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Enhancements - Archive

Enhancements - Archive

Overview

At Centric we firmly believe in the ongoing development of our products to ensure they are always relevant and always one step ahead of the rest of the market.  Here is just a snapshot of what we've been up to, and doesn't include the custom work done for individual clients.  If you'd like more information about the breadth and depth of system enhancements and custom work, please contact us.

YEARS 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

 

2013 Enhancements

Update to T5 Allocation of Resources Report

Advanced filtering by Organisation is now available in this report.

Update to Project Timeline Report

New options available for reporting including Original vs Revised Due Dates on Milestones.

 

Updates to Add screens in main modules

We have recently updated 'Add' screens in main modules to help improve workflow.  'Add' screens now have the following options after entering the data:
1) 'Add More Details'
2) 'Add New'
3) 'Finish'

These changes apply in the following modules:
- Contacts
- Groups Management
- IP
- Organisations
- Outputs MS Reporting: Milestones and Outputs
- Projects
- Programs
- Publications
- Reportable Activities
-Travel Requests (where applicable)

In addition, the Projects submodule in the Users module has been given an additional option to progress directly from this submodule to the Effort Allocation submodule via the 'Add Effort' link.  So, when entering new Users, by clicking on the 'Add More Details' button when saving data, you will be directly taken to the Projects submodule, where the user can be assigned to a Project, and thence straight to the Effort Allocation screen to assign their effort against this project.

 

2012 Enhancements

Login Logs Report

We're off to a flying start - this new report gives Adminstrators a view of successful (and unsuccessful) logins over the past year. It provides details of the user, and other useful information about the login.  Profile type now displays on this report to easily show which groups are accessing the system.

Call for Funding and Submissions Modules (custom)

This set of modules form a comprehensive system for creating and managing a Call for Funding.  Research partners and others respond via an Expression of Interest to a set of priority research questions.  EOIs are managed via a semi-automated process that opens the Call, closes the Call, sends EOIs out to pre-assigned Reviewers, then if successful pushes the EOI through to a second Full Submission round, where the process is repeated once again, until finally the submission is funded or not.  A determination is made against every submission before it proceeds through to each stage.

Enhancements to Project and User Report Functionality

This release means more functionality in Project and User reporting.  All project and user reports now have easier filtering to select which projects are reported on, more choices on what information is reported and more options in how the reported is exported.

Have Your Say Functionality

This release will give ALL of our users the opportunity to directly contact us with their suggestions, feedback and thoughts about the Centric system.  We look forward to hearing what everyone has to say and that we can incorporate their wants into our future releases and product roadmap.  We will be reviewing all the comments and sharing them with other users to get the best of all ideas incorporated into the system.

Enhancements to GANTT chart Reports

As part of our continual improvement program Centric has enhanced our 2 GANTT chart reports:   Project Time Line Report and Program & Project Portfolio Progress Report.

Our update aligns the colours of the progress bar in these reports with the concept of our traffic lights used throughout the system giving more meaning and instant recognition to the progress of each project or task.

Update to HTML Editor in Website Administration modules

The HTML editor (TinyMCE) used for updating website pages has now been updated to allow embedding YouTube videos.

Update to Users modules with social media details 

We have upgraded the Users module to include fields for each of these popular social meda applications:  Linked In, Facebook and Twitter.  We have also updated the layout of the users screens to separate the information into manageable sections:  General, E-Contacts and Administration details.

Updates to Email content, Task Management and Project Quarterly Reporting

Email Content
As a result of some recent feedback, we have now modified the content of the automated reminder emails (ie. the emails that go to your email address and tell you how many unread messages you have in your Centric account).  The Centric email will now show the Subject line of each new, unread message.  This means that you can quickly review the Subject of each unread message to determine whether you need to log into Centric immediately, or whether these messages can be read at a later time.

Task management
When creating tasks, you now have the option to choose whether to notify (via Messaging) the Person Responsible that they have been assigned to the Task, and/or whether they are are notified of reminders.  The default will always be set to receive messages, and you can over-ride this setting by unticking the Notification checkbox.

Quarterly Reporting
The Project Quarterly Reports display tasks and milestones relating directly to the period under report.  Some of these milestones have other related tasks which don't appear in the report.  In order to view the complete list of tasks and milestones relating to the project, we have now included a link in the Quarterly Report which opens the Project Task screen in a separate tab in your browser and displays all tasks and milestones for the project.

