Why (and How) You Can Master Clarizen Configurations

Kim EssendrupHi! I’m Kim Essendrup, one of the founders of Kolme Group and co-host of the Project Management Happy Hour podcast. At Kolme Group, we’re really proud to be a Preferred Implementation Partner for the Clarizen Project and Portfolio management platform.

And that partnership is no accident!

My partners and I started out on the technical track many years ago. And over time we made the jump into project management, implementing business automation tools for Enterprises, then we moved into program and PMO leadership, and most recently to building, fixing and optimizing Project delivery organizations.

During that journey, I personally, found myself building a new PMO for pan-European services organization. One of my first priorities was selecting and implementing a PPM solution that could handle our sophisticated organizational structure and complex financial requirements – and do it across 11 countries and 7 currencies and 3 different business practices – but it still had to be easy enough for all types of users to work in on a daily basis.

We chose to implement the Clarizen PPM solution and it was a complete game changer for our organization.

We had a single place where we could manage all our delivery, forecast projects, and manage resources. For the first time, our organization had a clear picture of our projects and resources in real time. It worked so well that we increased our billable utilization by 20%!

Why (and How) You Can Master Clarizen Configurations

I was SO impressed with Clarizen that, with a colleague, Matt Henderson – then later Drew Middleton, we founded Kolme Group and partnered with Clarizen so we could help other organizations enjoy the same success we had found with Clarizen.

Over the years, we’ve grown Kolme Group with the best and brightest Clarizen, Project Management, change management and instructional design experts we could find so we could be the consulting firm we wish we had when we were running a PMO.

Now, one of the great strengths of Clarizen is it’s ability to be uniquely configured to support your specific business processes, top to bottom, for every department. While having a tool this powerful is a huge asset, it also means that there is a LOT to learn about its capabilities and how to shape it to your organization.

Fortunately, we have a team of experts ready to help you succeed with Clarizen. And now, it’s going to be easier than EVER to access our team of experts. BECAUSE this August, we are launching Kolme University’s Clarizen Configuration Masterclasses!

Each and every one of our Clarizen configuration Masterclasses will take you, step-by-step, through the creation of a Clarizen solution that will add value to your business. We start easy for team members that may not yet have a lot of configuration background or are fresh out of Clarizen’s foundation training, and take you all the way through amazingly sophisticated solutions that can help take your organization to the next level.

We will be offering several learning tracks including:

  • Project Intake
  • Project Lifecycle
  • Custom Financials
  • API Development
  • And Much More

With new courses dropping every month you’ll transform your system to drive focus and respond faster – really impressing your stakeholders.

Master Clarizen Configuration EasilyAnd since we are a Clarizen Preferred Partner, our content will always be aligned with new product releases so you can take advantage of new features as they come out.

All course content will be offered on-demand so you can pause, rewind, and re watch while you configure alongside us. And each course will include downloadable worksheets and even “quick start” configuration downloads that you can install within your own system if you need to get up and running quickly.

For our premium members, we’re offering 1:1 configuration help when you need a hand getting going.

So, if you are ready to be a game changer and want to unlock all the amazing things your Clarizen solution can do for your organization, join us and our team of Clarizen experts by clicking below to sign up for Kolme University.

I look forward to seeing you in class so we can help you triumph ahead of schedule with #KolmeU.

Customize Your Financial Planning View In Clarizen

We’ve premiered another quick win Kolme University mini-masterclass, showing you how to embed a Financial Planning view into a custom panel. 

Normally, if you want to see the financial panel, you have to go to a dedicated view.

BUT, by the end of our mini-masterclass you will have the Financial Planning panel and we can embed that in a one or two-column view. 

This is a great time-saver as now you’ll see your financials from other views. Which means you don’t have to go back and forth between views to see your financials while working on a project!  

What Is Financial Planning?

Understanding your project financials using Financial Planning in Clarizen will allow you to better plan, manage and track for success!

