Istanbul Upgrade Thread for PPM

Version 7

    Istanbul Upgrade Thread for PPM


    Please feel free to add comments to give a ‘heads up’ to other customers or to provide feedback. If you need assistance or have technical questions, please create a new question thread here: IT Business Management .


    Istanbul PPM Release Notes are available here: Business Management release notes


    Major functional changes from Helsinki:

    • Enhanced Portfolio Workbench
      • Features portfolio budget setting, ability to compare and prioritize demands based on various attributes such as risks, value, and investment size and finalize candidate demands/projects based on budget targets and resource availability. Ability to see planned vs target costs for selected Demands/Projects, and pulls from Resource Plans to see anticipated impact on resources of selected Demands/Projects.
      • Includes 'Track Portfolio' feature, which is like a portfolio-level status report:
        • Shows all Portfolio's projects in Gantt view. User can right click on any project to edit the project, open the planning console or viewing the latest project status report.

        • Project KPI feature – Pulls in stoplight colors for project's cost, resource, schedule and scope

        • Chart of cost (planned v/s. actual), Chart of resource hours (allocated v/s. actual)

        • List of risks, issues, and changes across all projects of the portfolio are automatically pulled in

    • Improved project status reporting using newly introduced service portal-based status report.
      • This report features key information about a project such as stoplight colors & commentary around: Overall project, schedule, cost, resource, scope.
      • Provides visualization of history of these stoplight colors in past status reports.
      • Provides chart with planned vs actual cost, chart with actual vs allocated resource hours.
      • Pulls in key milestones, issues, risks, and changes.
      • The report can be configured to suit your specific reporting requirements.
      • Status reports roll up to Portfolios.
    • Enhanced Resource Workbench: Existing Resource Workbench is being replaced with advanced service portal based workbench.
      • Allows project managers to request resources in terms of roles and skills and also provides ability to specify specific hours/FTE for each week/month.

      • Provides an efficient way to the resource managers to confirm and allocate resources to the in-coming resource requests

      • Allows resource managers to specify: Which events should be excluded for capacity calculations (e.g., if I am on PTO between Mon and Wed, my weekly capacity should be considered as 16 hours as opposed to 40 hours); When system should not create allocations (e.g., if I am on PTO between Mon and Wed, I should not be allocated any work between Mon and Wed or if I am in training on Friday, I should not be allowed any work on Friday).

    • Enhancements in time recording and tracking process to provide better experience for both team members and time card approvers.
      • Time Card Users can copy time sheet from previous week and/or generate time cards using ‘Generate Time Card’ action for WIP and to be started project assignments for currentweek.
      • Time Card Admin/Managers can view all time sheet pending for approval; view all users that have not submitted time sheet for current week; view all time cards by user which have come for my approval; view all time cards for a given project pending for approval; set properties for max time per day and max time per week; schedule a job to auto-generate time cards for all users for all their project assignments.
      • A new attribute, ‘Generate time cards for top task only’ has been introduced at project header. This property determines, at what level time cards are generated by scheduled job or generate time card action. If set as top task level, all time cards will be generated for the top task ( for example, project level) only. If a user works on multiple tasks in a project, all her time will be consolidated under the time card for the project.
    • Enhanced budget forecasting / re-forecasting for projects (via Cost Plans) and portfolios (in Portfolio Workbench).
    • Planning Console enhancements include ability to bring in own columns (add columns to the list of columns end users can display) & choose which columns are editable, and enhances security


    For videos on some of the new/changed Istanbul functionality, please see: Portfolio Manager finalizing the projects to be included in a Portfolio; PM adding a template and using the Planning Console; Resource Mgr confirms resources by viewing availability; Resource Manager allocates named resources; Project team member filling timesheet for work; Sprint Planning



    Some things to look out for:

    • Portfolio Workbench:
      • Demands that appear: Demands belonging to the portfolio, Whose start date/end date is in the given FY, Whose state is qualified/approved and project has not been created
      • Projects that appear: Projects belonging to the portfolio, Whose planned start date/end date is in the given FY
      • How to add custom column in Timeline Visualization? > Refer to section Planning Console configuration on how to add a column. For Step 2, edit pm_console record for Portfolio with context “planning”. For Track portfolio page, edit pm_console record for Portfolio with context “tracking”.
      • Where is the data for Project KPI coming from? > Project status report table (project_status)
    • Time Card: When upgrading, Time Sheets will not be auto generated for existing time cards.
    • Resource Plan: 'State' model changes:
      • The following changes have been introduced in this release

        • Confirmed State – A new state, ‘Confirmed’ has been introduced in this release. If a resource manager/steering committee want to commit/block/confirm resources for future projects/demands, it can move the resource plan to ‘Confirmed’ state.

      • Allocations records and states

        • Requested Allocations – When a resource plan is in planning state, requested allocations are created. When the resource plan moves to requested state, the requested allocations are retained as is. Please note, until last release, soft allocations were being created when resource plan was moving to requested state. The soft allocations will no longer be created in requested state

        • Soft allocations – When resource plan moves to confirmed state, soft allocations are created

        • Hard allocations – When resource plan moves to allocated state, the soft allocations will be converted to hard allocations

      • New actions - Confirm and Confirm & Allocate

        • Confirm – Confirms the resource plan; resource plan moves to confirmed state

        • Confirm & Allocate – If a resource manager wants to directly allocate resources ( when resource plan is in ‘Requested’ state), she can take ‘Confirm & Allocate’ action, that moves resource plan to allocated state directly form requested state

      • Modification in confirmed and allocated state

        • From this release, a resource manager is allowed to modify a resource plan in allocated state ( and in newly introduced confirmed state).