 

2011 Enhancements

New Look and Feel
At the beginning of 2011, we rolled out a new look and feel for the Centric Research Management system.  And what a response we had from our clients!

As you know, we are always looking for new ways to enhance and increase the functionality of the system.  And that dedication and drive has led to the system now having over 45 different modules, with over 100 different reports (std and custom).  The old look and feel was struggling under the sheer volume of information that needed to be presented to the system users. 

Our new look and feel takes care of this by categorising the modules at a higher level, making it easier to find things.  And while we were at it, we just made it nicer on the eye.

Automated Project Reporting (optional)
An automated approach for reviewing your projects on a quarterly basis.  The Quarterly Project Reporting modules present a summary of a project to-date to the Project Leader, who can then review the progress of the project and update the relevant details.  The standard form includes the ability to update the project's  Milestone and Tasks, and a set of customisable questions that the Project Leader will be asked to answer.  The Project Leader's report is then passed to an Industry Reviewer for a peer review.  The Industry Reviewer can send the report back to the Project Leader for further analysis or forward it on to the sign-off authority after adding their own comments.  Once the report has been signed-off, the project information is automatically updated with the latest progress values.  All of this process takes place within the security of the Centric system, and all quarterly reports are stored for any of the process participants to view at any time during the process, or at a later time.

Outputs MS Reporting (optional)
An updated version of the Strategic Reporting module, to reflect changes to the DIISR reporting requirements.

Milestone Payments (optional)
This new module is an optional module for those sites wishing to track payments against their project milestones.  It allows the user to select which Projects and which Milestones have payments tied to them, assign payment values and track and record approvals and payment details.

Bits & Pieces
This section is called 'Bits & Pieces' because we are updating the system regularly with small modifications that make the system more user friendly.  They aren't big pieces of development that offer whizbang new functionality and new features, but they are important nevertheless.  Just some of the minor modifications done in 2011 are:

  • Creation of User records are now stamped with creator's name
  • Allowing more selectable options in the Project Progress Portfolio Report
  • Adding new field for Notes Reference Date
  • Our Document Library is now searchable by module
  • Navigation changes in the Calendar feature make publishing General Events for all users quicker and simpler
  • New integrity checks for Organisations with financials
  • More project information now available under the Users module
  • New field in Users module for Initials or other form of User reference, and new search features on Supervisor status and Last Updated dates

 

2010 Enhancements

Temporarily Unavailable

 

2009 Enhancements

New IK Salary valuations (standard)
IK Salary valuations are now treated separately from Cash Salary valuations.  For CRCs, the DIISR value for IK Salaries is determined by the Users Category and is displayed as a default value, with the ability to override this default.  For other research centres, the IK Salary value has no default and is thereby determined by the centre.

Effort & Financial Reporting for CRC Bids (standard)
As part of the recent review by the Commonwealth government into the Cooperative Research Centre program, new guidelines were announced for the 11th (2009) CRC selection round.

To assist organisations preparing bids under the new guidelines, Centric has released 4 new reports relating to Effort and financial management:
   - Commonwealth Budget Cash Income & Expense (Other) Report
   - Commonwealth Budget Cash Salaries & OH Report
   - Commonwealth Participant (Firm) Cash and Non-Staff In-Kind Report
   - Commonwealth Budget Participant In-Kind Report

Bits & Pieces
CMGS is constantly listening to what our users tell us.  Sometimes a minor change can make a real difference to the way a user interacts with the system.  This section is called 'Bits & Pieces' because we are updating the system regularly with small modifications that make the system more user friendly.  They aren't big pieces of development that offer new functionality and new features, but they are important nevertheless.  Just some of the minor modifications done in 2009 are:

  • displaying the properties of each Value in the Valuelists module
  • extending the date ranges in the Publications module to cater for sites who come to us with an existing history of publications and wish to access them via the Centric system
  • modifying the internal Messaging system to allow for 'Forwarding' messages onto other users
  • displaying the creation date when adding new users to easily report on how many new users are added to the system
  • enhancing the automated Effort screens to allow for bulk approvals
  • defaulting financial screens to the current financial year for easier workflow
  • allowing multiple note type selections in Project Notes report 

2008 Enhancements

Project Reporting (standard)
A new Project Progress Portfolio report shows the progress of all projects in the centre in a GANTT chart format.  It is a standard report.

