Scott Adams surely knows what it’s like to do a timesheet. We couldn’t resist sharing this one of his strips with you:
As you may have seen over on my EPM Guidance blog, Microsoft has now shown Project 2010 and Project Server 2010 at its Project Conference in Phoenix last month. HMS was in attendance at both the Project Conference and the Ignite Airlife immediately preceeding the conference. HMS is one of the longest standing partners of Microsoft Project. Our link between TimeControl and MS Project dates back to 1995 and we’ve maintained a continuous relationship with Microsoft since then. With my participation for five years on Microsoft’s EPM Partner Advisory Council, I’d already seen much of what Microsoft had intended in both Project and Project Server and, while nothing we saw in Phoenix was a big surprise for me, it was nice to see the version I’d spent so much time on coming close to fruition.
In some organizations there is a great need to track what employees are doing with their day. A timesheet allows each employee to choose from a list of tasks and identify how much time each task took. TimeControl is ideally suited to such a system given it’s ability to track time task by task.
But there is another type of user that is often more plentiful than the project-based personnel. This user may not have a need track their tasks throughout the day. Perhaps the user does the same thing each day or perhaps the user is compensated and measured through other means.
Let’s take an high-tech organization. There may be researchers and IT specialists and marketers who work on projects throughout the week and we know we can be more effective if we can determine where their day is being used. But such an organization might also have salespeople. These people are compensated by commissions perhaps. Should they too need to complete a timesheet every day? (Actually there’s a good argument for doing just that but let’s imagine that in this organization we don’t wish to do this at all.)
TimeControl can also be used as a by-exception system. Some users could be asked to enter their timesheets on a weekly basis and the TimeControl validation rules can be set for those users to ensure that the timesheet represents a complete week of 40 (or some other number) of hours for example.
For other users however, TimeControl could be configured so that the users only enter a timesheet when they have taken time off. This “exception” time could be for vacation, sick leave, jury duty or just PTO – Personal Time Off. The possible entries for these users would only be for exception time and these users would not be listed in missing timesheet reports as timesheets would not be expected every week.
There are two ways this can be configured in TimeControl for the non project personnel. Option 1 would see the exception timesheets only containing the exception hours. Option 2 requires a few more hours work during configuration and adds a process which fills in additional hours to any exception timesheet or any blank timesheet to result in a complete list of hours for the week. Either option works well though reporting with Option 2 can be blended much more easily with the timesheet data of project personnel.
The benefit of mixing project and non-project users in a single TimeControl instance would ensure that 100% of staff were represented in the system. TimeControl’s reporting can be segregated with filtering to ensure that project and non-project timesheet data isn’t mixed or the data can be blended together as desired.
TimeControl’s flexibility makes it one of the few systems on the market that can accommodate both project and non project personnel from within the same system.