        • She can modify, create and delete resource allocation records

        • If she changes, the resource plan header, a. All resource allocations ( soft/hard) will be deleted. b. requested allocations will be re-created with changed values. c. Resource plan will move back to requested state.

      • During upgrade: RMIstanbulUpgradeHelper
        • All plans in requested state will be moved to confirmed state

        • For all plans in planning state - Soft allocations will be deleted, Requested allocations will be created

        • For other states, requested allocations will be created as needed

    • Resource Plan: Changes in soft and hard allocation creation

      • Soft allocations

        • Member preference – All members – Upon confirmation, soft allocation is created for ALL members of the team (no change from previous release).

        • Member preference – Specific members – Upon confirmation, soft allocation is created for the specified members of the team (no change from previous release).

        • Member preference – Any member – Upon confirmation, system finds the most available resource(s) in the specified time frame and create soft allocation from these resource(s). This is changed behavior from previous release, system does not create soft allocation for all members blindly, it rather behaves intelligently and creates allocation for most available resource(s). For example, 100, 200 and 150 hours are being requested between Jan and March. System will find out who the most available resource(s) are in this time frame. Let us say resource A is most available between Jan and March, it create soft allocations for resource A first until it consumes all available hours from resource A, then it moves to next most available resource and so on. If requested hours are still left over, after allocating across all members (from most available to least available), it will equally distribute the remaining hours across all team members.

        • Soft allocations created on Confirmation

          • Users derived by checking those who match required Role and at least one of the given skills

          • All members: Requested hours proportionately split among all/matching users of the group based on no of working days

          • Specific members: Requested hours proportionately split among specified users of the group based on no of working days

          • Any member (new): Most available user is soft allocated first; Remaining hours split evenly among all users when requested hours is more than the available hours of the group

          • Soft allocations will honor the property com.snc.resource_management.allocation_interval_minutes (New)

      • Hard Allocation spread types

        • Even: Will create resource events for the user by splitting the hours evenly across all working days

        • Front Load (new): Will fill up all first available slots starting with the start date of the allocation; Once the user is fully allocated between start and end dates, then the remaining hours will be filled up from start date up to 24 hours.

        • Capacity to honor time_offs, etc through property com.snc.resource_management.exclude_events_from_schedule

        • example, resource A is soft allocated 30 hours in Week 10, prior to this release, system would have equally divided 30 hours ( 6 hours per day for a five day week) to all week days. From this release, with front load option, it will first consume all available hours on Monday, then move on to Tuesday and so on until all 30 hours are allocated. If user is not available for 30 hours in this week, it will over-allocate ( after completing first pass of front loading) from day 1( till 24 hours) and then day 2 and so on.
    • 'Derive Project Assignee List from Resource Plans': This new attribute has been added on project header, if this property is set true, the ‘Assigned To’ field and ‘Additional Assignee List’ will be derived from the resource allocated to the project. The list of resources will be derived from all ‘Allocated’ state resource plans associated to the project or any task of the project.
      • Note: Even when there is a resource plan associated to a project task in allocated state, the list of resources would still be derived from all resource plans associated to the project. The user has to be a project user to appear in the ‘Assigned To’ field and in ‘Additional Assignee List’.
    • Resource Plan: Requested Allocations:
      • If plan is driven by hours, hours will be split proportionately based on schedule
      • User schedule for user resource plan; Default Schedule for group resource plan
      • If plan is driven by FTE, requested hours will calculated as: Requested Hours = FTE value * No of working days in requested allocation date range * Average Daily FTE
      • No more soft allocations in Planning/Requested state
    • Resource Plan ACL Changes:
      • Resource user can edit - All resource plans in Planning/Rejected state

      • Resource manager can edit - All resource plans in Confirmed/Requested state; All resource plans in Allocated state and start date is after today; All soft allocations; All hard allocations that start after today

      • Making changes to a confirmed/allocated resource plan will move the plan back to requested state

      • If plan has already started, then the current plan will be cancelled and a copy of the resource plan will be created in Requested state.

    • Ensure familiarity with updated Project setting preferences including the new Portfolio Workbench setting at the bottom to create project(s) on confirming demands from Portfolio Workbench:


    Some known bugs worth highlighting (I will keep this updated weekly):

    • Total resource and total estimated cost do not match up and total cost break down seem to stop after first month on some of the cost break down. Seems to be when Resource Plan end date goes past the related Project end date. PRB713554. Found in Istanbul Patch 1 HF1, Patch 2, Patch 3.
    • rm_scrum_task record creates duplicate work notes in activity stream when changing states. PRB741219. Workaround is available. Found in all versions through Istanbul.
    • It is possible to add a new task to a closed project using the Planning Console but it does not result in the re-open the project the state remains as closed. However, if you add a new task to a closed project in the project form the state will change from closed state to "Work in Progress". PRB910029. Found in Istanbul patch 3a, 4, 5 so far.
    • Business rule condition checking for changes to a date/time field incorrectly evaluates to true. PRB714717. Found in Istanbul patch 3a, 4, and 5.



    Note: As in all prior versions of ServiceNow, Business Rules were not designed to support dot-walked fields. If a business rule contains a condition that includes a dot-walked field, the condition is not triggered. I see occasional Incidents from customers attempting to do this, so am adding this reminder.

    Kelly Kaufmann,
    ServiceNow PPM/PPS Specialist