What is the right time tracking method for you? Part 2: Timesheets

With timesheets you can define line classifications and track both tasks from projects and other non-related project tasks (e.g. holidays or administrative work) easily. Timesheets are not configured by default, so the PWA-Administrator needs to do some work to set it up.

How to use the time tracking method ‘Timesheets’?

This method is like the big brother of time tracking via tasks, because you have a more extensive number of options. There are different administrative time categories available, which appear as a column in the user’s timesheet, so it is not necessary to create dummy projects for non-related project work. If entries in the future are allowed through the configuration of the PWA, capacity reductions by holidays, administrative activities or e.g. line activities can be taken into account. A transparent database structure guarantees more detailed analyzes with the help of the OLAP cube. Furthermore, complex approval structures are possible – on one hand the status manager approves submitted times via project assignments, on the other hand a timesheet manager is responsible to accept the entire timesheet.

Implementation/Maintenance effort

If we look at the PWA settings, there are several options that needs to be considered:

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Fiscal Periods
Fiscal periods are used for OLAP-views. Select a year that you want to define and choose the start date of the fiscal period (e.g. 2016/01/01). Also, you need to choose a fiscal year creation model, which may be a little bit confusing in the beginning, because e.g. a 4,5,4 method can differ from the actual calendar month.  In this case the first month in the fiscal quarter has 4 weeks, the second 5 weeks and last one 4. Why are there different methods available at all? Because the year is divided in 52 weeks and if we choose 4 weeks for each month, we’ll end with 13 months (also an option).

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Time Reporting Periods

The configuration is self-explaining, but what about the usage? The reporting periods are the time frames, where the users can actually submit their times of the work done. As an administrator, you can open and close the periods for editing.

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Line Classifications

With line classifications you can give the users the possibility to categorize entries within their timesheets for accounting or auditing reasons, e.g. you can add the classifications ‘billable’ or ‘non-billable’. Be aware, that once a line classification is used, it can’t be deleted anymore. However, setting the status to inactive is still possible.

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Timesheet Settings and Defaults

Within this section, you have a lot of options: You can change the pwa display, so that solely planned work will be shown. Furthermore, the default timesheet creation mode controls if the user will see a prefilled timesheet, or if some manual steps are necessary to see the respective entries. If you want to allow users to influence their capacity in the future, you need to select the checkmark ‘Allow future time reporting’ (and ‘Allow new personal tasks’).  This may be relevant for holidays. The activation of the single entry mode enables that timesheet entries are displayed in ‘Tasks’ and contrariwise. If it is activated, not only the timesheet manager will receive the submitted times, but also the status manager.

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Administrative Time

This is one of the major differences compared to the time tracking method ‘Tasks’: You can define administrative time to track exception time as well as non-related project work. Saved administrative time categories cannot be deleted anymore, a hiding is still possible.

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Task Settings and Display

If the single entry mode is active, you can’t change the tracking method:

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Manage Timesheets

First, you need to create a new timesheet:

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The result of the timesheet will look like this:

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Now, editing of the values is possible! The users can also add additional rows, when something is missing.

Timesheet Manager

Last but not least you need to add timesheet managers, which will be responsible to approve/reject the submitted timesheets. The users can make a choice, which manager should manage their times.

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Quick Launch

To make the configured timesheets visible for all users, you should adapt the quick launch of your pwa. Unhide the timesheets.

Example: Project Work + Administrative Categories

As you can see in the screenshot below, a timesheet can contain tasks from assignments, but also administrative categories:

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