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Defining and Managing Attributes

Recommendations

 

Each category of attribute has a number of configuration settings that control the behavior of the attribute. These are detailed in the section Attribute Configuration Options

By ensuring that attributes are correctly defined, the system will be optimized so that:

  • When creating a portfolio all enabled single select alternate structures are listed as additional criteria. By disabling unused alternative structures this list will be kept relevant to the customer use case.
  • Column sets will only contain attributes that are relevant to the screen in which the column set is used. For example, below PPL attributes will not be displayed on portfolio level column sets for projects.
  • When an end user creates or modifies the composition of a column set then only attributes relevant to the customer use case will be available.

Adding New Attributes

  • Before defining a new attribute, review your existing data model and ensure that you are not adding a “duplicate” attribute.

    Tip! Use RPM Analytic ADM04 to quickly and easily extract a list of your current attributes.  See related reports section below.

  • Understand the purpose and use case as an attribute. Ultimately each attribute must appear on a report, be used to categorize/classify a Planview entity (for example, to slice/dice projects into different portfolios), or should be driving a process (workflow). If you do not know where, and by whom, an attribute is going to be used/displayed/consumed, then consideration should be given as to why the attribute is being added into your Planview Enterprise system.
  • New attributes do not automatically flow into the Planview analytics and reporting data sources, such as the datamart and Insight Analytics cubes. The impact on the downstream reporting data sources of adding or removing an attribute must be considered.  
  • For further information on the impact of attribute additions and changes on the RPM Analytics, please refer to RPM Analytics - Attribute Introduction

Disable/Hide Unused/Back-End Attributes

  • Disable any predefined attributes that are not relevant to your use case.
  • In order to support lifecycle processes (for example) certain “behind the scenes” attributes are required. These attributes are likely to be irrelevant to end users and do not need to appear in column sets. Therefore, ensure that these attributes are hidden by disabling them through the column properties.
  • Always add a full description of the column definition into the description field on the column definition screen. This text appears as a tooltip/mouse-over when the user moves their cursor over the column heading in a column set.

Effort-Based Attributes

  • Columns that summarize effort can be based on the effort in the work schedule or on effort in the financial plan. Include information on the source of the data in the column name, for example:
    • Actual Effort (FP) for a financial plan based column, the “FP” acronym signifies that the column data is sourced from the financial plan.
  • There are a whole series of work schedule-based effort attributes (columns), summarizing actual, required, reserved, allocated, etc., effort. For each effort type there are two attributes: one that shows the effort against the work item and one that shows the rolled up effort. The “Rolled Up” attribute summarizes the effort on the selected work entity and all child work entities. Therefore if a Rolled Up attribute is shown in a Portfolio View column set then, for each project listed in the portfolio view screen, it will show the total effort on the whole project, rolled up from all of the child activities and phases. If a “non-Rolled Up” attribute is used in a portfolio view screen, then it will show only the effort associated with the project level (PPL) entity, giving users a misleading view of what the column is showing.

Financial Management Based Attributes

  • When defining financial management attributes (Subtotal and Calculated Columns) one of the criteria in the column definition is the financial plan version to be used. Options are:
    • Forecast Version – this will always select data from the version that has been marked as the forecast version by the Planview Administrator.
    • Baseline Version – this will always select data from the version that has been marked as the baseline version by the Planview Administrator.
    • Working Version – this is the version that the user has selected as their own working version in the Financial Planning Summary screen (Planview Enterprise 11.0 and Planview Enterprise 11.1) or the Portfolio View screen (Planview Enterprise 11.2)
  • Therefore it is recommended that the attribute name includes the version information, for example:
    • Actual Costs (FP|BV), where FP = Financial Planning and BV = Baseline Version
    • Actual Costs (FP|WV), where FP = Financial Planning and WV = Working Version
    • Actual Costs (FP|FV), where FP = Financial Planning and FV = Forecast Version

The specific version-based columns should be built into specific column sets. See Column Sets Best Practice for column set recommendations.

Attribute Configuration Options

Attribute setup and maintenance is done under the following administrative menu:

  • Administration > Attributes and Column Sets:
Attribute Category Administration Screen Option Details Best Practice Recommendations
Field Administration > Attributes and Column Sets > Fields Primary Structure The primary structure which the field will be created against. Single select and cannot be changed once the attribute has been created.
Field ID Unique database level identifier for the field. Spaces not allowed.

