Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lighthouse is being upgraded

Lighthouse Upgrade
Lighthouse will be unavailable on Sunday, May 20th starting at 8am US Eastern, and we anticipate the service to be down for ~8 hours (to accommodate for the unknown!). You will not be able to log in to Lighthouse during the upgrade, so please plan accordingly.

We apologize for any inconvenience the upgrade might cause. Please check our forum for service updates on Sunday afternoon.
New Features and Improvements
Our new release contains many new features and improvements, including:

  • New User Interface
Our new UI improves the use of 'real estate'. No more scrolling left to right! We've added a bunch of new features (including the ability to 'hide' the menus') but rest assured, we did not remove any existing functionality.
  • Improved Performance
Our new caching algorithm will provide a significant improvement in the load time. Lighthouse modules and objects will load faster (except for the first time you log in, when the initial cache occurs - not much we can do about that one).
  • 160 Defects, 9 Change Requests completed
We fixed a lot of issues. Some you found, some we found.
  • Improved Dashboards and Custom Reports
Custom Reports has an upgraded reporting engine and layout. Significant improvements were made to dashboard performance as well.
Recently Added & Coming Soon
In case you haven't logged into Lighthouse recently, here are some of the recent upgrades as well as a list of upcoming features. Let us know if you want more details!

  • New York (released March 2007)
    • Task Management: Lighthouse Pro includes full capabilities to create, edit and assign tasks to users. Tasks can be linked to any other Lighthouse object as well. Read more ...
    • Custom Reporting: Users can now create their own reports on any Lighthouse object using a simple, AJAX-driven, drag-and-drop interface. Custom Reporting is available with Lighthouse Premium. Read more ...
    • Custom Methodology Wizard: You can now specify Agile, RUP, Waterfall or "create your own" methodologies when creating projects. The Custom Methodology Wizard is a Lighthouse Premium feature.

  • Cozumel (coming in July 2007)
    • Custom Fields (phase 1): This Lighthouse Premium feature lets users change drop down menu items found in all Lighthouse modules.
    • Integrated Task and Project Management: Build complete project plans inside Lighthouse, with support for GANTT charts. Users can also fully import, edit and export Microsoft Project plans.
    • User Interface Improvements- various additional improvements to make adding, creating and deleting objects easier.

  • Post Cozumel (later this year)
    • API/Webservices
    • IDE Integration
    • Custom Fields (phase 2)
    • Custom Dashboards
    • Custom Layouts
    • and much more!
Upcoming Public Webinars
Lighthouse Task Management
June 5, 2007 - 8 AM EST

This 30 minute webinar will provide an in-depth overview of Lighthouse Task Management. You will learn how to:
  • Create Tasks
  • Create Task Dependencies
  • Update and track Task % Completion

Custom Report Overview
June 6, 2007 - 8 AM EST

This 30 minute webinar will provide an in-depth overview of Lighthouse Custom Reports. You will learn how to:
  • Create Custom Reports
  • Add Graphic Representation
  • Learn About Traceability
Lighthouse Overview
June 7, 2007 - 8 AM EST

This 30 minute webinar will provide an in-depth overview of Lighthouse Pro vs Premium. You will learn:
  • The differences of Pro vs. Premium
  • How to set up your users
  • How to create a project
  • How to link objects together
Space is limited, so sign up today! Let us know if you need more time/date options.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SaaS, Innovation and Software Development

Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff was interviewed recently by Information Week, during the Software 2007 conference in Santa Clara. Benioff mentioned that there's "more innovation now then in the last 10 years." That's an interesting comment, more so because innovation seems more subtle today then in the past. What I mean by that is that there were fewer innovations ten years ago, but they were much more dramatic in terms of their impact on our lives. Innovations like browsers, broadband, even Saas (which arguably wasn't new, i.e., time sharing), had a huge impact as they fundamentally changed so much in our personal and professional lives.

So, while much of the innovation then was infrastructural, today we have n times more innovations, in terms of sheer numbers, but they are more subtle and have less "bang" then those in the past. And as this blog relates to software development management, I think this is no more evident that in the software industry. For years, software development has innovated at the infrastructure level; programming languages, faster compilers, better IDEs, new methodologies like Agile (arguably a updated version of RAD). Yet, software development continues to be plagued with cost and schedule overruns, poor quality, and security flaws that seem never ending.

So, I'm wondering how folks feel about this issue. Why isn't the software community that is driving so much of today's innovation, readily embracing innovation ourselves. Why is it that we can't better manage our own process, yet keep innovating for others to better manage their processes, be it sales, marketing, finance, you name it. I'm always amazed when I see folks who call themselves "professional software developers" still relying on Word docs, spreadsheets, and e-mail to manage their dev process. Isn't it time that we began eating our own dogfood, stepped up and embraced better visibility, accountability, and predictability. I mean if we can't even do the basics, like trace tasks from requirements through test cases to defect to source code, how are we supposed to improve the perception of software in the marketplace. Isn't that what software development management is all about.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Carnegie Mellon offers Masters in Software Management

I recently came across this article on SD Times about a Masters program in Software Management offered by Carnegie Mellon West. I think this is a great concept - one that is long overdue. Carnegie's website says this program is meant to prepare software engineers and project managers for leadership positions. In other words, this program is great for technical folk who want to learn the business side of software.

Anyway, check it out - I believe the classes are held online (another major plus).

Friday, May 4, 2007

Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) MD Chapter May Meeting

The Agile Project Leadership Network (Maryland chapter) is hosting a meeting on May 15th. The topic is aligning Agile and CMMI, and the speaker is Hillel Glazer.

This should be an interesting session - if you are in the area, try to attend!

You can find out more here.