Thursday, 30 September 2010

Release Night 20101005

This is a bit unusual for me, normally I write about the release on the actual night while the development and operations teams are busy deploying and testing. This release though, I'm off on a course for 4 days and I want to get ahead on my writing. I'm a little nervous, with almost a week left there's still a risk that some of this development will fail the final tests. So, soon release... Now onto writing about it:)

New Version of Netviewer
We are finally moving over to our partner Netviewer's SaaS solution which means that our customers will get the latest version of Netviewer. This includes some features that makes me really excited, especially since I'm a Mac user at home.

  • Mac users can now start - moderate - online meetings. This has been sought after for a while by our users and it's nice that this will be working.
  • The Mac client for Netviewer is new and now includes VoIP, chat and webcam interface. Here's a preview of the new interface:
  • The maximum number of participants is increased to 100
  • Netviewer will be easier for users who do not have the Projectplace Plug-in installed, especially those who have Java installed. Previously these users would have to download a file to their local computer but this will now be handled by Java instead.
  • It's SaaS:)
New Version of the Projectplace iPhone App
We have submitted an updated version of the Projectplace App for iPhone to the App Store. We hope that it will be approved and available in conjuction with the release. The main improvement is that you get the conversations on the Project Overview in the iPhone App aswell. This will replace the old Chatter function in the current version of the app.

Improvements for New Users
And for those of you who invite new members to your projects. There will be a tool tip for each tool in the service that will show up for new members and for everyone who starts their first project. We believe that this will lower the threshold for new users and get your project members up to speed quicker.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Internal goes Social - It's ok to have fun at work!

This is a translation of an article in Computer Sweden by Marcus Jerräng. The original article (Swedish) can be found on

After the breakthrough of Facebook and Twitter, social media functions are quickly entering core systems in companies. Within a couple of years there will be social activity streams in half of all major companies.

It has been discussed for a long time but in the last few months several major system manufacturers have rolled out Facebook or Twitter like functions in their business solutions. IBM has Lotus Connections, Cisco has Quad, Salesforce has Chatter, and in Sweden Projectplace has just incorporated more social functions in their project collaboration tool.

The trend is strong and the reason is obvious: the enormous breakthrough of a specific social system.

-It's all happening quickly now and companies are quick to adapt. It must be because of Facebook, there is a familiarity with the new functions now, says Mattias Hällström, founder of and development manager at Projectplace.

Mattias Hällström still maintains that it took longer than he thought for social functions to penetrate the business place.

When Projectplace introduced pictures for all users, about five to six years ago, it was provocative for some users. But with Facebook people have got used to transparency.
-Now people are used to public conversations, says Mattias Hällström.

Business use of internal social functions is steadily on the increase. At least according to analytics company Gartner who predict that most companies will build internal social networks and/or allow business use of employees' personal accounts on other social networks.

More the half of major businesses will use activity steams à la Twitter by 2012, predicts Gartner. But service providers like American Yammer, who has specialised in a Twitter-like service for businesses, are in for a tough ride. Nine out of ten companies will have the function build into existing communications platforms, believes Gartner.

The prediction is that social network services in some companies will be the central communication solution - in these cases replacing email.

In four years, 20 per cent of business users will have replaced email with social networks as the primary form of communication, according to Gartner. At the same time we see that email systems get more social functions and social solutions increasingly get better support for email.

Still, Gartner warns that company IT departments are used to delivering technical systems, like email or conferencing systems, rather than social services that are targeted at specific business advantages.

The shift from platform to service provider will mean that as much as 70 per cent of the IT driven initiatives in social media will fail in the next three years. Projects have a greater chance of success if they are driven by business needs.

Mattias Hällström from Projectplace believes that one of the main advantages of the new tools is that they add a human dimension to work. Social is simply more fun. 

-Suddenly it's ok to have a good time at work, Mattias concludes.

Read more about the Projectplace Way and Social Project Management

Customer Satisfaction Survey

Once or twice a year we send out our Customer Satisfaction Survey. It is very important to us and we are so grateful to our wonderful users who take the time to give us feedback so that we can improve on our work.

Unfortunately, when we sent it out today something went wrong and in spite of our testing the survey system (e-marketeer) went down so it is not possible to answer the Customer Satisfaction Survey right now.

