One challenge we faced when first creating TimeControl were the types of projects that we were presented with. We’d seen other timesheets which could handle a dozen possible charge types on a timesheet. They’re still quite common. That’s not at all what we were facing. Our earliest clients described projects with hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of tasks each. One client explained that they had over 50,000 active projects world-wide that they expected to load into the system and each project had approximately 1,000 tasks.
The idea that a user would scroll page after page looking for a possible task to charge their time against was a no-starter.
So TimeControl evolved with several possible methods of reducing what end-users would be presented with. We introduced pre-loading, dynamic filters and assignment selections but perhaps the most powerful tool for displaying high volumes of data in a digestible format was the notion of hierarchies.
The idea of breaking down tasks into groupings and sub-groupings wasn’t new. The very project management tools we wanted to integrate with already used the idea of Work Breakdown Structures for large projects. So we incorporated the concept into TimeControl.
At the end user level, the idea is very straightforward. The possible charge codes that an end user has access to are presented in a breakdown. The most simple would be just like a project system using a delimited charge code with each period being a new level. This is amazingly effective.
But TimeControl doesn’t stop there.
The Charge Table can be organized with not one but multiple hierarchy definitions. Let’s say that for some users, breaking the charges down by location, then billing status then priority is the way to go. For others perhaps breaking the charges by billable then capitalizable makes more sense. TimeControl’s hierarchies format can define multiples and end users can select the hierarchy that makes most sense to the.
We didn’t stop there. The selection of Rates can use the same type of hierarchy structure as can the selection of Employees in other parts of the product.
TimeControl Hierarchies take massive lists of possible data and breaks it down to bite-sized selections.