What’s New in Clarity 15.6
New Ideation and Roadmap Planning Features
Support for Ideas in the New User Experience
This release includes a new page and standard grid layout for viewing ideas in the New User Experience. Administrators can grant a new Ideas – Navigate access right (view-only license type) that allows users to click the new Ideas item in the main menu. The new Ideas grid supports familiar filters, sorting, column selection, settings, and saved views. Portfolio and business development leaders can now create and develop ideas without leaving the New User Experience to revert to Classic Clarity PPM.
Import, Link, and Synchronize Ideas in Roadmaps
Portfolio and business development leaders can now create, import, link, and sync ideas as roadmap items to visualize ideation and manage demand. For example, when you begin your fiscal year planning process, instead of manually creating roadmap items, save time by selecting existing ideas and importing them as new proposals or business opportunities into a planning roadmap.
You can find ideas by name or through the OBS and select the ones that you want to import into your roadmap grid, board, or timeline. Similar to the way projects can link to roadmap items within a given roadmap scenario, you can now link an idea to a roadmap item. Administrators can designate which active ideas are available to be imported or linked to roadmap items. You can even select which ideas and attributes are synchronized and control when the sync takes place.
Roadmap List Filter and Saved View Enhancements
Users can now filter and save views on roadmap lists consistent with other grids in the application. To search for a subset of roadmaps you can filter on a supported roadmap object attribute, and then save your criteria in a named view for easy access (for example, separate roadmaps of type Cost Savings or OpEx from roadmaps of type New Revenue Streams or CapEx).
Roadmap Item Grid Copy and Paste Enhancements
When copying and pasting single and multi-value lookups and Boolean values, the functionality now aligns with the uniform behavior of the standard grid and even includes support for linked investment attribute label changes.
Associate a Roadmap with an OBS
In this release, you can associate a roadmap with an OBS. This feature enhances roadmaps by allowing an advanced user to associate a roadmap with one or more OBS units using the typical OBS association process. An OBS selector has been added to the Roadmap Details panel. Administrators can assign OBS-level access rights to the roadmaps to control which roadmaps users can view or manage. The following OBS-based access rights limit user access to roadmaps:
- Roadmap – Edit
- Roadmap – View
- Roadmap – Delete
- Roadmap – Author
New User Experience Productivity Enhancements
Export Grid Data to a CSV File
On select pages, you can now export grid data to a comma-separated values (CSV) file and work offline or import data into other systems. For example, as a portfolio or business development manager looking at demand, you can export idea data from the new Ideas grid to a CSV file.
- The exported file includes only the data defined by your currently applied view.
- Any column group formatting is ignored.
- Exported files include time-scaled values.
- All dates appear in YYYY-MM-DD format and money fields display no currency symbol.
- Multi-value lookups are delimited by a semicolon.
- The functionality is limited to the Ideas grid, your custom investment type grids, and your project subobject grids.
- Other restrictions and constraints apply. See Getting Started with the Clarity PPM New User Experience.
Common Component Enhancements
This release provides more consistent behavior among application pages with grids. For example, you can generally expect the Project Staff grid to behave like the Roadmap Item grid. However, some differences remain from page to page. In one or more grids in this release, you can find the following new features and grid enhancements:
- Group Your Grid Data By Attribute: Select grids now support the grouping of numeric columnar data with aggregation. You can group by a string or single-value lookup (static, dynamic, or picklist) including dates, Boolean, and aggregate numeric data (numbers, money values, and percentages). Numbers are grouped by value and dates are grouped by month. You can also view aggregate numeric data including totals and subtotals for each group and for the entire grid. Your saved views include your filter criteria with the grouped data.
- Common View Options: Common settings such as showing and hiding columns, selecting colors, fiscal period metrics, and decimals for numeric and money attributes are now saved consistently with the grid view. You can save similar views in two or more grids and expect more consistent behavior from each page. Other common settings include specifying fiscal periods for certain time-scaled value fields in timeline views, the ability to turn off time-scaled values on grids, and independently setting number precision on timeline, board, and grid layouts.