If you would like to participate in the survey, please send us an email to and we will let you know as soon as it's possible.

In the mean time Projectplace is up and running as normal, and we have just launched our Social Project Management manifesto. Read more about that and the Projectplace Way here.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Projectplace (translated review by a happy user)

This post was originally posted by Christian Willoch in his blog CIO Speaker's Corner. It's been translated from Norwegian.

I've got a new icon at the top of my screen, always residing there. As areminder that there is a place where I can stay on top of all the projects that I am in charge of or participate in. A click on it will bring up shortcuts to various parts of my projects. Best of all - it's all in the "cloud" - the new IT buzz-word these days. But these people have been in the cloud for many years.

Welcome to

As I have written before, I'm trying to increase the maturity level for project methodology in my company. I have also been on the lookout for a good tool to support this. Some of the tools I've tried out include: 

  • Microsoft Excel - with templates based on Goal Based Project Management developed by Erling Andersen and Kristoffer Grude. The so-called PSO model has it's advantages, but Excel is not optimal as a collaboration tool.
  • Goal Director from GDPM Systems - their own application for Goal Based Project Management. Seems a bit unfinished.
  • Microsoft Project - Mega system, incredibly rich on functionality, but for me it's like a "shooting a sparrow with a canon"-application compared to the size of projects I'm currently involved in.
  • MindManager, with JVCGantt - I'm a MindMap fanatic, but I'm really not really comfortable using it for Project Management.
All the above software and solutions are functional but what I really needed was something with adequate functionality that in addition would increase the understanding of project methodology.

Projectplace is a web-based software that I believe has the 'correct level' of functionality. In addition it addresses the need I have for collaboration in the projects and in the project tool itself.The threshold for getting started is low, and it has a lot of functionality that contributes to a good process flow in the projects. It's also ingenious to have it running "in the cloud", especially when I'm involving external suppliers/vendors.
Some of my favourite features of this tool:

  • Good process support for collecting time and status reports from all the involved resources

  • Automatic reports to all project participants
  • Simple version management for documents
  • Process support for document comments
  • Good user interface
  • Sufficient functionality. Keep it simple.
Of course there are some things I miss which are available in full scale project management tools.
But those tools are not collaborative. With this you can be. Both because it is easily accessible and because it facilitates collaboration. Remember to install the Plug-in.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Projectplace Goes Social in the New Release

Conversations on Project Overview

The main feature of this release is the change on the Project Overview.

To understand why we are so excited about this release it's important to understand what we believe are the crucial factors to project success:

-We believe that the key to successful projects is to help people share information and manage their commitments.
-We believe that projects with the courage to open up communication and share information transparently to create trust will be the ones most likely to succeed.

This is why we introduce conversations on the Project Overview. For those of you who don't use Facebook, this can be a chance to see what the hype is all about. Use the conversations to:
-Inform everyone about important desicions
-Share tips and tricks
-Share ideas and inspiration
-Comment and converse about links, documents, pictures and videos
-Ask questions
-Keep everyone updated on the status of your work

Some of you have tested the conversations during the beta test. Thanks, your input is invaluable for the development of the final version. Here's some of the feedback that has been implemented in this version

Some other ideas are high on the list of features that we want to implement like:

So what is @referencing all about anyway?

@referencing is a way to notify and highlight specific project members in a post. The member shows up as a clickable link in the post and will also automatically be notified my email.

So what is hashtagging all about anyway?

Use a tag preceeded by # to organise your information and conversations. So to tag something, just type # followed by the desired tag, e.g. #requirements, #products, #risk. The tags show up under a special tab or you can just click on the tag to reveal all posts and comments that contain the same tag.

We have removed some features like the shout box for the Project Manager and the News section. The News will still be available, but only via the Project Site.

Upload several documents at once

Finally, I know that you have waited. But now it's here...the possibility to upload multiple documents through the "Upload file" button in Documents. You can also put the uploaded documents under version management all at once.

The following ideas can benefit from the new function:

Define your project role per project

Most of our users are part of only one project at Projectplace, but an increasing number are members of many projects in which they have different roles. You can now define which role you have in each project. Just log in and go to the People tab in your project. Click on "enter project role" under your name and enter the role you have in that project. Administrators can update the role of any member.

As usual we are happy to receive feedback about the new release, both positive and negative, over on Projectplace Ideas.