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Timesheet behavior RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know I've probably asked this before but can't seem to find a previous post to reference.

    OK, here's the deal.   In our environment, having close to 300 people enter time, import timesheets, submit updates, accept updates, and have the schedules updated like clockwork is a huge undertaking that will require a tremendous amount of "horsepower".  Many of my PMs are concerned that schedules suddenly shift in a way that they are not expecting them to.

    First, I thought the team members weren't following instructions but then it became apparent that the auto-accept business rules setup for the PMs might be working against us.  On the other hand, take those away, and you have a huge bottleneck each week to get those updates accepted and re-published.

    I'm beginning to think that we would be much better off havining the PMs IN THE PLANS (updating them manually) and not relying upon time reporting to keep them updated.   Report time in the timesheets, but leave it at that and report hours from the timesheet data structures rather than the assignment records -- just for effort reporting.     Better yet, just report time at the TOP-LEVEL (project level) to keep it simple.

    I'll put it this way, do any of you have clients that are doing this?  That is, reporting time, keeping that information separate yet updating the schedules manually?   Please elaborate and note any real dangers to doing it this way.

    Thanks,
    Andy Novak, PMP, MBA
    University of North Texas

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 9:42 PM

Answers

  • Project managers should manage their project schedules.  Each week they should look at the time that they are approving, apply those updates to the schedule, THEN PUSH OUT ALL WORK that is incompleted or not started to the STATUS date and republish.

    If they are not doing this cycle on a regular basis (weekly), then you are expecting to much out of the tool.  It's a tool for manaing schedules based on regular updates.

    Cheers!


    Michael Wharton, MBA, PMP, MCT, MCSD, MCSE+I, MCDBA
    www.WhartonComputer.com
    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:01 PM
  • yes, status manager can be changed with right permissions. obviously there are few steps to it.. not as straight forward..please see the link below..(status Manager part)

     

    http://www.projectserverexperts.com/ProjectServerFAQKnowledgeBase/changeprojmgr.aspx

     


    Prasanna Adavi, PMP, MCTS Blog: http://thinkepm.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Friday, May 27, 2011 1:07 AM
  • Hi Andy

    Since its long time and the thread has not been followed, assuming that the problem has been resolved,
    hence closing this thread, if you feel the question is still unanswered, feel free either to reopen the thread or
    create a new thread, also if you feel you want to share some inputs fell free to do so, as that will help other community members
    benefit from it

     


    Thanks | Sunil Kr Singh | http://epmxperts.wordpress.com

    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:32 AM

All replies

  • Andy,

    Yes, I have had Clients do that (separate Timesheet vs. Project Updates).. not as large scale as yours, though. The main issue with this method is that obviously the data in project schedules can get out of sync with what you see from timesheets..While you can manage some reporting through timesheets, simple things like Project Center Views will start showing erroneous data...

    In addition, you might also see wrong data in Resource Availability, since that data comes from project data as oposed to timesheets..

    And finally, I am not sure it really resolves your issue..if your PM's are not willing to 'Review' the updates when coming through PWA, how would they have the time and willingness to make updates manually?


    Prasanna Adavi, PMP, MCTS Blog: http://thinkepm.blogspot.com
    Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:20 AM
  • Hi Andy, Interesting question, but i think the answer lies in the bussiness requirement. The model you currently follow is what i like to refer to as "Distributed Responsibility" model, so everyone from the Team Member To the PM / Line Manager has there bit to do. This model ensures that everone has a bit to do to ensure the "Update Cycle" happens as it should.

    What you are suggesting is a "Single Responsibility" model (As far as Project Updates are Concerned) so the PM must in any case contact / Mail or call the resources to get progress updates. So teh PM now has too spend a day or half a day trying to get the updates and then manually inserting the updates. Project Task updates can be turned of and you can do only timesheets if needed. This model places ALL teh Responsibility on the PM to get the Schedule Updated. If a PM has Multiple Projects this starts getting cumbersome. There is also the issue of "Standardization". If a resource works on multiple Projects, and the PM's has free reigns on how to request updates ie: %complete or Time Done or Time Done and Time Remaining it is going to become a nightmare to manage the shedules and resource updates.

