Over the last few weeks here at HMS, we’ve been doing some hard work assembling collateral, questions, answers, and other materials about the best ways to use a timesheet. We’re happy to finally reveal our new solutions portal for everything you need to know about timesheet best practices.
HMS Software employees are often asked for advice on the best practices for timesheet use, and many of these questions are not TimeControl-specific. This is why we’ve created a solutions portal with materials that will help you use timesheeting to its full potential.
We realize that timesheet usage is multi-faceted, so we divided up our efforts. Some timesheet usage recommendations are appropriate to the organization, and others are more focused on the individual. With this in mind, we divided the best practice information based on the end-user’s perspective and their information needs. You’ll notice that the solutions are categorized for use by the organization or the individual. This will make it easier so that you can quickly and easily find the recommended best practices you need.
One of the key new sections included in the best practices portal is the Timesheet Best Practices Q & A page. Ever wondered just how much time is too much to spend on entering your timesheet? Do you question just how much detail is productive in a timesheet? Or, perhaps you’re wondering if it makes sense to track the start and stop times of the day along with the durations for each task. We turned these types of timesheet questions we most often receive over to our technical staff. Their answers to these questions, and their timesheet expertise on these topics and more, are now available and ready to be shared with you.
There are many links, materials and collateral referenced by the Best Practices Solution Portal including white papers on how to increase resource capacity through better timesheet practices, guidance for executives on how a timesheet system can benefit the organization, videos of how to be effective with your timesheet system and even a blank timesheet process template for creating your own timesheet process.
Check out our new Timesheet Best Practices solution portal today! You’ll undoubtedly discover something some new information that can help you to get the most out of your timesheet.
To access the Timesheet Best Practices, visit timecontrol.com/solutions/bestpractices.
We have compiled several best practices that we have established with our clients over many years of implementing TimeControl. While these practices are all generic in nature, you may find some of them of use to you.
NOTE : While TimeControl might only be used by most users for a few minutes a week, it should be considered as a critical process in the enterprise and thus the environment for TimeControl to connect to should be stable in order to ensure service. We recommend that a network administrator be responsible for monitoring resources and service availability and managing environment modifications. This person would be responsible for the connectivity of TimeControl. This may includes managing firewall settings, physical connectivity, security upgrades that come automatically from Microsoft or other internal network or security settings.
Connectivity must be ensured between:
- The client stations and the Web Server
- The client stations and the TimeControl Administration Transaction Server (ATS)
- The Web Server and the TimeControl Middleware; the TimeControl Administration Transaction Server (ATS)
- The ATS and the Database Server
- The Database Server should be established as part of an environment that is guaranteed to remain available. This includes server redundancy, backups and an environment which is not shut down, rebooted or otherwise disabled except in a very controlled fashion. For example, modifications on other databases on that same Database Server should never impact the availability of the server or TimeControl’s database.
NOTE : all modifications in the environment can have an impact, no matter how small the impact or the modification
- Database availability must be guaranteed at all times. Database availability without interruption is crucial in providing service availability for TimeControl. If a connection from the ATS to the database is interrupted (for example by rebooting the database server) then the ATS will suspend service.
- TCP Ports used for database connectivity and Application Server Connectivity should remain open at all times. These ports are usually managed within the firewall.
- Machine resource availability (processor, memory and hard drive space) should be ensured. Other processes which overload either the database server, the ATS server or the Web Server will cause TimeControl services to be interrupted.
NOTE: We recommend that a formal process be established for a requested for change in the environment and that such requests be approved and filed by a network administrator who should consider TimeControl availability or the steps to resume availability as soon as the change has been applied.Any modification to the environment, the system, the application or any other piece on the environment should be logged and made available for audit.