Effort & Financial Reporting (standard)
3 new reports have been introduced to report on the expenses related to researcher’s Effort across the different organizations and projects.  They report on the Actual $ value spent, the Budgeted $ value and the Variance between Budget and Actual.   They include salary splits such as Cash $, InKind $ and InKind Overhead $.

CRCCommonwealth Agreement Reporting (optional)
The Commonwealth requires all CRCs to report annually. The existing standard Centric Commonwealth financial reports have now been upgraded to capture the static agreement figures signed off by the Commonwealth and Partners to a CRC, allowing for Actual, Projected and Agreement figures to be reported from all of these reports - in both FTEs and $ values.

Users Notes and Documents (standard)
Allows individual notes and documents to be kept against all users in the system in a simple, orderly manner.

Strategic Reporting (optional)
The Comonwealth CRC Program Guidelines for Annual Reports require the reporting of Research and Other activities and achievements.  This is an ongoing requirement for all CRCs.

In response to this requirement and the issues raised by CRCs over the years concerning Commonwealth reporting and strategic governance of a CRC, Centric has devised an approach that will meet both the common requirements of CRC Commonwealth reporting as well as the principles of good corporate governance in regard to monitoring and managing the strategic intent of the CRC by effectively tracking achievements that align with the strategy (Outcomes, Outputs and Milestones) of the CRC.  Outcomes, outputs and milestones are linked together in an heirarchical structure that extends down to the project level of the CRC, allowing the core work of the CRC to be measured and reported against the corporate strategy.

Timesheets (optional)
Timesheets are a new optional module for those Centres who prefer to track researcher’s effort by having them complete weekly timesheets.  Weekly timesheets are automatically generated for nominated researchers.  Researchers are then responsible for assigning their hours against projects (restricted to those projects of which they are team members) before submitting them for approval.  Approvers are matched individually to a researcher by the Administrators, dependent on the centre’s approval requirements.

There are 3 Timesheet reports which report on Actual hours, Actual vs Budget hours and hours translated into % Effort for inputting into the manual Effort system.

Document Version Control (optional)
Manages general documents within the Centre by tracking all versions of the document and allowing access down to the UserGroup level on a document by document basis.

Find in Tasks (standard)
Allows easy searching of Project Tasks, Milestones, Reviews and Strategic Milestones.

2007 Enhancements

Effort Reporting (standard or optional)
A standard feature in Centric is a manual effort allocation, recording and reporting system for both Cash and In-Kind effort which can be converted into both dollar values and FTEs. Additionally Centric have two optional automated Effort Approval Systems:

  • automated Effort Approval System (EAS) by Individual submission and
  • automated Effort Approval System (EAS) by Participant submission

Contacts Management (standard)
Centric offers a comprehensive Contacts Management Module for Communication or other Managers to manage and communicate with important external contacts. The modules allow for the:

  • grouping of contacts into specific groups of interest
  • CSV export of a Mailing List for mail merges and address labels
  • Newsletters to external and internal contacts via the person’s external email account

Audit Trail for Notes (standard)
An important feature in Centric is the ability to update ‘Notes’ with new and additional information. With the introduction of the Note audit trail, Managers can see who contributed information to the note update, which is also time and date stamped.

Bibliographical Reporting on Publications (standard)
The Publications Modules have associated reports that display the publication details in a format suitable for presentation as a bibliography. For CRCs this is a requirement for their reporting to the government. Some of the enhancements to the Publications module to allow for this include:

  • allowing Author details to be sorted in order of contribution
  • book and book chapter details with editor, volume and page numbers
  • conference proceedings and abstracts including those papers refereed and non-refereed

Business card pop-up for User's summary information (standard)
The primary contact details of Researchers are quickly displayed when the Researchers name is highlighted. This prevents the need for drilling into the Researchers details to find this information.

Program and Project Leader Task Summary screen (standard)
A key factor in monitoring the progress of research is for the real time status of Tasks and Milestones to be readily available.

When Program or Project Leaders log in to Centric they can access all the Tasks and Milestones under their Programs and Projects in one quick view screen. Additionally the visual alert system, unique to Centric, displays firstly overdue Tasks and the progress towards their achievement, and then the status of ongoing tasks.

Technical Forum module (optional)
The technical forum allows the establishment of topics whereby Researchers can read information of interest or contribute by adding comments and suggestions.

 

Our Clients say...

Sue Keay, Communication Manager
CAST CRC Limited, Brisbane

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