By Rachel | July 3, 2018
We’re pleased to confirm the release of ilign 8.4. Hosted customers will be upgraded during the evening of Sunday 15 July, pending final testing.
As you know, improving our Benefits Management and Strategy features are key aspects of this release. We’ve also updated the look of i-lign to give it a more contemporary feel and made some changes to timesheets. As always, please get in contact if you have any questions or comments.
Organisations expect their investment in both current and new areas of work will generate benefits of some sort. These benefits maybe financial such as increased profit or non financial such as increased staff engagement. However, without ongoing attention, these benefits don’t always materialise fully, if at all. This is why benefit ownership and benefit reviews are central to our new benefits design. Used effectively, these two elements keep benefits live from the point when benefits are defined through to the point they are realised.
All benefits in i-lign are allocated a Benefit Owner. This is the person accountable for the realisation of the benefit - generally a Business Owner or Manager. The Benefit Owner makes sure that the work being carried out during the course of the project /programme will deliver their benefit(s). To support this, i-lign enables Benefit Owners to review their benefits from the start of the project/programme, rather than waiting for the benefits to start to materialise. A RAG (Red,Amber,Green) icon is used as part of the review to indicate whether the benefit is on track.
Measures can also be added to a benefit and these can be reviewed as part of the benefit review. Graphs to record measurement data have been added. As well as planned and actual lines, these graphs also contain a forecast line which allow the Benefit Owner to update their forecast as work progresses. If these forecasts vary significantly from the planned amounts, then those governing the project/programme have the opportunity to consider whether or not the project/programme is worth continuing.
This new benefits functionality is also available for use by Services and Activities. You need to toggle to the Value view to see the Benefits tab.
As well as improving benefit functionality at an individual benefit level, i-lign 8.4 also introduces improved overall views of benefits, both from an Organisational perspective and from the perspective of an individual Benefit Owner.
For more information on how benefits work in i-lign 8.4, see our Benefits Management tutorial
Migration of existing benefits
Existing benefit information will be migrated over to the new benefits. Where there isn’t a field to add existing information, then custom fields will be created.
Benefits in 8.4 have a start date and close date which relate to the period the benefit is being monitored for. Generally the start date of a benefit will be a the start date of the project / programme. The close date is likely to extend out past the end of the project. This a significant change from the previous benefits functionality which identified the start date the benefit was expected to materialise.
For migration purposes, benefits will be assigned their existing start date. Most existing benefits won’t have a close date, but if they do then this date will be migrated.
Benefits of projects/programmes which closed prior to 30 June 2017 will be allocated an arbitrary close date, if they don’t already have one. This is calculated by adding 12 months to the project/programme close date. For example, a benefit of a project with an end date of 30 April 2016, will be allocated a close date of 30 April 2017.
Benefits of open projects/programmes which have a benefit start date prior to 1 July 2017 but no close date will be allocated a close date of 30 June 2018.
Benefits which are not closed as part of the benefits migration will need to be reviewed to:
- Check that migrated information is still relevant
- Update start and close dates so they relate to the period the benefit is being monitored for.
i-lign’s Strategy feature has also been improved in 8.4. The KPI graphs have been updated and the ability to review strategic drivers added.
For more information, see our Strategy tutorial.
We’ve updated timesheets in 8.4 to give you more control over the items you see on your timesheet. Sometimes you don’t want to see particular items on your timesheet every week. In 8.4, you can blacklist an item to prevent it showing on your timesheet automatically. You can also copy the previous week’s timesheet items or clear all items from your timesheet.
For more information see this Timesheet Cheatsheet pdf.
We also change the look of i-lign in 8.4 to give it a more contemporary feel, as you can see from the screenshots in this blog.
We’ve changed our organisation broadcasts to allow i-lign adminstrators to send a message which will be seen by all users when they next log into i-lign. To be able to send an organisation broadcast you will need System Admin security.
See our Organisation broadcasts tutorial for information on how to add these.
Full list of changes
See here for a full list of changes and bug fixes.
Planned release date
Our release date is planned for Sunday 15 July. As always this is subject to successful completion of final testing.
Don’t forget to get in touch it you’d like us to set up a preview or you have any other questions or comments.