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Hyper Plan now has improved collaboration on Windows

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Posted by Andy Brice
Mar 3, 2017 at 02:03 AM

 

We have just released a new version of Hyper Plan that better handles multiple users reading from and writing to the same plan file.

Previously Hyper Plan for Windows locked a file when you opened it. It then kept the file locked until you exited Hyper Plan or opened a new plan. Other users could open the file-read only and get updates, but they couldn’t make any changes while it was locked. This wasn’t very convenient for collaboration.

We have now changed this so that Hyper Plan for Windows only locks the file while it is being modified. This means that several users on different computers can be modifying the same file and receiving each other’s changes. In the unlikely event that 2 of them try to modify the plan at the same time, 1 of the changes will succeed and the other will be saved into a new version of the file. We feel this works a lot better for collaboration, whether you are sharing a plan via a shared network folder or a synchronization system such as DropBox. And it doesn’t require a server.

The new release also has other various other improvements. You can find out more at:
http://www.hyperplan.com/hyperplan_v260.html

Andy Brice
http://www.hyperplan.com

 


Posted by moritz
Mar 5, 2017 at 09:14 PM

 

Andy,

HyperPlan is a unique and very useful planning tool. I love the fact that it’s dual platform, and that your licensing makes switching back and forth completely painless. Thanks for keeping the updates coming!

My biggest item on the wish list (perhaps for the next major release) is an ability to merge adjacent cells (in the visual representation) if they have the same title.
This is relevant e.g. if you plan tasks that span several weeks (columns = weekly increment). Currently, we would show individual cards, e.g. [implementation], [implementation], [implementation], [implementation] (repeated over 4 weeks).
Since I frequently export HyperPlan visuals to incorporate into PowerPoint decks, today I end up having to draw rectangles on top of adjacent cells with identical labels to make them appear as one continuous task. More like a conventional GANTT chart view.
Obviously I would rather have HyperPlan do some of that for me.
I know that this feature would be non-trivial to implement. Perhaps there could be an option, to be selectively engaged, to toggle between an “edit” view (individual cards) vs. “presentation”, with advanced heuristics such as combining same-title cells applied for exporting purposes?

 


Posted by Andy Brice
Mar 5, 2017 at 10:21 PM

 

moritz wrote:
>HyperPlan is a unique and very useful planning tool. I love the fact
>that it’s dual platform, and that your licensing makes switching back
>and forth completely painless. Thanks for keeping the updates coming!

Thanks!

>My biggest item on the wish list (perhaps for the next major release) is
>an ability to merge adjacent cells (in the visual representation) if
>they have the same title.
>This is relevant e.g. if you plan tasks that span several weeks (columns
>= weekly increment). Currently, we would show individual cards, e.g.
>[implementation], [implementation], [implementation], [implementation]
>(repeated over 4 weeks).
>Since I frequently export HyperPlan visuals to incorporate into
>PowerPoint decks, today I end up having to draw rectangles on top of
>adjacent cells with identical labels to make them appear as one
>continuous task. More like a conventional GANTT chart view.
>Obviously I would rather have HyperPlan do some of that for me.
>I know that this feature would be non-trivial to implement. Perhaps
>there could be an option, to be selectively engaged, to toggle between
>an “edit” view (individual cards) vs. “presentation”, with advanced
>heuristics such as combining same-title cells applied for exporting
>purposes?

I’ve given this quite a lot of thought. It is a tricky one.

On the one hand I completely understand that you might want one card to span multiple columns and/or rows (for example a task assigned to more than one person or being completed over more than one date).

On the other hand there are already any number of project planning tools with Gantt charts and there doesn’t really seem to be much point in reinventing that wheel yet again. Also it doesn’t fit very well with the ‘chunky’ data that comes naturally with a card-based approach. Merging cards is fairly trivial if you have a single card in each cell and the cells are contiguous. But that isn’t generally the case.

One possible compromise is to allow a single card to appear to appear in multiple rows and/or columns and have some visual cue that they all associated. I am still thinking of the best way to do that.

 


Posted by Andy Brice
Mar 5, 2017 at 10:39 PM

 

Ps/If you want to send me one of your plans, before and after you modified it for presentation, that might be useful:
http://www.hyperplan.com/contact.html

 


Posted by moritz
Mar 6, 2017 at 06:14 AM

 

Andy,

A basic example is any plan that has a calendar progression as columns. E.g. Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, ... or Q1, Q2, Q3.
In my experience using HyperPlan for project planning, It is almost guaranteed that tasks will go across multiple of these boundaries.
Using individual cards is elegant and fast during the phase where I’m building the model, the current way works sufficiently well.

It is only at the stage where I have to share the plan to brief stakeholders and get approval where I need to clean up the visual.
I don’t think that an MPX (Project) export would solve it, as the semantics of the columns (or rows, for that matter) are not guaranteed to map to dates - this flexibility is a strength of HyperPlan.

Clearly there are many ways to skin this cat.
Perhaps another approach would be the notion of introducing a width/height attribute for cards, expressed as a multiple of columns/rows?

I understand the significance of this request as you would have to significantly alter the UX and layout algorithms. I wouldn’t ask for it if there was a simple workaround - have you heard of best practices how other folks are solving this use case?

Andy Brice wrote:
Ps/If you want to send me one of your plans, before and after you
>modified it for presentation, that might be useful:
>http://www.hyperplan.com/contact.html

 


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