Kimble has released Winter 20, the latest version of its PSA solution. There are more than one hundred enhancements within this release. Most of these were flagged or suggested by customers. The key improvement is the addition of what it has dubbed iterative planning through the introduction of Model Assignments.
Sarah Edwards, Kimble Managing Director commented: “We want to help businesses answer a crucial question: ‘How do we become more efficient and scalable in decision making? What we want to call out, is that businesses can use technology like Kimble to predict and to prevent bottlenecks, and make decisions closer to the customer. Our mission is to help our customers drive success with services, and we think the new features in Winter 20 certainly further that mission.”
Model assignments for iterative planning
Model assignments deliver the ability to quickly map future assignments within an organisation. This is especially important where a major project is delivered in phases. Business leaders do not want to assign staff to later phases in a project before the earlier phases are complete. However they do need to be aware of and map the potential future requirements.
Users can create parent assignments. For example creating an assignment for 4 days for four developers. This creates child assignments for each developer role that can be separately edited. If the model is reverted back to the parent assignment the child assignments are then removed. Model assignments can also be quickly adjusted as they have no impact on actual resources. This delivers several benefits.
Assignments can be used to forecast cost, revenue and usage without actually locking any resources in place. The ability to create and edit these assignments, without resource commitment, delivers an iterative planning ability that is extremely useful. Furthermore, it will highlight the long term requirement for the organisation.
A model assignment can also be applied. This changes the model assignment to be an actual draft assignment. It ensures that the work done is retained and does not need duplication when the project reaches the appropriate stage. Once applied, the assignment opens up a resource demand.
Model Assignments is an impressive addition to the Kimble feature set. It is integrated into the Kimble system where required. Kimble has also carefully thought about where it should not be integrated.
Key additions for resource management
There are several other improvements to the resource management features within Kimble. Three other areas that have seen improvement are:
Manual Assignment profiling: This is improved in Winter 20. It is now possible to manually profile by Month, Week or Day and there is an ability to switch between these views quickly. There are also more configuration options available for this feature.
Micro scheduling: There are four improvements:
- There is a new quick assign function enabling users to both create and schedule an assignment in the same process.
- Days can now be scheduled after the end of an assignment.
- Gantt chart functionality is improved with the ability to create, edit and move scheduled days from the Gantt chart view.
- Scheduled days can be edited on mass and save in a single action.
Resourcing details: This is a new concept that Kimble has introduced. It includes the ability to have a resourcing status to deliver a more granular understanding of demand fulfilment. The resourcing status effectively allows the existence of a sub-status when the assignment demand status is set to “open”. The resourcing sub status can be one of “With resourcing”,” under review”, “with external party” or “on hold”.
It is also dependent upon the demand status so that if the parent demand status is changed the resourcing sub-status is updated. There is now the option to add a resourcing manager, the new role allows them to manage assignment demand. Organisations are now able to add additional custom fields to resourcing, in addition to the resource status and resource manager. For example a priority or a location field could be added for a specific resource.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Many of the upgrades in this release are clearly targeted at larger organisations with more complex requirements. The addition of model assignments will be especially useful in some sectors. It will enable organisations to better understand their future requirements without having an impact on the resourcing process. Kimble’s introduction of iterative planning provides a differential in the market that others may need to replicate to compete.
Sean Hoban, co-founder and CEO of Kimble noted: “Kimble is working with larger and larger businesses and those large businesses typically deploy very large project teams. We’re working diligently with our customers to innovate new ways to streamline their planning processes, reflecting the ways they work while also developing market-leading functionality that might very well change and improve the way they work.”