- Enhanced Grid Filters: Common grid filters have expanded beyond string and number data types. In this release, grid filters add support for single and multi-value lookups, picklists, dates, and Boolean values. In both single-value and multi-value lookups, you can filter on multiple values. For static lookups, you can select from all lookup values, including inactive values.
- Date Range Filters: You can now filter rows by a defined date range (for example, “show me data from Aug 1, 2019 to Feb 15, 2020″). To expand the filter results, you can specify only a minimum from date or only a maximum to date. These new filtering capabilities greatly expand the utility of your project subobject grids, idea grids, and custom investment type grids.
- Common Pull-Down Functionality: The common pull-down component from the previous release now supports the selection of multiple values, a deselection state, keyboard controls, and blueprint integration. Selecting a named resource or team on the project staff page is one example. User interface behavior is more consistent when selecting multiple values on grids, filters, and detail pages and panels.
- Lookup Value Alignment: You can now control the alignment of lookup values (for example, left-align text strings and right-align numbers). Use the Up, Down, Left, and Right navigation keys as well as the Delete, Escape, and Enter keys on your keyboard to navigate through the lookup pull-down to select or deselect a value.
New Custom Investment Features
Synchronize Custom Investment Lookup Attributes
In this release, you can synchronize custom investment lookup attributes based on a match between the API Attribute ID and Type (including lookup type). This feature allows portfolio managers to sync the custom lookup attributes on their investments to their roadmaps, so that they can easily bring in details relevant to organization planning and business goals.
For example, you might have configured attributes on the project, idea, or investment objects for capturing important details. With this new feature, you can sync those custom attributes to your roadmap items. A matching attribute is determined based on API Attribute ID and Type. The API Attribute ID for the attribute on the project or investment object must match the API Attribute ID on the roadmap item object. The type for the attribute on the project or investment object must match the attribute type on the roadmap item object.
To take advantage of this feature, administrators must configure an attribute with the same API Attribute ID on both the project or investment object and the roadmap item object. Only static single-value lookups support synchronization; dynamic single-value lookups, multi-value lookups, and virtual attributes do not support this functionality.
With appropriate access rights, users can select a new Match Custom Attributes option available on the Sync Linked Items panel. Any new lookup attributes are added to the roadmap as global picklists.
New Financial Features
New Budget and Budget-to-Forecast Financial Views
Finance and Accounting liaisons tasked with supporting project financial health can now analyze budget and forecast data and prepare presentations to stakeholders. For example, review the forecast-to-date against the current budget to report on overall project financial performance, assess how well teams are executing on plans, summarize key areas of concern, or identify specific budget variances. Select one of your budget plans and view the budget-to-forecast details in a standard grid where you can pin column headers, resize columns, hide or show columns, and sort.
New Budget Plan Lists with Folders
Users in Finance who are tasked with supporting project financial health can now view all budget plans grouped by type including cost plans, budget plans, and benefit plans. For example, as a financial analyst, you might have dozens of financial plans of varying types. You can now group these plans by type and search for the exact plan you want so you can revise your forecast each month or submit the right budget plan for approval. You can also track the revision number for a plan.
As a financial analyst, you can also update a budget plan with new estimates. For example, after submitting a plan for approval, you might receive updated estimates and need a way to edit the plan. You can now edit individual cells in a plan grid, request funding, and even have an approving manager or director enter changes in the system to reflect committee approval.
Budget Actions: Submit for Approval
As a project manager, you can select a financial cost plan and submit the plan for approval so that it can move through the approval process in place at your organization. From the project financial plan list view, you can select Submit Plan of Record for Approval, or from the cost plan detail view, select Submit for Approval. The New User Experience workflow mimics the same behavior found in Classic PPM where only the designated Plan of Record (POR) can be submitted. After completing the Submit for Approval form, a message appears indicating Success: Cost plan submitted for approval and users return to the plan list or open cost plan.
