Tag Archives: covid-19

Have your TimeControl rules changed?

For many organizations in the past weeks, employees have changed their working conditions.  changesahead_300x223For TimeControl, this may warrant relooking at your timesheet and project progress capture processes.  This is a common occurrence when an organization merges with another or brings on a new department.

For most TimeControl clients, when they implement TimeControl, a process guide is created that covers all the different practices and procedures for events such as onboarding new staff or adding new projects or doing timesheet and project approvals.

In the last few weeks many clients have been shifting staff from working at the office to working at home or working at different hours in order to facilitate social distancing.  This might affect your regular TimeControl processes in a number of ways.

Perhaps your regular office hours are now flexible for anyone working from home.  Perhaps you have new sick leave procedures for your remote workers.  If someone has been tested positive for Covid-19 do you have new timesheet charge types for that person?

There are a number of TimeControl functions that processes that might need checking:


Filters are used throughout TimeControl to enable features such as restricting what projects are visible to what employees or how a validation rule should work.  If your business has been changed with some people now working from home or taking on new responsibilities, then these filters might need a review.  In particular:

Validation Rule Filters

Validation Rules can changed when working conditions change.  Perhaps you now have more staff working flexible hours or perhaps your current policies on personal time off have altered.  A review of the filters that are the building blocks of Validation Rules can help you adapt.

Employee Table Filters for Projects, Charges, Rates

In the TimeControl Employee Table, there are places to implement filters for each employee.  These filters determine what projects, charge codes and rate codes can be viewed by that employee.  If your situation has changed the way that projects and tasks are being completed, then looking at these filters to see if changes are needed makes sense.

You can find out all about Filters in the TimeControl Reference Guide.

Validation Rules

Have your Validation Rules changed?  You can deactivate a Validation Rule or change it to be a warning only instead of an error if your business conditions are in flux.  This can be done for each rule.

Projects and Charge Codes

Are you still creating projects and charge codes in the same way you done traditionally?  Also, are you creating certain project and charge code entries to identify the specific costs of the change due to Covid-19?  Being able to identify these costs specifically might become important in the near future because of insurance claims or government recompense for such expenses.


With people not co-located, you may be rethinking how tasks are assigned. TimeControl’s Assignment function lets you assign or re-assign tasks and create budgets for them.  Perhaps your tasks and assignments should be rethought also in terms of your target completion.  It may take more (or less) time to get certain types of tasks completed.


While most organizations use email effectively to send out news, the Dashboard area of TimeControl is an ideal place to put persistent notices and relevant news in the Announcements area.  Announcements can have as-of and expiry dates and can be fine-tuned to be visible only to certain roles so not all announcements need to be seen by all employees.

TimeControl Mobile App access

Finally, the free TimeControl Mobile App may be more attractive than ever.  If you are using TimeControl Online then you already have everything you need to activate the Mobile App.  The App is enabled in the Administration Area for TimeControl overall then per Profile in the User Profiles area.  Users can download the App for free from Google Play for Android devices and the Apple Store for iOS devices.  If you are using TimeControl OnPremise, then you may have to configure TimeControl to be enabled for the Mobile App.  Contact HMS Support if you have questions about how to do that.

And more…

Aside from actual changes to configuration, what about your approval process and allowances for people who are not in their normal roles.  You may want to investigate delegation through the Alternate User functionality as well as how you are doing your approvals for both the timesheet as a whole and line-item approvals for projects.

What about new processes from HR for onboarding or offboarding?  Are there employees who might be temporarily not doing timesheets?  Are there any new rules from Payroll?

Typically such changes are quick to do in TimeControl but it is important to keep track of what you change because you are likely going to have to change it back sometime soon.

If you need assistance with changing your TimeControl, TimeControl Industrial or TimeControl Online configuration, talk to the HMS Technical staff at info@hms.ca.



HMS / TimeControl Covid-19 update

As we told you last week, HMS capabilities of working remotely have been well established for years.  In fact, our staff already work from 3 separate locations.   To better ensure we can continue serving you without interruption, starting Monday, March 23rd, HMS will be instituting a work from home directive.  HMS staff will largely be out of the office and only necessary in-person visits to the office will occur for a minimum of personnel.

As a TimeControl or TimeControl Online client, you probably won’t even notice.  For those seeking technical support, using the support@hms.ca email or going to the TimeControl.com website support contact page at: https://www.timecontrol.com/contact/tech-support is the best way to get your request into the proper queue and responded to quickly.  If you are used to calling into the office directly on the phone, you may find that this is somewhat slower than you’re used to.  Using Email or the Website will be as effective as it always is.

For those seeking information from our sales, administration or operations department, using email or the TimeControl contact form at https://www.timecontrol.com/contact or sending email to info@hms.ca is the most effective way for us to determine who you need to talk to and make sure they are getting back to you promptly.

We anticipate no interruption of service for TimeControl Online or service for our TimeControl on-premise clients.  HMS remains committed to making sure we are serving you with the same high-quality standards that we have been known for for over 35 years.

HMS Contingency Plans for the Coronavirus

For clients who are concerned about HMS Software’s plans in case of a Coronavirus outbreak in the Montreal area or any interruption in our services, we’d like to let you know our contingency plans for any such eventuality.

First of all, HMS is already set up for critical workers to be able to work from home in case any of our staff would require at-home quarantine.  We set up secure access for our key staff to be able to do this some time ago and keep the capabilities current.  Our servers for TimeControlOnline are located with Amazon in different data centers and this combination of factors ensures that we are able to maintain all TimeControl Online services uninterrupted regardless of where our staff need to be located.

Our technical support is similarly equipped to handle requests, and then deliver fixes and updates to our clients as required.

New sales can be taken care by our account managers working remotely as well.

Payments we expect and payments we need to make from an administration standpoint are largely done electronically now so any requirement to physically go to the office to retrieve a payments or sign and mail payments is reasonably rare.  We have made arrangements so that this too can occur off-site.

Our current prevention plans have curtailed any international travel for our staff and any staff who already work remotely are going to delay coming or going to the office for the moment to increase our ability for readiness if there should be any reason for concern.

As a result of this planning and preparation started years ago, HMS is confident in being able to maintain operations without any interruption of services to our clients.  Should there be a change of status at HMS, we will announce that on the TimeControl Blog,. the TimeControl website and our Twitter account.

If you have specific questions about our contingency readiness, please let us know on the TimeControl website at: TimeControl.com/contact.