Codify based on the primary structure and field purpose.
Description Field name that the end user sees  
Field Type Currency
Date/Time
Numeric
Text
Long Text
 
Decimal Places Applies to numeric and currency fields only.  
Field Length Applies to text fields only.  
Alternate Structure Administration > Attributes and Column Sets > Alternate Structures Primary Structure The primary structure which the field will be created against. Single select and cannot be changed once the attribute has been created.

However, alternate structures can be shared between primary structures. This means that the list of values in the structure needs only to be maintained once.
Description Structure name that the end user sees.  
Selection Type Single Select

Multi-select
Multi-select attributes are not available for use in portfolio definitions as additional criteria or for use scripted dialogs.
Structure Number Sequential number that determines the WBSxx, OBSxx, etc. ID for the alternate structure. Planview reserves certain ranges of structures for Planview standard structures.

If Business Objects Scoreboard is going to be used for reporting, additional guidance should be sought from Planview Consulting concerning structures that are available in the default Business Objects Universes.
Display only at PPL Applicable to work (planning) alternate structures only Determines whether an attribute applies to the project as a whole, or whether different activities/phases within the project needs to be able to have different values of the alternate structure.
Enabled   Ensures that un-used or irrelevant structures are un-enabled.
Required Field   Making a structure mandatory can also be controlled on each configured screen that shows the structure.
Grant Controlled   This option applies only to the maintenance of structure values by an administrator, not to the visibility of structure values to end users.
Default Allows the structure to be populated with a default value when a new primary entity is added.

 

Keep History If this is enabled then the system will retain a log of changes in attribute values, recording when, by which user an attribute value was changed. This feature is utilized in the RPM Analytics to provide historical analysis of attribute value changes.
Associated Value Applicable only to multi-select attributes. Use of this feature will require the development of custom reports.
Help text Allows the creation of help text that will appear when the user mouse-overs the attribute name on a configured screen.  
Financial Subtotal Attributes Administration > Attributes and Column Sets > Financial Subtotals Primary Structure Multi-select. Ensures that only relevant primary structures are enabled.
Attribute Name Used as the column heading when displayed in a column set. Length of the description will affect the width of the column when displayed in a column set.

Establish a naming convention and pattern to ensure that column names are easy to understand.
Description Long text field that displays on a mouse-over on the column heading when attribute is displayed in a column set. Use to provide a full description of the attribute. Ensures that end users can understand the meaning and business rules associated with what the column displays.
Show Value Currency
Effort
FTEs
Units
Determines the type of numerical data that the attribute will summarize/subtotal.
Optimize    
Apply Discounting   Used in Investment Planning
In Investment Planning, do not respect portfolio capacity   Used in Investment Planning
Criteria The data selection criteria that will determine which data is subtotaled into the attribute. Available criteria are:
  • Version: Working Version, Version Marked as Baseline, or Version Marked as Forecast
  • Period Range: normally set to Planning Horizon.
  • Limit to Actuals or Forecast: based on the Model forecast period.
  • Account: select one or many accounts.
  • Line Attributes: select one/many line attributes and attribute values.
In the event of modifying the financial planning model accounts, ensure that the criteria in all subtotal attributes are reviewed to ensure that the business rules are correct and complete.

Care is needed with version selection; see best practice guidelines earlier in this chapter.

Calculated Attribute

Administration > Attributes and Column Sets > Calculated Attribute Primary Structure Multi-select. Ensures that only relevant primary structures are enabled.
Attribute Name Used as the column heading when displayed in a column set. Length of the description will affect the width of the column when displayed in a column set.

Establish a naming convention and pattern to ensure that column names are easy to understand.
Description Long text field that displays on a mouse-over on the column heading when attribute is displayed in a column set. Use to provide a full description of the attribute. Ensures that end users can understand the meaning and business rules associated with what the column displays.
Show Value Currency
Effort
FTEs
Units
Determines the type of Subtotal Attributes that are available for building into the criteria business rules.
Optimize Maximize
Minimize
Used in Investment Planning to determine whether a measure should be maximized (for example benefits) or minimized (for example costs) in the portfolio.
Apply Discounting   Used in Investment Planning
In Investment Planning, do not respect portfolio capacity   Used in Investment Planning
Criteria The attributes that will be used, together with calculation rules, to determine the value of the Calculated attribute.

Financial Subtotal Attributes, Numeric Fields, or Fixed values can be used in the calculations. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division operators can be applied to derive the calculated attribute value.