Financial Planning provides a fast, simple, and familiar way of working with project budgets that combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet for data entry, with the control and structure that organizations need to keep track of the bigger picture, at scale, and over time

Clarizen Success

See how to customize your Financial Planning View in Clarizen, Click Here and watch our short Financial Panel Mini-Masterclass on our YouTube channel.

Features of Financial Planning In Clarizen

  • Project cost estimation (initial costing/pricing)
  • Project cost budgeting (detailed budget with work plan)
  • Project cost control (monthly tracking of actuals)
  • Project revenue forecasting (month, quarter, year)
  • Revenue recognition for time & materials projects (revenue actuals)

Watch The Expert + Build Like Us

Join Kolme University instructor Kim Essendrup as he quickly teaches you how to customize your financial planning view in Clarizen. Then, put this knowledge to work by adding a NEW custom invoice module to track your project costs more easily!

To add your own Custom Financial Planning Panel inside of Clarizen – Download our FREE worksheet

Become A Student

It’s easy for you to begin our Configuration Masterclasses powered by Kolme University! Configuration Masterclasses will provide you with new tools and ideas to keep your system top-notch and customized to fit your business needs. 

 

Need More Clarizen Support?

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com

Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube and use #KolmeGroup on your shared posts!

 

Powerful Timephase Functionality In Clarizen

Powerful Timephase Functionality In Clarizen

Clarizen just released some amazing new functionality for their Clarizen One platform which opens the door to some really powerful financial functionality.  We’re going to teach you a solution that uses a custom Invoices Module to track actual costs to your project – and integrates that into your projects’ timephase financials using this new Clarizen feature.

Watch our short video to walk you through setting this up! 

As with all of our expert advice, these tips will save you and your team a lot of time inside your system! As a premier implementation partner for Clarizen, our favorite PPM tool, we wanted to ensure our Admin Users had these handy tips available to them.

Life Without Timephase Data

The new financial functionality lets you integrate just about ANY object in the system into your Project Financials. Although, this functionality was technical possible before, it required a LOT of custom Powerful Timephase Functionality In Clarizenconfiguration. 

Note! If you are not familiar with Clarizen financial planning and timephase data, please visit this Clarizen Success article to learn more prior to reading on. 

Looking at project management from a very basic point of view, I have a project with tasks. Each task has so many hours of work on it. I multiply the work by some hourly cost rate for a resource, and there are my costs for the project.  

The Problem

The PROBLEM with this is that it’s only summary data. I’m given the planned and actual cost/revenue for the entire project but I have no idea what my month-to-month cost or revenue is?  

This is also really important for managing progress and cash flow. I can show that I’m currently 50% under budget. That’s good, right? 

But what if I’m 50% under budget – and I’m only 10% of the way through the project? Well, that’s NOT GOOD! 

The Solution

So, what we NEED is an easy way to look at the costs in a Timephase way. Watch our short video to walk you through setting this up!

What is my planned and actual cost (or revenue) by month AND for the entire project?  This lets me manage cash flow AND understand when things are starting to go off track. To do this, Clarizen offers Timephase Financials. In this concept, each time period is broken out by day, and we calculate resource for each period. 

Further, I can add any number of what Clarizen calls “Non-Labor Resources”. Powerful Timephase Functionality In ClarizenThese are containers for categories of costs. Typically, these will align with how your finance department needs to see project costs broken out. 

The limit we have is that I have to manually enter items. But what if I could say, import 1000 invoices each month and have them automatically link to their respective project and impact their Actual Cost?

Click Here to watch the Mini-Masterclass on our YouTube channel to walk you through all the steps.

Where Can You Use This Inside Clarizen? 

  • Purchase Orders

    For planned cost, then use invoices for actuals

  • Change Requests

    You can use Clarizen’s native request object and link those to timephase financials, maybe add fields for requested, authorized, actual…

  • Financial forecasting

    Put really complex financial calculations on the object

  • You can also make this bi-directional

    You can use Clarizen functions to query data from your financials, perform calculations, then push updated data back into the financials table.

