Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Getting Clearer on Clarity

I'm making progress using CA-Clarity.  I've decided to use the MS Project Interface for all of my projects since that's my forte... and since it is much easier than workbench to split tasks across multiple systems.

Due to budgetary cutbacks, we have as many major systems to provide development and tier two support resources for as we have developers.  I don't have the luxury of assigning projects to a single person, or many times assigning longer tasks to a single resource.  I need the flexibility of quickly being able to change resource allocations and set predecessors for the WBS.  Microsoft Project is much more efficient, at least up-front, for this task.  We need to be agile, without being inefficient to support our 100,000 users.

I do understand there are number of "Mandatory and Optional" settings that need configured so that Microsoft's Project engine doesn't conflict with the scheduling in CA Clarity.  I'll post links to these in another blog.

So, you've decided to pick the non-corporate-standard tool to interface with Clarity, but the Systems' Administrator has decided to set the default to the "standard" you don't use.  What do you do?  Well I can tell you I scanned the internet for ways to change this after I had setup a project incorrectly... and I think my search skills are pretty good.  What did I find?  Nunca, de nada, nothing, a major abyss.

I don't suggest that you switch the schedule format once you open the project in a scheduling package, and well... do this at you're own risk... I have senior level project management skills, and newbie experience with Clarity... so this may be your option of last resort.

On your projects tab...
  1. Select "configure" from the actions drop down menu on the top right.
  2. Add "Scheduler format" to the list of available columns... now it's right in front of you.
  3. Although I could find no interface on our install of Clarity, there may be a screen I don't have access to to allow the change... if not..
  4. From the actions drop down menu on the top right ... select "edit".
  5. Select the row for the project you need to change.
  6. Toggle between Microsoft Project and CA's OpenWorkbench formats using the drop down.
  7. Those nasty messages warning you about opening the project in another tool now go away.
Again, I wouldn't do this to a project that has been opened / updated in the other tool.  I'd use it at your own risk and you're own discretion.  The projects I needed to change were skeletal plans that didn't have the Work Breakdown Structure created.

That's my tip for tonight.  I have to post links to the Microsoft Project recommendations for CA-Clarity, as well as some of my experiences with the CA Clarity security.  That's all for now.