Linking TimeControl to Project Management at Different Levels

TimeControl has more project management system integrations than any timesheet in the industry so perhaps it’s no surprise that many years ago we had to handle requests from clients who wanted to collect time at a different level of resolution than the project management system.

We’ll cover three different scenarios in this article

Scenario 1 – Project Management and TimeControl at the same level

This is the most common scenario and, for TimeControl, an easy default.  When you create your Interface Definition between TimeControl and your project system, you elect to take all the tasks and when sending data back from TimeControl to the project system, you send timesheets to each of those tasks for which there is data.

The Project Definition might look like this:

Once the data is imported into TimeControl, the definition should look much the same:

The implication in this combination is that you will enter time for each task in the project.  But what if that’s not what you want?

Scenario 2 – Project is at Summary, TimeControl is more detailed

This seems much harder but TimeControl allows for such a scenario using a feature called SumToTask.  Your project file might look like this:

Now in TimeControl, you could add sub-tasks and then for each sub-task that you add, in the Activity Tab, you’d say where that task should be summarized to:

You can do this with as many levels as you wish, making the TimeControl data much more detailed.  If you are thinking that you might need to do this to summarize for accounting, there’s no need.  Accounting summaries are more typically managed with a User Defined Field in the Charge record which indicates which Accounting code you’d like to put these hours into.  This Sum to Task feature is particularly targeted at the PMExport function as data goes back to a Project Management System.

What about if you have the same challenge but going the other way?

Scenario 3 – Project is Detailed – TimeControl is more summary level

There are some scenarios where the Project Schedule is incredibly detailed but you don’t want to collect timesheet at that level.  TimeControl covers this too.

Your Project file might look like this:

In the TimeControl Project Table for this project, you can define at what level of the WBS you would like to bring the project data in.

In the Import Options, you can see that we have defined bringing this project in at level 1 of the WBS.  Once imported, TimeControl will show only those tasks:

Timesheets will be entered at this level and then back in the project system, TimeControl will add the hours to the summary tasks.  The implication of course is that the individual detailed tasks back in the project schedule won’t see any progress in them.  There’s no way to accurately devolve more detail from a summary record.

Wrap up

There are a few additional points on this subject:

First, you do not have to have one universal definition for every project.  Some projects could be managed at more detail in TimeControl, others at the same level of detail and still others at a more summary level of detail.

Next, it can be problematic to change methods half-way through a project.  TimeControl must keep auditable records of where hours are being spent and if the structure of how data is coming in from  and going back to projects is changed once actuals have been collected, it can be a challenge for reporting and synchronizing between projects.  You can always call HMS Support if you are in that situation so they can advise you how to best get your data structure changed.