Prerequisites

Environment

  • Sandbox

    Enter content here

  • Administrative Access

    Enter content here

  • System Setting 9.6 Enable Financial Planning enabled

Technical Skills

  • Completed Clarizen Admin Training

    Enter content here

  • Creating custom fields

    Enter content here

  • Basic workflow creation

    Enter content here

  • Basic profile management

  • Create NLR

  • Understand the concept of timephase financials

Watch The Expert + Build Like Us

Join Kolme University instructor Kim Essendrup as he walks you through adding a customized invoice Powerful Timephase Functionality In Clarizenmodule to track project costs using a custom object, and link them to Project time period financials using Clarizen’s powerful new “Set Financial Timephase Data” action!

Watch Here on our YouTube Channel! We offer a FREE worksheet available for download as an easy reminder while your in your system.

Become A Student

It’s easy for you to begin our Configuration Masterclasses powered by Kolme University! Configuration Masterclasses will provide you with new tools and ideas to keep your system top-notch and customized to fit your business needs.

 

Need More Clarizen Support?

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com

Be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube and use #KolmeGroup on your shared posts!

Clarizen Input Form + Notifications Using HTML

Clarizen Input Form + Notifications Using HTML

Here is another one of our favorite Pro-Tips to make Clarizen even more user-friendly than it already is. Learn how to create a user-friendly Clarizen Input Form + Pop-Up Notifications using HTML.

As with all of our expert advice, these tips will save you and your team a lot of time inside of your system! As a premier implementation partner for Clarizen, our favorite PPM tool, we wanted to ensure our Admin Users had these handy tips available to them.

HTML To The Rescue

Add HTML Code To Help Your User’s Focus On Important Information! HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language and is used specifically in website coding. It’s been around since the 1990’s so hopefully you’ve heard of it! 

If not, or if it’s been a little bit since you’ve dusted off your MySpace accountdon’t fret because there are tons of free online resources available. Start learning HTML hereFinding a snippet of code is only a Google Search away! 

Why HTML?

HTML code is really easy to implement and adds a lot of value to the end-user. Clarizen Input Form + Notifications Using HTMLEven a line break or bolded font can turn an Input Form into a visually engaging electronic document that helps the user focus on where they need to provide the valuable information.  

To see how to create your own Input Form + Pop-up Notifications, Click Here to watch the Mini-Masterclass on our YouTube channel.

HTML can be used a lot of different ways including table formatting of your email notifications inside of Clarizen, User Interface enhancements with Clarizen forms as shown in our mini-masterclass, Etc.. 

Prerequisites

  • Environment 
    • Sandbox  
    • Administrative access  
  • Technical Skills – You have experience… 
    • Creating/editing a custom action 
    • Basic HTML knowledge  
    • Don’t get scared here, we are talking very basic. If you can find the carrot and the slash on your keyboard, you’ll be fine.  
    • Trust us!

 

Watch The Expert + Build Like Us

Join Kolme University instructor Kori Homewood as she walks Clarizen Input Form + Notifications Using HTMLyou through adding a user-friendly Clarizen Input Form + Pop-Up Notifications using HTML. 

Watch Here on our YouTube Channel!

Advance your Clarizen Admin skills with Kori’s help by learning how to build a custom HTML Form and Pop-up Notifications saving your team  time! Then, you’ll learn how to apply this new form and notification code to your system creating a real-time update!

Download your FREE HTML Form Code Pack HERE

Your ‘Code Pack’ includes:

  • A PDF outline of the course with HTML tag Instructions
  • a .CAP file, which are the Clarizen configurations – both before and after HTML

Become A Student

It’s easy for you to begin our Configuration Masterclasses powered by Kolme University! Configuration Masterclasses will provide you with new tools and ideas to keep your system top-notch and customized to fit your business needs. 

