our Team members. The PMs wanted a more efficient way to replicate tasks on the Task tab, apply minor edits and make assignments. Currently, they really don't like the extra step involved in using the "Copy" feature that requires them to enter their project name. If you want to copy tasks within your own project its real clunky; the copy is more advantageous when you need to copy the tasks to another project. Plus, you have the added benefit of deciding what information you want retained from the original task, etc. In reviewing the code in Preview for 2017.3, they are going to be disappointed with the "Duplicate" feature, because it will only generate more confusion than anything with emails alone. Here's why...the "Duplicate" feature retains the Status, Assignments, Duration, Planned Start/Finish, etc. The problem with this for us is that rarely, if ever, would we have a situation that we'd want to duplicate one or more tasks and have all of the values, especially Assignments and Dates remain exactly the same. Even the Status is retained, so if you are using "Duplicate" on a completed task, you get a new Task that is completed; not helpful. Also, the act of using "Duplicate", will automatically generate emails to everyone that was assigned on the original task. Subsequent emails would also be generated in removing those assignments and adjusting the dates, etc. In short, for us, this would not be a good user experience. Sadly, I don't think that we will be able to utilize this feature as we had hoped because of all the notifications. We were really hoping that the "Duplicate" would be a "one-click" solution to quickly generate tasks in-line with no-assignments. This would enable the PMs to make quick edits and then when ready, make the assignments. :( Admin Kelly-Wehrmann SSFCU

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Level 10
Hi Kelly, That's an interesting point regarding duplications retaining assignments and statuses. We definitely want the duplicate feature to retain the task name and all custom data, however if it did not retain the assignments and status that would probably be good for us too. We carefully control the assignment process and would not want this to happen as a result of a duplication. Given that the new feature is meant to be quick, I don't think they should add any extra steps in to allow users to choose this. However, perhaps there could be two duplicate buttons on the menu. "Duplicate" and "Duplicate basic" to differentiate the amount of info duplicated. Regards, David Cornwell

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Level 8
Duplicating tasks has now appeared in my Beta 4 after putting in a support ticket. Since for us this will be used within the planning stage, we will be fine with including assignment, status, etc. and no emails will be generated because it is planning -- and I'll recommend against its use on a current status project. However, a disappointment I have is when duplicating a group of tasks (like a parent and its child tasks), is all predecessors within that group are not retained. All this said, I understand that duplicating is supposed to be quick, and I have seen the improved copying of tasks the product managers are working on which could help overall. It's not quite one click, but it looks to function much better than the way it currently does. I was hoping when I saw it a few months ago that it was going to be in this release, but they must have hit some delays. I'm still thinking/hoping that maybe the plan here is like the "subscribe" feature, and this is just "Stage 1" of the larger initiative for object duplication efficiency within the system. Matt May Stream Companies

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Level 8
Wendy White, they have a message now on the Beta 4 release page (

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Level 2
Thank you all for the valuable feedback on this feature. All the concerns raised here (about not copying over the documents, assignments, progress, etc.) are valid points that we were thinking around in the implementation stage. Our decision to implement the duplicate as it is now was based on the following: - have the duplicate working with the default options presented on the Copy Task -> Options screen to make sure it's more intuitive - there are many scenarios that the duplicate functionality could be used so we decided to go on with the simplest approach: carry over as much information as possible to keep the "duplicate" as similar as possible to its original - copying over the predecessors was requiring some more time, so I would be interested to know if that is something users mostly want to see copied over. I would like to continue hearing back from you on this, so that we make sure we provide the functionality that is really useful. Anna Asatryan Workfront

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Level 10
Hi Anna, To answer your question on the 3rd bullet, yes, we would like to see the option to copy over the predecessors. There are times when we might have a block of 5-10 tasks that are all linked, and we'll want to duplicate that block. So having the preds would come in handy. Thanks. Vic Alejandro Denver Water

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Level 4
I agree that predecessors should be retained. ~Jeff Jeff Rieth Fujifilm Medical Systems

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Level 10
Some thoughts I had: Use of "Issues" as a fixed term For example in Resource Planner, the settings dialog uses the term "Issues" even if the user's Layout Template contains a different term in the Terminology section. Upload Documents Love the new drop-down (Request a Document is such a great feature but was too hidden before!). However because we've forbidden in our settings to use external doc libraries, we get this ugly label in the drop-down. Can we either shorten it or hide it? (For example our users are used to this so don't need to be told each time that you can't do this action) Edit: I shouldn't also be seeing the 'New Google File' option as we have this disabled in Setup. Gantt chart Is it possible to have a checkbox for it to snap to the current date/month? (to work alongside the existing left drop-down of Project/Year/Quarter etc.) We have a lot of multi-year projects and often a PM will want to quickly export/show a Gantt for their project that's from the present to project finish, rather than say from 2016 to project finish. Outlook Add-in I see some great improvements in the Add-in on the release page. A basic thing which I'd like to see though is the ability to swap between Planned and Projected completion dates in the Working On screen? Jamie Hill JLL EMEA

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Level 6
This is probably fringe case, but if you overload the hyperlink button with formatting, the link doesn't render/work correctly in the Updates feed. The link it took me to added the "U" "EM" and "STRONG" HTML tags to the hyperlink. This is probably fringe case (what madman bolds, italicizes, and underlines a hyperlink?), but I thought I'd let you know. VRG Vincent Goodwin

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Level 10
Gantt chart Tried to export a Gantt chart I was viewing in Projects > Projects I'm On and it appears in some weird characters :) ("What I See", "A3", "Landscape", "Show Legend") I also tried viewing the Gantt chart in Projects > All Projects but when scrolling-down I get this behaviour to the right: One other minor thing: 'Projected Dates' is available both as a separate checkbox and as an option using the settings icon? My Work The refresh button when on the 'Approvals' tab mentions 'proofs' but as an IT PMO we don't use this functionality/terminology? Can it not just use the word approvals which is generic? Jamie Hill JLL EMEA

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Level 7
I agree that copying predecessors is important! I understand that "duplicate" means literally make a second exact copy, however when it comes to user assignments and the notifications this will trigger, I would rather that the duplicated copy is only role assignments rather than actual users. Barbara Sedlack BMO Financial Group

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Level 7
I completely agree with Jamie in regards to the New Google File and the "Your administrator disabled...." message. If it's disabled at the admin level, any reference to cloud providers should be stripped from users' views. a) it's just more clutter on the screen and b) it implies that the user can talk to us to change this... which they can't. Also, you can click New Google File all you want, but nothing seems to happen! So, what's the point of it being there? Barbara Sedlack BMO Financial Group

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Level 1
Agreed - please duplicate predecessors! One of the most tedious aspects of setting up templates/projects is having to manually enter multiple predecessors when you get further down the schedule. Thanks! Thomas Barntsen Securian Financial Group, Inc