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UniPhi Blog

UniPhi 17 - New invoice sub-nav

UniPhi Software, 29 Jun 2021

UniPhi 17 simplifies various contract screens by moving components into their own sub-navigation. Included in this is the summary screen which displays summary information about the contract

Contract summary 

The edit details screen

Edit contract details 

The value screen which we have covered in several blog posts on UniPhi 17

Contract value screen The schedule screen which is the topic of our next blog post.

Contract schedule screen

And the Invoice screen which we're covering today. 

Contract invoice screen

Believe it or not, in UniPhi 16, all of this information was captured in the one screen!

Breaking these components (which are utilised at different stages of a projects life and by different users) has allowed for enhanced the features available. My personal favourite in the invoice screen is the "incomplete" filter that allows you to remove from view all line items that have been invoiced to 100%. This has made invoicing for our complex projects significantly simpler.

Recommendation view for progress recommendations

The recommendation view is a QS dream (actually not quite, we still need to incorporate the ability to add custom fields to this screen - The 20 columns there currently just aren't quite enough).

The colour coding represents the relevant sections of the recommendation including value, contractors claim, the QS assessment and reasons for variances to contractors assessment.

Instead of having all related templates for the contract in a panel in that one monster screen referenced earlier, each sub-nav has a new documents action button that contextualises the template list to that section of the system . For example, clicking new document in the cost contracts invoice screen presents you with the progress payment templates list:

Contextual templates 

Time in motion studies and our own assessment of time for month end invoicing has demonstrated these changes can save 50% over UniPhi 16 when preparing and processing invoices. 

 

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UniPhi 17 - Drag and drop style ordering of WBS

UniPhi Software, 29 Jun 2021

UniPhi 17 has a completely new structure to its contracts module and included in this is 'n' levels WBS. This new 'n' level structure has a host of additional features to assist in laying out your structure including:

  1. Free data entry (no more clunky add buttons)
  2. Indent and out-dent to capture the levels
  3. Drill in to focus on one level and one deliverable tree at a time
  4. And today's blog entry, the drag and drop re-ordering 

Unfortunately us humans do make mistakes and most of the above is there to assist in fixing mistakes more than it is to establish the structure in the first place. Before UniPhi 17, a user would use numbering to re-order. This became frustrating when you wanted to move a deliverable to the middle of the list.

Old re-ordering 

As the above list shows, if I wanted to move line 15 to line 9 I'd have to do a fair bit of work.

Now, a user can do the same thing in less than a second by simply dragging the deliverable to where they want it to be using the symbol .


This simple change will save users considerable time in managing the structure of their contracts.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Copy paste from Excel for contract WBS, progress claim valuations, resourcing and cash flow

UniPhi Software, 07 Jun 2021

In UniPhi 15, we created a new methodology for pulling information from Microsoft Excel. Traditionally we would provide users the ability to upload an excel file to import a budget, cash flow or resources. This worked well if the Excel file was formatted. If it wasn't, providing feedback to the end user was incredibly difficult and even sometimes when it was, the result was not what the user expected (which meeting user expectations is kind of a big deal).

Column mappings interface for WBS paste from MS Excel

So in UniPhi 15, we created our first copy paste function for importing resources. This has expanded over time and now in UniPhi 17, will include contract deliverables, contract cash flow phasing, effort phasing and progress claim valuations.

No matter now many columns and what those columns are called in Excel, the data can be pasted into UniPhi and mapped to the relevant field. So in the above screenshot, you can see that some crazy column headings from Excel have been mapped to their relevant UniPhi field name.

One of the key action buttons in the graphic above is the validate button. Once the fields are mapped, the user can click "Validate" and UniPhi will check all the data and instantly display errors before you try to import the data.

Data validation step









Once a user is happy and there's no validation errors, click Import and in this instance your contract deliverables have been created.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Managing separable portions

Mark Heath, 31 May 2021

In UniPhi 16 and before, if you tendered for a scope of work but only awarded sections of that tender at a time, you would have to create multiple contracts for the same supplier. Otherwise:

a) your contract sum value will be incorrect as you haven't actually awarded the value being displayed and  

b) your cost report would be inaccurate. 

In UniPhi, when you create a contract schedule of works or list of deliverables, you code them to a cost code that contains the budget for that deliverable. The status of the contract then determines where in that cost report your contract cost will display. All contracts that have a contract status that is flagged as "committed" will have their value displayed as an "original" contract value in the "committed" section of the cost report. All contracts that have a status that is flagged as "Pending" will have their value displayed under the "Pending Contract" column in the "uncommitted" section of the cost report. The distinction is important as committed costs form part of what must be paid if the project is cancelled whereas uncommitted costs reflect those costs that can be removed.

Cost report
Automated cost dashboard in UniPhi's cost module.

In UniPhi 17, a contract can be split into committed and uncommitted components. This means you can let a portion of your contract and leave the residual as a pending contract to maintain a proper estimate at completion for the project. This is achieved through the addition of a "deliverable status" column to the contract value screen. Variations have always had a status so now the original contract value is more aligned to the variations panel and separable portions are easier to manage.

Pending contract deliverable line items

 

Come back Thursday June 3rd for our next UniPhi 17 blog post on various copy paste from excel features.

 

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UniPhi 17 - Collaborating around deliverables

UniPhi Software, 27 May 2021

The new earned value feature against deliverables (a future blog post) led to the development of todays new UniPhi 17 feature, collaborating around contract deliverables. When assessing the "earned value" of a deliverable, it's important to look for evidence of the progress being claimed. So for example if your deliverable is to issue engineering design drawings of some sort and this deliverable has a 40% stage gate for when the draft is issued for interdisciplinary review, we thought it would be nice if we could link this draft to the deliverable when you claim the EV. 

The end result - comments against deliverables. 

This will potentially remove the double up that would occur in UniPhi 16 (and before) where users would create issues/activities in the issues/activities module that were the same as the contract deliverable in the contracts module so that they could collaborate around the item at hand. 

This feature will evolve over time to become richer and more rewarding but at the moment this is how it works: From any sub-nav that displays deliverables in the contracts module, a project manager can click on the comments icon and they will be taken to the screen below: 

 

Team members will also be able to add comments and see documentation via the timesheet module:

Then when reviewing earned value for a deliverable all the PM needs to do is click on the comments link and voilà, there's evidence supporting their 40% claim. Over time, we'll provide machine learning that can automate this claim process and/or highlight false claims where no draft document exists but for now, hopefully, the transparency is enough to get real value out of the earned value stats and probably even more beneficial, project team members will be able to share information faster and more effectively.

We'll be demonstrating earned value in two weeks (June 8th) at our third UniPhi 17 webinar. Register now.
 

 

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