Need More Clarizen Support?

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com  

Be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube and use #KolmeGroup on your shared posts!  

Custom Clarizen Action Button

Clarizen Action Buttons

We are going to share one of our favorite Pro-Tips to make Clarizen even more user-friendly than it already is. Introducing the Clarizen Custom Action Button (AKA Smart Button)!

These will save you and your team a lot of time! As a premier implementation partner for Clarizen, our favorite PPM tool, we wanted to ensure our Admin Users had this handy tip available to them.

Today we’re going to learn about…. Smart Buttons!

Officially, this functionality isn’t called Smart Buttons, it doesn’t actually have a name but smart buttons is a good description.  

We are going to use a little snippet of custom CSS and some configuration to create a dynamic smart button that you can use a lot of different ways. 

What Are Smart Buttons?

Smart Buttons may look complicated but don’t worry they are SUPER simple and have a ton of great uses.

To see how to create your own Smart Button, Click Here to watch our short Smart Button Mini-Masterclass on our YouTube channel.

A Smart Button is a button you can place nearly anywhere in the Clarizen User Interface (UI) Clarizen Action Buttonsthat you can place a custom field. It’s a great UI add because people intuitively want to click on buttons.  

One of the things that makes these buttons so powerful is that they can be totally dynamic. You can change the text displayed on the button based on different conditions, and you can make a button click do different things based on your business rules. 

Prerequisites

  • Environment 
    • Clarizen Sandbox  
    • Administrative access  
  • Technical Skills – You have experience… 
    • Creating custom fields 
    • Creating custom action 
    • Adding fields to views – both grids and property cards 
    • Be able to follow Clarizen Case() and If() statements 

Watch The Expert + Build Like Us

Join Kolme University instructor Kim Essendrup as he walks you through adding a Clarizen custom action button. Watch Here on our YouTube Channel

Advance your Clarizen Admin skills with Kim’s help by learning how to build a Custom Clarizen Action ButtonCSS button saving you and your team lots of time! Next, you’ll learn how to apply this text button code to your system creating, in real-time, a new functioning Clarizen action button.

You can also download your FREE Smart Button Code Pack HERE.

The Code Pack includes:

  • Smart Button CSS Code used in the video
  • A PDF outline of the course
  • a .CAP file, which are the Clarizen configurations

Become A Student

It’s easy for you to begin our Configuration Masterclasses powered by Kolme University! Configuration Masterclasses will provide you with new tools and ideas to keep your system top-notch and customized to fit your business needs. 

Need More Clarizen Support?

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com  

Be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube and use #KolmeGroup on your shared posts!  

The “Missing link” – Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR)

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR)

After today, the Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR) + Document Publisher will be much easier for you to use!

Imagine, a “one-click” status report inside of Clarizen that can save you a huge amount of time! This article will teach you tips and tricks to create advanced status reporting automaton on the Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR).

What is the PPR?

The Periodic Project Report (PPR) found in Clarizen, provides Project Managers the ability to distribute status reports in either .doc or .PDF format!

Document Publisher

Periodic Project Report (PPR)

Document Publisher lets you dynamically create reports in the Microsoft Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx and .pptm) file formats based on Clarizen data. As a one time set up, you need to create and upload a file template with field mappings, and desired layout and branding. With the Document Publisher, you can create powerful branded reports, executive memos, presentations populated with Clarizen data. You can also output Microsoft Word document into a PDF file which can be emailed or downloaded. Generate a Project Report with basic project information, roadmap, details on milestones, tasks (completed, active and tasks at risk or off/track), risks, requests, issues, bugs and timesheet reports.

Document Publisher vs Slide Publisher

Clarizen users may be more familiar with Carizen’s Slide Publisher application, which is similar to Document Publisher in that it is an easy way to merge project data, timeline graphics and even report charts into external documents. But, there are a couple key differences between Slide Publisher and Document Publisher.

