As the yuletide rolls in around Sharktower, here at HQ we’ve been reminiscing about another year of helping businesses manage change and deliver value.
From project milestones to business objectives, 2021’s new features helped even more teams navigate stormy waters and guide projects safely to shore. Here’s a recap of what’s been released already, plus a sneak peek of what’s brand new for December.
Budget management made a splash…
Maximising profit was a resolution for every business in 2021, and back in January we delivered Sharktower’s budget management feature. This enabled users to break the project budget down into different categories and types; quickly spot cost overruns; see resourcing errors and identify inaccurate estimates.
It’s been one of our most popular feature launches to date, with users reporting it’s helped them keep projects on track month by month.
Our budget management tool was released in January 2021
…then got even better.
In March, we made budget management even better with new summary tiles and graph views – as well as a “Budget vs Forecast” visual on the Project Overview page.
In April and May, Springtime improvements were sprung, including:
- Improved authentication – we created a new mechanism for when users log in, change passwords or add more users. This chunk of work got Sharktower ready for Single Sign-On and Multi-Factor Authentication, which we are now rolling out to certain customers.
- Smarter project filters – we added a simple but handy feature that means when you navigate away from the Projects page, Sharktower will remember your filters for when you come back.
- Workstream performance – we added a visual to the Project Overview page to enable project managers and stakeholders to understand more about the status of scope breakdown across all workstreams on the project.
Shiny additions for summer
In July and August, we created a data extract mechanism, enabling users to create their own reports.
The data extract function allows admins to extract all of the data from Sharktower in order to create charts and pivot tables which support stories in their reports. Now it’s much easier to provide different stakeholders with different views; keep an audit trail; and ingest the data into existing platforms and tools.
We also gave users the ability to distinguish between a project milestone and a business outcome within the plan. Now benefits tracking is clearer than ever, and users can capture a value against the outcome, as well as linking the outcome to a specific business objective.
In September and October, we added a new project status, allowing users to mark projects as complete. And we made some hot new improvements to the Plan feature too.
We recognised that having to update Plan and Kanban data separately wasn’t ideal for users, so we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Now, when you copy, delete or move activities in the Plan, the changes can be reflected in the Kanban too.
- When you copy activities, you have the option to copy linked work items – handy if you have a repeating process that has the same underlying work.
- When you move activities, you have the option to change the work item due dates – (as we all know, plans are constantly shifting so it helps when you can reflect these changes in the low level work breakdown).
- And finally, when you delete an activity, you can now delete the work items too. A nice clean sweep when you’re tidying up your plan and removing unwanted work.
Now you can copy, delete and move activity in a project plan, you can choose to trigger the same changes in the Kanban.
And an Autumn bonus for automated emails
In late Autumn, we also added a neat little improvement to automated meeting minute emails. Now, items raised in the latest meeting are shown separately to those from previous meetings. This helps ensure actions aren’t missed and gives attendees better visibility of the most recent actions assigned to them.
Brand new festive features!
As December whizzes past, we’ve got a few new features to announce:
- Project labels: as well as grouping your projects into distinct portfolios, you’ll be able to tag them with other properties that you want to report on, such as Mandatory Regulatory vs Strategic, project complexity level or business unit sponsor.
- Enabling Single Sign-On: building on Spring’s authentication mechanism, we now offer single sign-on for some of our enterprise customers. If you’re interested in this for your Sharktower instance, please get in touch.
- And we also received our ISO 27001 certification!
Throughout 2021, our Customer Success team have been developing and refining Sharktower’s Automated Tailored Reporting. This allows customers to have data feed bespoke reports in line with their brand and reporting commitments, and they can now be automated and emailed to key stakeholders, ensuring visibility across the business.
In addition to this, we’ve improved our monthly usage reports to include a new Assurance Dashboard. This is designed to help you spot issues before they happen and gives you the information you need to ensure projects remain on time and within budget.
Now Sharktower Automated Tailored Reporting can show you – and your stakeholders – even more of the data they want and need.
Have a fin-tastic festive break!
Thanks for being part of the Sharktower family – we love finding more ways to make managing projects that little bit simpler.
From our team to yours, we hope you have a very happy Christmas.
See you in 2022!