 

Attribute Display Settings

Once an attribute is defined, the attribute display settings are the mechanism within Planview Enterprise to control where an attribute is available to be displayed and to control the characteristics of the attribute.

When managing columns the following best practices are recommended:

  • Depending on the attribute type, columns can be made available for incorporation into column sets applicable to different screens in Planview Enterprise. Ensure that a column is only made available for a column set where displaying the attribute makes sense. For example, ensure that work entity attributes, such as the Total Actual Hours reported to a work entity, are not available for use in a Work portfolio column set. The work entity attributes summarize only the hours reported to the specific work entity. Use only the “Rolled Up” effort columns in a Work portfolio column set to ensure that the value displayed in the column represents the total effort from all child work items of the project.
  • Some attributes can be editable through a column within a column set. Access control rules can be set in the attribute display settings to restrict updates through a column to some or no users. Ensure these rules are set for any attributes that need specific controls placed on them, or are managed through scripted action dialogs. The scripted action dialog will not execute if an update is made to an attribute through a column in a column set.

Defining Attribute Display Settings

Once an attribute has been defined, the display setting for the attribute can be defined. This is done on the following administrative screen:

  • Administration > Attributes and Column Sets > Attribute Display Settings

Links to the Display Settings are also available on the Alternate Structure, Field, Financial Subtotal, and Calculate Attribute listing screens.

The following options are available on the attribute display settings screen. The available options do vary depending on the type of attribute and the primary structure(s) against which the attribute is enabled.

 

Option Details Best Practice Recommendations
Attribute Title Column Heading Text Length of the description will affect the width of the column when displayed in a column set.

Establish a naming convention and pattern to ensure that column names are easy to understand.
Definition Long text field that displays on a mouse-over on the column heading when attribute is displayed in a column set. Use to provide a full description of the attribute – ensures that end users can understand the meaning and business rules associated with what the column displays.
Display in Work and Resource Management, or
Display in Project Manager
Relevant to only work attributes only.

Project Manager = Planview Enterprise 11.x, Work and Resource Management = Planview Enterprise 11.2 onwards
Ensure that this only enabled for attributes that are applicable to the below PPL Work Column sets that are used in Work and Resource Management/Project Manager
Display in Work Portfolio View Relevant to only work attributes only. Ensure that this is only enabled for attributes that are applicable for the portfolio summary screen. Ensure that below PPL attributes are not enabled to display in the Work Portfolio View.

See the Best Practices guidance earlier in this section.
Available as Column Determines whether the attribute is available for inclusion as a column in column sets. Ensure that “back-end” (for example lifecycle control attributes) are not enabled.

Un-enable any standard (out-of-the-box) Planview attributes that are not part of the customer use case.

See the Best Practices guidance earlier in this section.
View Feature Allows security to be applied, through user role features, to lock down the attribute from being visible in a column set.

 

Editable Only available for alternate structures and custom fields.

Determines whether an attribute is editable when displayed as a column in a column set.
Ensure that any attributes that are set through scripted action dialogs have this un-enabled.
Edit Feature Allows security to be applied, through user role features, to lock down the attribute from updates in a column set.

Only applies to editable attributes. Does not apply to standard Read/Only attributes
Use this if attributes can be modified only by users of a specific user role.

Grants still apply – user must have R/W grants in addition to any feature selected here.
SQL Applicable to virtual columns and standard (out-of-the-box) Planview attributes. Cannot be modified.
Available in Configurable Charts Controls whether a column is available for use as a dimension or measure in the Analyze Charts (in Portfolio Ribbons) for certain primary entities.

This setting is also used by the RPM Analytics to determine which attributes are available for inclusion in user parameter lists.
Do not enable this option for below PPL work attributes – otherwise erroneous data will be displayed in the Analyze Charts.


Refer to the RPM Analytics Report Configuration Guide for additional information.


Related Planview Enterprise Reports

ADM04 - Configuration Summary
The RPM ADM04 Configuration Report includes summarized details on attribute, column, and column set configuration. The information is presented in summary tables, allowing for easier review and quality assurance of the configuration.
ADM04 contains the following sections relevant to attributes, columns and column sets:

  • Alternate Structures and Fields
  • Column Configuration Summary
  • Column Set Configuration Summary

WRK12 - Portfolio Project Health
Tabular summary allowing simple configuration of columns to return any attributes relating to projects in a portfolio.