We’ve been hard at work for the past few weeks on several new features for Cobalt Project Manager, as well as some under-the-hood improvements to make the software perform even better than before. The two major features that we have added are Cost Tracking and Enhanced User Permissions. We hope that you will find that they really add value to the tool.
The new cost tracking feature includes the ability to assign resources to a project and specify their hourly rate for that project. It loads the Default Hourly Rate from the Resource, and then you can customize it for that particular project. Here is an example of the popup for assigning resources to the project and specifying the hourly rates for that project.
When you assign resources to a task, you can now choose from all resources or project resources. This makes it easier for larger organizations with a lot of resources so that you can keep the list narrowed down to just those resources involved in the project. Here is an example of how that screen looks.
The resource hourly rates are used to calculate the cost at the resource assignment level.
The resource assignment-level costs are then rolled up to the task-level. The task-level cost fields include:
- Baseline Cost
- Cost (Planned)
- Fixed Cost (This is a task-level cost.)
- Actual Cost
- Remaining Cost (Total Cost – Actual Cost)
- Cost Variance (Total Cost – Baseline Cost)
The project list also includes cost fields so that you can see your costs at the project level.
Enhanced User Permissions
This feature mainly changes how a user with the “User” role can access projects. If the User is the project manager (there can be up to 2 project managers of a project), then they have full control of the project. Otherwise they can only view the project if assigned as a resource to the project and/or task level (read-only).
When the User is viewing a project in read-only mode, we have made it so that everything is viewable for User. For example, they can view the project calendar but not edit it.
Also, on the project list tab, User cannot modify the custom hierarchy and they cannot delete a project unless they are the project manager.
The project “Quick List” has been modified to allow the filtering just like in the project list. The project Quick List is the drop-down list of projects that you can use to switch between projects easily while within a project. Here is a screenshot of the new project Quick List.
The project list on the calendar tab, as well as the bottom of the dashboard now only show active projects. Previously they were not filtered and included completed, on-hold and archived projects.
The page title has been updated to show the project name instead of the project id when you have a project open. This should make it more user-friendly to know which project you are currently in.
The escape key in Chrome now works for closing any popup dialog boxes. Previously this was only working in IE and Firefox.
More Changes Coming Soon
We are on to the next major feature – reporting. Over the next few weeks we will be working on the reporting engine for Cobalt project manager as well as some additional minor features based on user feedback.
We publish a list of our upcoming features on the roadmap page. We prioritize development based on feedback from our users, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any feedback or suggestions for how we can improve Cobalt Project Manager. We look forward to hearing from you!