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UniPhi Blog

UniPhi 17 - Copy paste from Excel for contract WBS, progress claim valuations, resourcing and cash flow

UniPhi Software, 07 Jun 2021

In UniPhi 15, we created a new methodology for pulling information from Microsoft Excel. Traditionally we would provide users the ability to upload an excel file to import a budget, cash flow or resources. This worked well if the Excel file was formatted. If it wasn't, providing feedback to the end user was incredibly difficult and even sometimes when it was, the result was not what the user expected (which meeting user expectations is kind of a big deal).

Column mappings interface for WBS paste from MS Excel

So in UniPhi 15, we created our first copy paste function for importing resources. This has expanded over time and now in UniPhi 17, will include contract deliverables, contract cash flow phasing, effort phasing and progress claim valuations.

No matter now many columns and what those columns are called in Excel, the data can be pasted into UniPhi and mapped to the relevant field. So in the above screenshot, you can see that some crazy column headings from Excel have been mapped to their relevant UniPhi field name.

One of the key action buttons in the graphic above is the validate button. Once the fields are mapped, the user can click "Validate" and UniPhi will check all the data and instantly display errors before you try to import the data.

Data validation step









Once a user is happy and there's no validation errors, click Import and in this instance your contract deliverables have been created.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Managing separable portions

Mark Heath, 31 May 2021

In UniPhi 16 and before, if you tendered for a scope of work but only awarded sections of that tender at a time, you would have to create multiple contracts for the same supplier. Otherwise:

a) your contract sum value will be incorrect as you haven't actually awarded the value being displayed and  

b) your cost report would be inaccurate. 

In UniPhi, when you create a contract schedule of works or list of deliverables, you code them to a cost code that contains the budget for that deliverable. The status of the contract then determines where in that cost report your contract cost will display. All contracts that have a contract status that is flagged as "committed" will have their value displayed as an "original" contract value in the "committed" section of the cost report. All contracts that have a status that is flagged as "Pending" will have their value displayed under the "Pending Contract" column in the "uncommitted" section of the cost report. The distinction is important as committed costs form part of what must be paid if the project is cancelled whereas uncommitted costs reflect those costs that can be removed.

Cost report
Automated cost dashboard in UniPhi's cost module.

In UniPhi 17, a contract can be split into committed and uncommitted components. This means you can let a portion of your contract and leave the residual as a pending contract to maintain a proper estimate at completion for the project. This is achieved through the addition of a "deliverable status" column to the contract value screen. Variations have always had a status so now the original contract value is more aligned to the variations panel and separable portions are easier to manage.

Pending contract deliverable line items

 

Come back Thursday June 3rd for our next UniPhi 17 blog post on various copy paste from excel features.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Collaborating around deliverables

UniPhi Software, 27 May 2021

The new earned value feature against deliverables (a future blog post) led to the development of todays new UniPhi 17 feature, collaborating around contract deliverables. When assessing the "earned value" of a deliverable, it's important to look for evidence of the progress being claimed. So for example if your deliverable is to issue engineering design drawings of some sort and this deliverable has a 40% stage gate for when the draft is issued for interdisciplinary review, we thought it would be nice if we could link this draft to the deliverable when you claim the EV. 

The end result - comments against deliverables. 

This will potentially remove the double up that would occur in UniPhi 16 (and before) where users would create issues/activities in the issues/activities module that were the same as the contract deliverable in the contracts module so that they could collaborate around the item at hand. 

This feature will evolve over time to become richer and more rewarding but at the moment this is how it works: From any sub-nav that displays deliverables in the contracts module, a project manager can click on the comments icon and they will be taken to the screen below: 

 

Team members will also be able to add comments and see documentation via the timesheet module:

Then when reviewing earned value for a deliverable all the PM needs to do is click on the comments link and voilà, there's evidence supporting their 40% claim. Over time, we'll provide machine learning that can automate this claim process and/or highlight false claims where no draft document exists but for now, hopefully, the transparency is enough to get real value out of the earned value stats and probably even more beneficial, project team members will be able to share information faster and more effectively.

We'll be demonstrating earned value in two weeks (June 8th) at our third UniPhi 17 webinar. Register now.
 

 

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Gold, Gold, Gold for UniPhi

UniPhi Software, 26 May 2021

Yes we are closet Norman May fans here at UniPhi and we've recently been inspired by the great man to go Gold in our sponsorship of the Project Controls Exhibition Melbourne 2021 edition. 

The exhibition is at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the 29-30 November 2021. This will be the third time that UniPhi is represented at a project controls event with us attending the 2018 version in Melbourne as well as the 2020 virtual expo held last September.

These are great events and we strongly recommend if your into project controls signing up and coming along. There's a fantastic black tie dinner on the first night and lots of opportunity to hear from a broad range of speakers.

We'll have more on this exciting event over the coming months.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Deliverable assignments by classification

UniPhi Software, 24 May 2021

There are three role definitions per person in UniPhi:

1) Role(s) on the team

2) Position in your organisation (AKA your job title)

3) Your salary classification

The first of these definitions sets up what your responsibilities are on the project. For example you may be project director on a project which has a defined set of responsibilities and accountabilities that are different to your general position in your company and salary level. In fact, it is common for people to be in different salary classifications but in the same role on different projects, usually due to the varying size and complexity of projects. In UniPhi, the access level assigned to these roles leads to the functionality that's available to the end user.

Job titles are always interesting and in UniPhi this is a free text field so that we can cater for the full list of that are dreamt up over time. One of our favourites over the years is chief culture officer which lead to our own head of fromage job title which passes weekly to the person who brings into the office the charcuterie platter for Friday lunch.

Classification is used in UniPhi as a driver for determining both cost and charge rates and can now in, UniPhi 17,  be used as an assignment to contract deliverables. The benefits of this capability are:

Price build 

As classifications have rates, you can assign a classification (e.g. Exec level 1) to a deliverable and that deliverable will inherit the cost and charge rate for that classification. This means you can build up your estimate for a new job using the unlimited WBS and the rates library assigned to classifications.

Contract deliverables with resource classifications and rates

Resource planning

By applying effort estimates to build up your price and then scheduling out the contract deliverables, UniPhi's portfolio tools can present a bottom up resource profile by these classifications. As a user can only have one classification (unlike project roles) this provides for a far more robust resource plan.

Resource planning by classification
Classification effort profiles over time

Timesheets

If a user is in the classification that is allocated to the deliverable, then this deliverable will appear in their timesheets for that project. This means you can get actual values against a deliverable to measure performance without having to assign each person to the task.

Timesheet to deliverables
Deliverables appear based on classification

These three benefits mean that it is far simpler in UniPhi 17 to get the virtuous circle of estimate leading to resource planning, leading to post contract performance management, leading back into estimating again.

We'll be demonstrating how this functionality works in our June 22nd UniPhi 17 webinar. Sign up to see first hand the above in action.

And don't forget to come back on Thursday to read about our next UniPhi 17 "Collaboration around deliverables".

 

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