WBS Simultaneous Editing

Process Dashboard 1.14.4 introduced a significant new feature, making it possible for multiple people to edit the same Work Breakdown Structure simultaneously. This page explains important deployment and upgrade considerations relating to this enhancement. Please read this page carefully to understand and make effective use of this new feature.

Upgrade Instructions

The simultaneous editing feature is enabled by default in Process Dashboard version 1.14.6. Teams that are using 1.14.4 or 1.14.5 can either upgrade to 1.14.6, or can enable this feature manually.

To enable this feature, take the following steps:

  1. Open the Team Dashboard.
  2. From the Team Dashboard, open the WBS for a particular project.
  3. When the WBS Editor window opens, choose "Edit > Preferences." Check the box to enable simultaneous editing, then click OK.
  4. Close and reopen the WBS Editor window.

If you wish to enable this feature for multiple teams or Team Projects, you must repeat steps 1-3 for each team and Team Project.

Upgrade Considerations

In earlier versions of the Process Dashboard, the WBS Editor would obtain an exclusive lock as soon as you open the WBS Editor window, and would release the lock when the WBS Editor window was closed. In this new version, an exclusive lock is only required at the moment in time when you save changes to the WBS. But of course, older versions of the Process Dashboard will have no comprehension of "simultaneous WBS Editing." As a result, if an individual on a team has not upgraded, that individual will grab and hold an exclusive lock on the WBS whenever they open the WBS Editor.

This arrangement has two practical implications:

  • If you wish to perform a limited test of the simultaneous editing feature, you can identify a small number of people who will upgrade to the new version of the Process Dashboard. These individuals will be able to launch the WBS Editor simultaneously and try out the new functionality, as long as no other individuals open that same WBS during the test.
  • If you wish to use the simultaneous WBS editing feature for a team, all members of a team should upgrade. But if some individual fails to upgrade, there is no need to worry about data corruption. Rather, the individual who fails to upgrade will simply lock their team members out of saving changes whenever they have the WBS open. (And after a 60-second timeout, their team members will see an error message identifying the individual who is hogging the lock.)

Description of New Behavior

When simultaneous editing has been enabled and you save changes to the WBS, the application will silently check to see if other individuals have recently saved changes as well. If they have, the save operation will merge their changes into your view.

If you wish to merge other people's recently saved changes into your view without saving your own in-progress edits, a new "Refresh Data" option is available on the "File" menu for this purpose.

In either case, if the merge identifies editing conflicts (where you and another individual have made conflicting edits to the same value), warning messages will be displayed. These warnings include hyperlinks that help you to locate and recover from the editing conflict.

Risks and Risk Mitigation

The simultaneous editing feature has undergone extensive testing by the dashboard development team and has been in use at several organizations for two months. Nevertheless, latent defects may still remain, so teams making use of this feature should be watchful for potential defects.

While using this new functionality, if any error occurs during the "Save" or "Refresh Data" operations, an error message will be displayed and a crash file will be saved to the user's home directory. If this occurs, please email the crash files to support@tuma-solutions.com immediately so the root cause can be identified and resolved.

If you perform a "Save" or "Refresh Data" operation which completes successfully but you are surprised by the results, please choose "Save Simultaneous Editing Debug File" from the File menu. Then send the resulting ZIP file to support@tuma-solutions.com , along with a description of the unexpected behavior that you have observed.

If any errors are encountered during a "Save" operation, the following steps may allow an individual to avoid losing work:

  1. Immediately email the crash file to support@tuma-solutions.com
  2. Use the "File > Save a Copy" feature to save current edits into a standalone ZIP file. When prompted, click "Yes" to open the ZIP file in a new window.
  3. Close the original WBS Editor window without saving changes, then reopen it.
  4. Manually copy changes from the ZIP window back to the window containing the real team project WBS, saving often.