A key difference is that there is no option to load different PPT templates and have them selected at run time for Slide Publisher, though multiple Document Publisher templates can be loaded and then selected at run time.

Some additional differences include:

Slide Publisher Document Publisher
Exports data to… MS Powerpoint MS Word or PDF
Exports data from… Projects, Programs, Custom Objects Projects, Cases
User Experience… Easy copy/paste tags, easy for most users Less intuitive use of merge tags, not for the typical user

 

Clarizen Document Publisher and the Periodic Project Report are greats tool for exporting Clarizen to Word/PDF documents for distribution and can provide the foundation to a document creation system that is integrated with your PPM. Some example uses may include:

  • Change requests
  • Purchase orders
  • Invoices
  • Status reports (using the PPR)
  • Portfolio and financial reports
  • Or any other document based on data in Clarizen

The links above provide base level documentation on how to use Document Publisher and PPR. Recently I had the opportunity to solve some requests for extracting data for “Custom Fields”, “linked” objects, and “related” items which require more sophisticated use of Document Publisher’s merge tags. In this post I will share an example of each of these more sophisticated configurations. Be sure to review the Clarizen documentation linked above first to gain a base level understanding of how to run the custom macros and manage the table configuration & formatting.

The PPR report is based on Clarizen’s Document Publisher properties. The PPR installation from the Apps Marketplace provides a template that will be stored as a file within the Clarizen Instance. Because of this, the file respects the accessibility rules of certain members in the group. For group members to access the correct PPR report, it must be added as a related item to the associated group.

Standard & Custom fields

Referencing standard or custom fields requires a single area selection for the field formula to reside in. The below example will grab a custom field with the API name of “C_Otherinformation” from the Request Work item and place it in the selected area.

Example Formula: { !field=EnhancementRequest.C_OtherInformation }

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR) Tips

Related Items

Referencing related items is a bit more complicated to configure. This type of reference requires two or more fields and associated formulas which will bring in a row for each item that is related.

Note the highlighted section and the corresponding formula below, this is the first identifier for the related item. It outlines the related item in the Project work item, in this case, Decisions. This formula designates the related item and the row creation.

Example Formula:
Related Item identifier: [ !field=Project.R_Decisions !relationfield=R_Decisions !orderby=R_Decisions.Title !orderdesc=False !totalrow=False ]

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR) Tips

Related Item identifier – Mapping the Related Item Decisions

The second identifier shown below specifies the field(s) in the related item to be displayed, in this example Title and State of the decisions are being configured. Additional columns can be added with corresponding formulas to bring in additional fields.

Example Formulas:
Related Item Field identifier: { !field= R_Decisions.Title }
Related Item Field identifier: { !field=R_Decisions.State.Name }

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR) Tips

Related Item Field identifier – Mapping the Title field for related item Decisions.

 

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR) Tips

Related Item Field identifier – Mapping the State field for related item Decisions.

Linked Objects

Referencing Linked items is similar to Related items, the primary difference is determining the name of the Link. A quick search in Clarizen’s configuration will yield the information that is required. For this example the Link is Project Customer Link, in order to reference it, you need to use the name “CustomerLink”.

Clarizen Periodic Project Report (PPR)

Finding the Link name to User for DP or PPR

This type of reference requires two or more fields and associated formulas and will bring in a row for each item that is linked.  Additional columns can be added with corresponding formulas to bring in additional fields.

Example Formulas:
Link Identifier: [ !field=Project.CustomerLink !relationfield=Entity !totalrow=False ]
Linked Field Identifier: { !field=CustomerLink.Customer.Name }

Link Identifier – Mapping Project Customer Link

Link Field Identifier – Mapping the Customer Name

 

Next Steps

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com  

Be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube and use #KolmeGroup on your shared posts!  