Budget Actions: Accept and Reject
As a financial analyst, you can now edit and submit a financial plan so that the plan can move through the process and be reviewed for approval or rejected. Finance managers can review plans for new projects that have been submitted for budget approval. Approve the plans that are in good shape, and reject the plans that are lacking important details so they can be reworked and submitted for approval again.
You can approve or reject a plan from either the budget plan list view or budget detail. Typically, only one budget plan for a given project can have an approved status. You can see as many submitted plans as the project managers want to create.
Associate a Benefit Plan with a Cost Plan
As a financial analyst, you can now associate a benefit plan to a cost plan in the New User Experience. For example, after creating cost plans, your organization might require that you always create a business case and show the resulting benefits for each cost plan. As your projects evolve, you can create benefit plans showing more updates. After creating a benefit plan in Classic PPM, you can update the cost plan to establish an association, or make the association while creating a cost plan.
The following familiar options from Classic Clarity PPM are now included in the New User Experience in Clarity:
- Create cost plan
- Copy cost plan
- Submit for Approval
- Plan settings
Advanced Reporting and Data Warehouse Features and Enhancements
New Data Warehouse Audit Dashboard
This release includes a new Data Warehouse Audit Dashboard under the Administration, Security and Diagnostics menu. This new page displays the Data Warehouse Audit portlet and the Data Warehouse Error portlet.
The Data Warehouse Audit portlet provides the following data about the most recent Load Data Warehouse job:
- Data Warehouse Table Name
- Update Date
- Load Start Date-Time Stamp
- Load End Date-Time Stamp
- Duration (seconds)
- Row Count
If any errors occurred, the companion Data Warehouse Error portlet displays the following fields:
- Data Warehouse Table Name
- Error Message
- Error Number
- SQL Command
Administrators can easily track and troubleshoot issues and monitor the progress of data warehouse loads.
Custom Investments in the Data Warehouse
Users can now select a setting to include custom investments in the data warehouse where the data can be consumed in queries and reports. Fact and dimensional data for custom investments can also be included.
Transaction-Level Department and Location OBS Data
In previous releases, the DWH_FIN_TRANSACTION table in the data warehouse included department and location OBS data at the project-level and resource-level. In this release, the department and location OBS data structures are also included at the actual transaction-level.
New Trending Reports
Trend reporting helps teams and leadership identify overall patterns that shift over time. New customers and customers upgrading from 15.5.0 and previous releases, can work with two new trending reports.
Project KPI Trends
The Project KPI Trends report was introduced in Release 15.5.1 as an example of the applied use of trending snapshots. Use the Project KPI Trends report to monitor key performance indicators and establish priorities. For example, track the quantity and severity of open risks, issues, change requests, and to-do items over time.
Trended Project Metrics
New in 15.6, the Trended Metrics by Project report serves as a second example of trend reporting. This example compares key financial data for core investments by fiscal period (in this example, by month). This report is populated with your pre-defined trending data already configured and extracted to the data warehouse. You can run the report for a single month, up to 12 months, or up to 12 fiscal periods. Report users can select up to five (5) project metrics such as Actual Cost, ETC Hours, Planned Cost, and more.
Clarity Integration Enhancements
CA Clarity PPM Open Workbench Improvements
Clarity PPM 15.6 introduces the following Open Workbench client application improvements:
- Cell Text Wrapping and Sizing: When reducing previously wrapped text on multiple lines to a shorter string, the cell size is also reduced as expected.
- Word Wrapping Increases the Row Size: In tasks with long names, word wrapping now splits the string onto several lines and adjusts the height to show the full text in the cell.
- Rows Do Not Overlap: Cropped text rows no longer overlap when your computer display is set to 150%.
