Many TimeControl clients group their projects by various categories such as; by client, project type, billable / non-billable and other criteria. When an employee needs to select a project from the pick list for inclusion on their timesheet, the common practice is to select the category first then drill down to the projects included under that category. A common example of this is to select by client first then select the project associated with that particular client.
This type of grouping is most typically identified as a user defined field on the Project Table and may be named however required. This field can be used to create a tree-like display on the project select list when inserting a new line item on a timesheet. An example of this would be a company who has a lot of projects that are associated to a specific client. Being able to choose the client first and then the project makes it easier for an employee to select the appropriate project, when completing their timesheet.
The setup of the tree field for the project table is completed on the Administration / System Preferences tab. For the Project tree structure, select the filed you wish to use for grouping by using the dialog box. If you wish, you can choose multiple fields and have a multi-level display.
Once this has been setup the project pick list on the time entry screen will show in a cascade fashion following the user fields.
It is important to note that these are global settings and will affect all users.
For the CIO, the major benefit for using TimeControl is that it reduces redundancy. Many organizations have two or more different timesheet systems and trying to consolidate all this data can be a real headache. TimeControl collects both project and non-project time making it a perfect fit for everyone in the organization. Having one timesheet for everyone is definitely more efficient and cost-effective and consolidation of data becomes a non-issue.
a company-wide timesheet also means that there is also no need to support and maintain multiple systems thereby saving even more time and money. Having all the data in one place makes reporting a much simpler task. The CIO benefits from this direct access to data for metrics and scorecarding.
Because TimeControl is so flexible, it has the ability to integrate with other corporate systems such as Project management, HR, Finance, and ERP. TimeControl can even integrate to different systems and different versions of the same system simultaneously. This huge flexibility allows the company to leverage it’s existing IT infrastructure.
Aside from all the benefits for the organization, the CIO himself may want to incorporate TimeControl for his own internal staff. He may have his own needs to track things such as project vs. non-project time, internal billing, costing, R & D time and more.
For more information on the benefits of TimeControl by role, please see the TimeControl Value Propositions factsheet located on the www.timecontrol.com site.
HMS Software has released a new solution area for those who wish to create a collaborative project management environment and who have already adopted SharePoint for their collaboration platform and Microsoft Project desktop as their scheduling tool. This portal contains numerous resources showing how to link TimeControl, Microsoft Project and SharePoint.
The combination of SharePoint and Microsoft Project desktop already gives much of the functionality that a collaborative project environment requires. The combination of functionality allows for planning, scheduling, issue tracking, team communications, document management and more. There is, however, a gap when it comes to tracking tasks as they move forward:
HMS Software’s TimeControl is already integrated with both Microsoft Project desktop and SharePoint. TimeControl’s integration with Project dates back to 1995 making it one of the longest standing relationships with Project in the world. TimeControl’s interface can also be provisioned directly into a SharePoint site. The product’s design has catered to this functionality since SharePoint 2002. TimeControl also integrates with Microsoft Project Server for those organizations which eventually graduate to Microsoft’s EPM solution.
This new solution area on the www.timecontrol.com website contains numerous resources that showcases TimeControl working with both SharePoint and Project.
Resources on the website include Webcasts, Factsheets, PowerPoint presentations, a White Paper, screen shots, and links to other online resources. There is even a link to the free TimeControl Hosted Trial site.
The new TimeControl Solution Portal is available for free at: www.timecontrol.com/solutions/projectsharepoint/.
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.
Some people have asked us already what the future of TimeControl and Microsoft Project will be and since the announcement of Project and Project Server 2010 is quite fresh, it’s a good time to make sure our existing and prospective clients are up to date.
First of all, TimeControl will have a link to both Project Server 2010 and Project desktop (meaning Project Standard and Project Professional) 2010. We will be releasing updates to both the TimeControl 5 and TimeControl 6 families closely following the release to market (RTM) of Microsoft of Project 2010. Microsoft will be releasing Project and Project Server 2010 simultaneously along with the rest of Office 2010 in “the first half of 2010”. Our release will happen shortly thereafter. HMS already has access to the “Technical Preview” version of Project and Project Server so we’ve been able to work on the link since late in the summer.
If you’re wondering if TimeControl’s relevance will change with new functionality in Project Server 2010, the answer is no. TimeControl’s position as a full timesheet application will be just as critical as it is now. The timesheet in Project Server 2010 has definitely improved and we think users will like it but as soon as you consider using a timesheet for both the updates to Project and for use as a financial system for example for payroll, the functionality of TimeControl for things like payroll rules, multiple rates, rate tables and more become essential. Plus, remember that TimeControl can link directly to Project Standard and Professional. We’ll be publishing an updated factsheet on TimeControl closer to the release of Project 2010.
One of the things that users of the new link will enjoy will be a huge improvement of performance on the TimeControl to Project Server link. Microsoft has updated the code in their PSI module that will make moving timesheet and task update data back to Project Server way easier than it’s been so far.
Stay tuned in the new year as there will be a number of announcements on the new link.