    IMHO i would suggest you stick to what you have and try and resolve the issues you might have. Perhaps turn off the rule that automattically accepts all taks updates. By doing that the PM's have to accept/Reject the updates before it goes into the schedule, and also keep in mind that MOPS has capibility to "Preview" updates BEFORE they are applied to an environment. Please shout if i could be of more assistance. Andre

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 8:11 AM
  • Project managers should manage their project schedules.  Each week they should look at the time that they are approving, apply those updates to the schedule, THEN PUSH OUT ALL WORK that is incompleted or not started to the STATUS date and republish.

    If they are not doing this cycle on a regular basis (weekly), then you are expecting to much out of the tool.  It's a tool for manaing schedules based on regular updates.

    Cheers!


    Michael Wharton, MBA, PMP, MCT, MCSD, MCSE+I, MCDBA
    www.WhartonComputer.com
    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:01 PM
  • Yeah, it just seems that the auto-accept of the updates are creating unexpected results in alot of cases.   It causes the PMs to not look at what's going on cause we are relying too much on time reporting.  One of the reasons we went to auto-accept of the updates was the fact that people go on vacation, they go to conferences, etc. and if they aren't here, then there's no one to accept the updates (if anyone has a suggested process to handle times when PMs are absent, that would be great).

    The PMs have traditionally been technical leads and as more work is demanded from our teams with less resources, it becomes more difficult for the "leaders of the packs" to tear away from doing work and focusing on project management activities.   So, we've got alot of organizational and cultural things to deal with to make this work, especially with all the people that we have.

    By the way, we have Project Server 2007, not 2010.    I know that 2010 has some "timesheet agent" type capability that might alleviate some of the issues we have to deal with, but I'm not sure how to deal with PMs not being here to accept updates if done manually.

    Incidentally, when folks post their time using the timesheets and they put in the remaining work at the end of the week, is that remaining work as of the end of the week or as of the day you last posted time to the task?  I would think its as of the last day you posted time to the task, but I could be wrong.

    Many thanks my friends!

    Andy Novak, PMP, MBA
    University of North Texas

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 2:54 PM
  • Andy,

    Here are my thoughts:

    • Even in 2007, there is a 'preview' of updates under Approval Center. the PMs should use that to preview how the schedule changes if updates are accepted.
    • If a PM goes on vacation, they can change the 'Status Manager' in the Project Schedule to a different person, who can accept updates until the original PM returns. (But, think about this: Will you not have this PM-Out-of-office issue even if you went the 'manual update route?)
    • If you are submitting a weekly timesheet, then the remaining work submitted is both as of the end of the week and also the last time task was subimmited. If you were not doing a weekly timesheet, then the remaining work is as of when time was reported last on that task.

    Prasanna Adavi, PMP, MCTS Blog: http://thinkepm.blogspot.com
    Thursday, May 26, 2011 3:11 PM
  • The PM can actually change the status manager themselves to whoever it needs to be?  I thought you could only make yourself the status manager IF you had edit access to the project.

    We use the RBS, so my thought concerning the PM-Out-of-office issue was that if they couldn't edit the project, their boss could.

    Thanks,
    Andy

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:50 PM
  • yes, status manager can be changed with right permissions. obviously there are few steps to it.. not as straight forward..please see the link below..(status Manager part)

     

    http://www.projectserverexperts.com/ProjectServerFAQKnowledgeBase/changeprojmgr.aspx

     


    Prasanna Adavi, PMP, MCTS Blog: http://thinkepm.blogspot.com
    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Friday, May 27, 2011 1:07 AM
  • Hi Andy

    Since its long time and the thread has not been followed, assuming that the problem has been resolved,
    hence closing this thread, if you feel the question is still unanswered, feel free either to reopen the thread or
    create a new thread, also if you feel you want to share some inputs fell free to do so, as that will help other community members
    benefit from it

     


    Thanks | Sunil Kr Singh | http://epmxperts.wordpress.com

    • Marked as answer by epmXperts Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:33 AM
    Thursday, February 9, 2012 11:32 AM