Classic Clarity Features and Enhancements
New Phoenix UI Theme
As an administrator, you can apply an optional new theme to your Classic Clarity PPM user interface to give it the look-and-feel of the Clarity PPM New User Experience. Apply the theme for all users or limit the new theme to users in a given partition as a way of introducing Classic Clarity PPM users to the Modern UX. The theme helps harmonize the powerful Classic interface with the lightweight Modern UX and delivers a more unified common application experience to all your users.
XOG Performance Improvements
New disableTSVUpdate Attribute in XOG Import Files for Projects and Investments
In releases before 15.6, a XOG import (write) file, specifically for a project or non-project investment that included the optional openForTimeEntry attribute and associated resources who were also being allocated to a team (a special type of resource introduced in 15.5) through the same XOG import file, would cycle through all the assignments in the investment. This behavior could result in performance issues, especially during attempts to import large numbers of resources (for example, more than 10,000).
- When adding a resource to a team for an investment in the new or classic user interface, the application appends the ETC or actuals to the previously-generated slice curve.
- When adding a resource through the XOG, the existing time-scaled value (TSV) curves are unknown and cannot be accessed; instead, the XOG import causes the application to regenerate all TSV curves for all assignments in the investment.
To improve XOG performance in Clarity PPM 15.6 or higher, include the new disableTSVUpdate XOG attribute in your XOG import file:
- If set to true, the XOG import does not attempt to process the aggregated TSV values; instead, administrators run the Investment Allocation job to update the aggregated totals.
- If the attribute is set to false or excluded from the import file, the functionality remains the same as the previous release.
Timesheet Features and Enhancements
Add Work by Task ID, Investment ID, or Investment Name
The new timesheet has an option to add work by searching on Work Name / ID (this is the Investment Name / ID). It also displays the Work Name / ID (Investment Name / ID) in the list of work to add to the timesheet.
Enter Time for Others in Days
In previous releases, timesheets in the New User Experience supported time entries in hours or days; however, when entering time for others (an available feature), the display of time in days was not consistent.
In this release, the entry of time for others is available in hours or days. Specifically, the display of decimal values on the gauge for hours or days is consistent across different timesheet pages. When creating timesheets, the appropriate labels appear for hours or days based on the previous timesheet entries and settings. The option under Copy Previous Timesheet shows Copy Days as appropriate instead of Copy Hours.
Other New Features and Enhancements
Limited CORS Support for REST API BETA
To improve CA PPM integration capabilities, this release introduces limited support for Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) with external applications. In 15.5, we introduced the white listing of domains in external URLs to allow for CORS support with our blueprint channel feature. In 15.6, Clarity PPM integration developers, product owners, and users can now explore and test a standard way to allow CORS between Clarity PPM and external applications.
This release allows you to define external domains and accept external URL requests in PPM. CORS support extends to all PPM environments including on-premise, SaaS, and even our new mobile app version 3.0.
With CORS, all of the following use cases are now possible:
- Improved CA PPM Integration with CA Agile Central: The CA Agile Central (Rally) agile application can make web-hook calls to PPM to read project data that is personalized for the current user.
- Improved Third-Party Integrations: Leverage the power of Clarity PPM as a business platform through third-party integrations with an array of traditional products and new solutions. Examples include SharePoint, FlowDock, Slack, Microsoft Team, Atlassian JIRA, and CA Agile Central (Rally) just to name a few.
Whether you decide to engage with us directly or go with a partner to build your own integration, you can leverage these new options.
For full details, please see the 15.6 Release Notes.
When CA Technologies acquired Niku and its flagship product Clarity back in 2005, Clarity quickly became the most recognized brand in CA’s extensive application portfolio. When CA later rebranded the application as CA Project & Portfolio Management, the industry was left scratching its collective head. The name “Clarity” remained popular, and never entirely dropped from the community vernacular. In November 2018, Broadcom completed its acquisition of CA Technologies, and immediately declared that most of their well-known products would be returned to their original names. And now it is official – CA PPM has been rebranded to Clarity PPM.