This article covers the updated Activity Center of April 2022. Articles pertaining
to the older Activity Center are still available in our Knowledge Base under similar titles but will be phased out as new Activity Center replaces its older version entirely.
It cannot be gainsaid that the ability to monitor problems and risks in projects is of paramount importance. Problems and risks are a fact of life. Having problems is not always an indicator of the manager's failure since some problems can be beyond our control, e.g. force majeure, sudden changes in legislation, etc.
Easy Projects has an advanced system for tracking problems and timely indicating projects and activities that are at risk or in deep trouble. While the system itself is working silently behind the scenes it has a number of means to point at potential or real problems your projects are facing to date.
Problem & Risk Counter
To indicate the number of problems or risks that threaten a project or parent activity a special counter is used. It is a red square with a number inside, e.g. or . The counter is only used when a project or parent activity in question is collapsed.
Problem & Risk Indicators
Whenever an activity has a parameter, e.g. the end date, which is out-of-specs (for example, its end date is in the past, or End Date < Today) this is reflected in Activity Center by color-coding its value. The illustration below shows an end date which is in the past, i. e. the activity is overdue.
Red points at trouble, i.e. a problem that is serious enough probably requires immediate response. The other color used is yellow. It is reserved for deviations in parameters that indicate certain risks that may develop into graver problems in future. Such activities need to be closely monitored and may need some adjustments right now or a.s.a.p. The following illustration gives an idea of a parameter at risk.
To indicate that an individual activity has one or more risks or problems as it pursues its course a problem indicator of yellow or red color is used. It serves as a flag for the manager conveying immediate visual message: there is trouble (red) or risk (yellow) for the activity.
|Risk indicator||The yellow circle means that the activity is at risk. For example, the budget value will be given in yellow print if Estimated At Completion Labor Cost > Total Budget (e.g we planned 11 estimated hours for assignees with $20 hourly rate, so our cost is to be $220, but our actual budget is only $120, so it is out-of-specs making the activity "at risk").|
|Problem indicator||The red circle means that there is a real problem or problems (see Red Plus Yellow Equals Red below). Some parameters have exceeded their planned values in such a way that threaten the profitability or schedule performance of the activity. For example, a budget value will be red if Actual Cost > Total Budget (in other words, we have already spent more money than planned originally for our project).|
While a risk or problem indicator gives a warning, which is helpful, any manager will want to know what exactly is the matter. To get this information all you have to do is to hover over the indicator to see a tooltip. Here's an example of the problem indicator tooltip:
Red Plus Yellow Equals Red
The problem indicator () can be interpreted as follows "there is at least one problem in the activity". This means that if there are, say, 5 yellow, or "at risk", parameters and only 1 red, or "problem", Easy Projects will apply the problem indicator ().
The table below lists the parameters being monitored for problems or risks. It also enumerates the conditions on which the indicator is red or yellow (problem or risk) for a given parameter.
|Parameter||When it is a Problem||When it is a Risk|
|End Date||End Date < Today||n/a|
|Estimated Hours||Actual Hours > Estimated Hours||n/a|
|Total Budget||Actual Cost > Total Budget||Project: EAC Cost > Total Budget
Activity: EAC Labor Cost > Total Budget
|Total Target Revenue||n/a||EAC Billable < Total Target Revenue|
|CPI||CPI < CPI Threshold||n/a|
|SPI||SPI < SPI Threshold||n/a|
|Budget Variance||n/a||Budget Variance < 0|
|Revenue Variance||n/a||Revenue Variance < 0|
|Profit Variance||n/a||Profit Variance < 0|
|Target Profit||n/a||Expected Profit < Target Profit|
Both risk indicator () and problem indicator () can be snoozed (it turns gray) either forever or for a certain period of time. You can snooze the indicators of either an individual project or activity or those of a whole project or parent activity thus affecting all risk- or problem-labelled activities that belong to them. To snooze the indicator of a single project or activity:
- Click the indicator.
- Select a snoozing option.
- Snoozing takes effect immediately.
To cancel snooze:
- Click the indicator you wish to unsnooze.
- Select Cancel snooze on a dropdown menu.
Snoozed Indicators: Important Points
Things to know and remember about snoozed indicators:
- Tomorrow means 24 hours later.
- If Custom is selected, the indicator will be snoozed until the chosen date.
- If the user edits the snooze period by selecting a new one, the indicator will be snoozed until the new period is over.
- If user cancels snooze of the snooze period is over, the indicator turns back to it initial state ( or ).
- An indicator is snoozed by every user individually, it is not possible to snooze an indicator for everyone.
- An indicator keeps be snoozed even if:
- new risks or problems appear; or
- new fields are added to Activity Center (with values highlighted as risks or problems)
- If the risks or problems are resolved the indicator disappears
- If the fields containing risk or problem values are hidden, the indicator disappears.
You can snooze all risk- or problem-labelled activities belonging to a project or parent activity.
To bulk snooze a project/parent activity:
- Click the problem counter () of the project/parent activity.
- Select a snooze option.
- Snoozing takes effect immediately.