A Quick Overview of Clarizen Portfolio Optimization

Clarizen Portfolio Optimization (CPO) is a free “add-in” for the Clarizen One PPM platform, which some of our clients have expressed interest in. So, we decided to take a deeper look at this add-in and how it can be used to support your portfolio management processes.

Project and Portfolio Optimization is a project prioritization engine which allows teams to evaluate (and reevaluate) projects on a regular basis and make funding decisions based on evolving business priorities. It provides portfolio managers  with a quantifiable method for prioritizing projects to determine which projects should get funded. In this post, we’ll take a deeper look into this add-in, how to use it, and when it is useful (and when not as useful).

Why would would you use Clarizen’s Project and Portfolio Optimizer?

Let’s get to the point – you would use Clarizen Portfolio Optimization when you want to use a multiple weighted criteria (a Multi Decision Criteria Analysis -MDCA) to prioritize your projects. What that means is you choose up to 4 different weighted criteria you want to prioritize your potential projects by, then weight those criteria based on how important they are for your organization. For example, some project criteria may be alignment with organizational strategy, risk to the organization, duration, cost, etc. And you might weight those criteria based on how important each one is to your org – so, project alignment with organizational strategy my be 4x, but project cost might be only 2x importance.

Once you prioritize your projects, CPO can give you a “water line”, showing you how many of your projects you can perform for the budget allocated to that portfolio. 

The ability to set your own prioritization KPI’s and weight them is a very powerful feature, and the visualizations are quite nice. It lets you…

  • Build a sustainable culture of cost management with zero-based budgeting
  • Analyze your portfolio based on any type of cost and criteria that are important for you at any given time
  • Eliminate under-performing projects to focus on more productive ones

Let’s take a deeper look…

Some of our Kolme Group consultants built out Portfolio Optimizer in a test environment and dug a little deeper into the tool

Basic Steps to setup

  • Install and Enable the Application from the Clarizen App Store 
  • Create a Portfolio – This is the Parent level for any projects you want to run the Optimizer against. If you have projects already created you will need to move them under the Portfolio. The Portfolio Highlight panel installed with PPO only appears at the Portfolio level.
  • Create or move projects under the Portfolio – and populate them with needed data
  • Run “Set Portfolio KPI’s” from “actions” on the Portfolio object – This allows you to set the customer’s KPI’s (four KPI values can be set). Standard and Custom fields can be used as KPIs. However, the fields are limited to the following types; Duration, Currency, Numeric, Percent, and Number Picklist.

Setting it up

  • Be sure to populate the fields specified as the KPI’s in each of the projects.
  • From the Portfolio select the “Portfolio Optimization” view.
  • Select “Portfolio Highlights” pane to open.

Now Optimize!

  • Select “Optimization”, select a value for “Proposed Portfolio Budget”, assign weight values to each of the KPI’s. 
  • Notice the temporary update to  priority and score fields and a line is drawn where the budget cut off is. That’s your “waterline” which tells you how far your portfolio budget will get you
  • Saving writes the the priority value of the projects. Add Scenario saves the scenario to Discussions.

A Couple Important Tips: 

We found that some fields like Risk Total Score aren’t calculated from the risks assigned to the project and may need to be updated manually in each project – or via a workflow rule. Trial and Error seems to be required and of course looking at the field attributes/formulas

Why would you NOT use Clarizen’s Portfolio Optimizer?

Clarizen Portfolio Optimization does a good job with weighted criteria and letting you set scenarios, but its benefits are limited to organizations where budget is the primary limiting factor for selection. CPO doesn’t consider resource limitations, which is often a more important limiting factor when selecting projects.

Get more info on installing and using Clarizen Portfolio Optimizer on the Clarizen Success site!

We Can Help

Contact Kolme Group to find out more about our Project and Change Management Services, please email us at PPManswers@KolmeGroup.com.  

Be sure to follow us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube  and use #KolmeGroup on shared posts!