Every project manager has received that fire-drill email from the boss: “I need a complete status report, and I need it today.”
More often than not, it seems that email arrives first thing in the morning. That means putting all other work aside to spend hours pulling information that’s scattered across emails, spreadsheets, Slack chats, etc. And, that’s just one fire-drill scenario. It could just as easily be a last-minute project update request from a peer or external stakeholder.
Well, thankfully, those days are over. Today we’re releasing several new and unique Clarizen features that will enable you to track a project’s finances and prepare complete, accurate presentations for reporting in a matter of minutes, not hours.
That’s just one of the key benefits our Spring 2017 Release offers. In addition to the new Slide Publisher tool, we’re also unveiling a Financial Planning module for managing and monitoring a project’s financial health, and a new library of best practices to help organizations get up and running faster on Clarizen.
But before diving into the details, let’s take a broader view at what drove our decision to create these new Clarizen features.
Our Customers Influence Development
We’re committed to delivering bi-weekly product updates and major quarterly releases with new functionality and enhancements to all our customers. We rely heavily on feedback from our customers as we compile our product road map and decide how best to invest our development resources.
During the process that lead up to today’s release, we determined our customers want our help in three key areas: improving collaboration, creating new efficiencies and generating greater time to value. To put it even more simply, they are under constant pressure to get their work done on-time and on-budget.
There’s an old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so we’ve also created a new Project Overview feature that makes it easy to add color and leverage varied formatting options such as rich text, tables, embedded images, multiple text sizes and hyperlinks inside Clarizen.
Our customers use Clarizen to manage every aspect of a project, and they continue to confirm the need to share Clarizen data beyond the project level. They want to (or have to) share the information with other teams, senior executives, or perhaps with the board of directors. Often they want to provide that information to their customers to build stronger relationships by ensuring all project stakeholders are on the same page or to create an ongoing feedback loop.
So, they prepare a PowerPoint deck with visuals for status reporting and brainstorming sessions to gather feedback and make any necessary course corrections. That’s why we developed Slide Publisher, which features a new wizard-based tool for creating branded presentations. Imagine how much time you’ll save by not having to collect updates from team members via email or by scheduling yet another status update meeting. And no more laboriously copying-and-pasting information into the presentation.
You can now use Slide Publisher to create a PowerPoint template featuring your company’s branding and quickly fill in the necessary details and updates. Even better, that template will also be available to anyone in your organization who needs to prepare a project update report.
Real-Time Financial Reporting
A key part of facilitating collaboration and making project management processes more efficient is ensuring the finance team always has a real-time view into a project’s finances. Our new Finance Module provides you with the ability to plan your project’s financials, set budgets, and make real-time updates to the actuals so all stakeholders, including the number-crunchers, are always up-to-date.
Additionally, our new Excel Import feature enables you to import data directly from Microsoft Excel to quickly add or update existing Work Items, Cases, People, Customers, Groups, or Data Objects into Clarizen.
Saving Time Saves Money
In addition to all the new functionalities our Spring 2017 Release offers, we also want to help accelerate the performance of your IT PPM as rapidly as possible. So, we’ve prepared a collection of customer-proven IT best practices for delivering successful projects from ideation to execution, including prepared packages of apps that have proven to be best-suited for specific IT use cases. Consider it a project management “cook book” with recipes on how to improve business agility.
These new features will combine to facilitate collaboration not just among your own team members, but across your entire enterprise and with your customers. No more stress, no more falling behind or going over-budget, no more wasting time.
Of course, we can’t prevent your boss from making urgent requests that have you rushing to your next meeting, but now you’ll always be prepared.