What’s new in the BigPicture 8.2?
BigPicture is currently the best Project Management tool in the Atlassian ecosystem.
In this article, we will focus on BigPicture 8.2 version, especially all its brand new additions and functionalities.
Let’s see what’s new in the BP 8.2!
Some new features at the beginning
The first thing we want to focus on is that now BigPicture is available in your project’s left menu. If you select the BigPicture section then two things can happen.
If your Jira project is not part of any BigPicture box yet, then you will be able to create a new box for this. You’ll be able to choose which type of box you want to use and then you will see which modules are available in this box. To create the box click “Start working”.
The new box based on the selected box type will be created for you and the scope of that box will equal the scope of your Jira project.
On the other hand, if you are working with a project that has synchronization with the box already in BigPicture, you will see your BigPicture embedded into your right side screen.
It’s worth pointing out that this is only going to happen if the connection between your Jira project and BigPicture box is one-to-one and there are no additional things added to that box. And also the box type has to be with the setting of “own” scope. If you don’t know what that is, you will have to have a look at the documentation or just reach out to us!
Switching time optimization
The next thing that is worth mentioning is that BigPicture optimized the time needed to switch between different tabs. Now, switching from tab to tab is a lot smoother than it was before.
Another thing that has been added is the inline date field edits. Now, you can click on a date and edit it from the calendar-like view. It’s available in all the modules that are displaying the dates so that it’s consistent across the whole tool.
A huge change in the Reports section
In BigPicture 8.2 you can also modify the reports in the Standard BigPicture version. You don’t need BigPicture Enterprise for this anymore. The only change on standard (old) reports is that now you can also specify the date filter that will allow you to narrow down the range of issues that you want to be included in your report.
What’s more, there are also several new reports: Risk matrix, Team dependencies, and Dependencies.
The Dependencies report will show you how many dependencies are defined in your boxes belonging to the box that you’re looking at, but also the boxes below it. You can quickly identify the connections between tasks in boxes and minimize the risks related to them.
The Risk matrix is showing the miniature of your risks. You can notice that all the values of consequence and probability are visible in one place. The numbers inside the matrix view are showing us the risks that are defined. You can click on the name of the risk to be taken directly to the issue and see all the details of it.
The Team dependencies report is also going to show you quite an important thing. With this one, you will be able to identify cross-team dependencies of tasks that belong to your teams. How? If you have any kind of tasks belonging to two different teams that are connected either with the dependency or with the parent-child relationship, you will be able to see all the dependencies between those teams and tasks connected to them.
You can also see the type of connection between tasks. That seems to be quite useful if you’re working with many teams, you have dependencies between those teams and you want to keep track and make sure that those dependencies are not causing any additional risks to your project.
Another thing is that now, in Task configuration you can synchronize your skills with the Jira field. This will allow you to, for example, bulk change skills or to assign skills to people just through the labels type of the field.
Furthermore, in the Overview configuration, you can auto-archive your boxes so you can choose after how many days of inactivity, the box is going to be archived so that it doesn’t contribute to the performance load of your Jira instance.
You can also notice that In the Advanced settings we have a switch for the Onboarding tour. It is responsible for all the tooltips that are being shown to the new users of BigPicture. If you don’t want this to be showing up, you can just disable it.
There is a new setting for synchronization. Sometimes it might happen that BigPicture will not be notified about some changes in the issues that happen outside of BigPicture, just in Jira. This synchronization is supposed to go through all the issues in all the boxes and sync up so that everything is up to date.
What’s more, you will be able to select the default user for any action that is performed on behalf of the BigPicture. Until now it has been recorded as a default Jira user. Now you can create and choose your own user.
In BigPicture Administration, you will notice that now synchronization with Tempo has been added to the cloud version. It hasn’t been there before.
Inside the Skills tab, columns called Code, Color, Description allow us to sort or filter the skills.
In the Administration, inside the Box types, you can also define the coloring rules for the colors appearing in the resources (only with BigPicture Enterprise). This change is only available on the level of the box type so you can’t do it on the level of the individual, already existing box.
Gadgets & Timeline view
Another interesting thing is that now also gadgets are available in the cloud version. What’s more, there is a brand new gadget showing the roadmap. You can choose which roadmap from which project you want to present and display it as a gadget on your dashboard.
Inside an Overview module, when you switch to the Timeline view, you will be able to see the markers. The same ones as those visible in the Gantt and on the Board and the Roadmap.
Dependencies on the Gantt have been improved a little bit as well. Now, if you go to the details of the dependency you can provide the description of the dependency. When you’re creating the dependency you will be able to see a tooltip showing you what kind of a dependency will be created and whether it’s going to be with an ASAP mode or not.
You can also hold your left alt button to change from ASAP to non-ASAP dependency.
Previously you had to create a dependency and then go inside and change its mode. That’s such an important improvement.
What has changed inside the Scope and Board module?
Now you can finally add the tasks or sub-tasks inside the Scope module! This is the same kind of functionality that is available on the Gantt and inside the Board module.
Speaking about the Board module you will notice that some of the filters have now been moved to the right side. Turning on and off the visibility of all the tasks and turning on or off the visibility of tasks with dependencies belong to the filter section on the right top side of your screen.
Changes in the Resources module
There are also some changes in the Resources module.
Now, when you click on the box showing you the capacity, you can see the details of where this capacity is coming from.
Resource overallocation has been added too! If you go to the Teams module and try to assign a person to the team with a certain percentage, you will get a warning that the total allocation of the person to all the teams globally is over 100%.
There’s one more change in the Resources module. If you click on the task and look at all the detailed information inside the task, the window in the picture below is now resizable:
You can click arrows or just drag its corner to change the size of this window.
Working with tasks that are assigned to people that have no working days in a period where the task duration is scheduled, has also been a little bit flawed in the past. Now it’s showing properly the breakdown of hours. If the task is highlighted in red, it means it should be assigned to someone else or we should make sure that the assignee is working in our project during this timeframe.
What has surprised us?
Previously, inside the Risks module, in the table section, you could inline edit the assignee. Unfortunately, in the BP 8.2 version, this functionality has been disabled.
We hope it will return soon because it would speed up the process of assigning people to our tasks in our project plans.
Last but not least
The last thing is that inside the Configuration in a very important section of the Task structure, the Reset task structure button is always visible. Previously you had to disable all your structure builders for this button to appear and use.
If you turn this button on and save it, firstly it will flatten your whole structure but then it will apply the selected structure builders.
To sum up, a lot of interesting features have come up with the BigPicture 8.2 version. We’ve been looking for many of them for a long time so we’re glad they are finally here.
We wish removing the assignee inline editing from the Risk match module will come back soon but apart from that, all the updates are really important and beneficial to the end-users.
Any questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
If you would like to learn more about BigPicture, talk about using the tool in your company, talk about possible training or implementation help, remember that in Genius Gecko we are the experts in this tool.
We have been working with SoftwarePlant and lots of companies from all around the world for the past five years.
We are open to a free session, which we will have online, and talk about whether BigPicture is the right fit for you or not. Don’t hesitate to contact us!