Tag Archives: Timesheet flexibility

What button do I push?

 

userprofiles71.jpgLike most modern technology companies, HMS spends a great deal of time working on search engine optimization and key word analysis.  Last week one aspect of a report from our marketing team said that a keyword phrase that ended up causing a visitor to our website was “I’m in my timesheet and I don’t know what button to push.”  Now that’s a pretty specific problem from someone who wasn’t a TimeControl user but it highlights one of TimeControl’s great strength.

From the start of the very first timesheet that HMS created back in 1984 for one of our earliest clients, we knew that we had a design dilemma on our hands.  On one side, management had a long list of highly complex features for the timesheet including complex approvals, table management of many tables, reporting, integration with other systems and system management.  On the other side, we had the vast majority of users, more than 95% of them, who would be looking at the timesheet for about 5 minutes per week.  So, on the one hand, we had complex features needed, on the other hand we had absolute simplicity needed.

That’s where User Profiles came from.  User Profiles is what lets TimeControl present one set of data and functionality and rules to one set of users and a very different set of data, functionality and rules to another.  Using User Profiles, Administrators can configure TimeControl to show only those menu items, data selections and options that particular users require.  So, a regular timesheet user who looks at TimeControl for 2 minutes a day or 5 minutes a week and has no commitment at all to mastering the flexibility or nuances of TimeControl will only see one or two tabs and three or four functions.  Even the default pages of how TimeControl starts can be defined so a user might even start their timesheet in the timesheet view rather than the default dashboard.

This functionality has been so successful that there has never been a training manual for end users.  Oh, there is a user manual of course and there are some 5 minute Online Training videos for people to look at but these are rarely an issue.  That’s because for end users there are very few buttons to consider and the presentation of data in the format it’s expected makes the use of the timesheet intuitive.

There can be an unlimited number of profiles because TimeControl is designed to serve many purposes at the same time.  So a super-user type of Administrator with access to all data and all functions is a must but there may be other specific types of Administrators or perhaps something specific for Supervisors or Project Managers or Crew Entry personnel with TimeControl Industrial or Payroll managers and so on and so on.

TimeControl ships with four template User Profiles to start with but they are always reviewed during deployment and it is would be quite unusual to find two organizations with profiles that are exactly the same.

Even though User Profiles has been one of the most successful aspects of TimeControl since its first version, and even though there are some aspects of User Profiles that have carried forwards since version 1, we continue to make enhancements as features of TimeControl evolve that we wish to have secured or made available only to certain user roles.

User Profiles will continue to play a prominent role in configuring TimeControl deployments to match the specific business challenges that clients are working to solve.

 

FAQ: How do you choose what kind of timesheet is right for you?

This is a great question and one that is asked all too rarely. Most people don’t even consider that there might be more than one kind of timesheet.

When prospective clients call us and ask about TimeControl, our first question is “What kind of timesheet are you looking for?” The most popular timesheet type is time and attendance.

If all you need to do is collect time for payroll, then this would be right for you. There is a simple time and attendance timesheet available with every major ERP and Finance system in the market today. Payroll systems are less concerned with what did you work on and more concerned with when were you at work?

Next most popular would be a Time and Billing timesheet. For professionals who need to invoice their time, this is critical. It’s not just when were you at work, it’s what client did you do work for and what is the rate we charge you out at for that client and that work? Time and Billing timesheets are less concerned with what tasks were you working on or when you were at work and more concerned with the right rates for the right time and right client.

Project update timesheets are designed to progress tasks planned in the project management system but have less interest in complex payroll rules or invoicing rates.

Flexible timesheet systems like TimeControl are somewhat more rare as they cater to multiple needs at one time.TimeControl can be used for payroll, HR exceptions like sick leave or vacation tracking, billing and project updating all at the same time.

TimeControl Mobile on IPhone

We’re the Swiss Army Knife of timesheets and our motto around here is Semper Gumby (always be flexible). For your own decision, it’s good to determine what the timesheet data could be used for, what systems it could integrate with and, most importantly, avoiding implementing multiple timesheets when one might do.

For more on TimeControl flexibility, visit www.timecontrol.com/features/flexibility.