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Client Approvals for Timesheet/Status Updates RRS feed

  • Question

  • We use Project Server as a timesheet portal and resource management utility.  We do not enter full project plans as we have too many different methodologies in practice across the projects we have open.  Some of our projects' methodologies are based on a client's practices.  Some are even using a client's system for tracking project progress.  We have had success with the implementation that we use till date. 

    I now have a new requirement to allow a team of PM's for one of our projects to approve timesheets for resources on that project.  To add another wrinkle, the PM's are not users in our organization.  They belong to the project's client. So they must not have the same permissions as other project/resource managers.

    I need to setup the project so that the client PM's approve timesheets for the resources on this particular project.  Internally, we have a PM that will approve the status updates and will get the timesheets that were approved by the client PM's.  So..

    Can I specify a group as the timesheet approver for a resource?

    Can I split a timesheet period into multiple timesheets, one for internally approved time and one for externally approved time?

    I'm thinking that I will need to handle this as custom functionality on the project site.  Maybe with a task custom field for client approver.  I would then be able to "hack" in this field into the approval process by way of the business logic on our timesheet reports.

     

    Anyone else using Project Server to track time for non-internal projects?  Any suggestions as to my new requirement?

     

    Thanks in advance

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 3:33 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    I can see now more clearly what you are trying to achieve with the groups, however using the status manage option will still not allow you to create a 'group approver' even when using the team pool functionality..

    If you are able to have named managers approving specific updates then the above would be possible but I cannot see anyway of doing exactly as you want with groups.

     

    The only other option I would suggest is to investigate using a demand management workflow to satisfy your requirement, however that would require at least some development work in this case.

     

    Regards,


    Martin Laukkanen (Project Server Blog - http://www.nearbaseline.com/blog)
    • Proposed as answer by Marc Soester [MVP] Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:42 PM
    • Marked as answer by pghsteve418 Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:50 AM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:11 PM

All replies

  • Interesting problem, not dissimilar to the kinds of challenges I often am faced with by customers who extensively outsource and so have various vendors using some or all of Project Server functionality.

    In your example I'm not sure that using the Timesheeting in Project Server is going get you what you want, the first challenge I see is with the project resources, as you can only specify a single timesheet manager per resource, that manager will approve all timesheets for that resource, so that would only work if those resources are ONLY working on those projects.

    If that's okay (if the project resource pool is also from the customer), then you should be able to create a special "Customer Project Managers" group with some subset of the standard Resource Managers / Project Managers with the required permissions to solve your problem.

    The second challenge I see is the timesheet periods, you can only have one set of periods per PWA, so if you did split your existing periods that would affect all users.

    However I'm not sure I see why you are splitting the periods?

     

    With what you are trying to do perhaps instead of using the timesheeting as the point of approval you could turn this around and use the status update approval as the point where the customer PM does the approval? That can be controlled task-by-task using the Status Manager column in MS Project. Just a thought?

     

    Hope that helps,


    Martin Laukkanen (Project Server Blog - http://www.nearbaseline.com/blog)
    • Proposed as answer by Marc Soester [MVP] Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:47 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by pghsteve418 Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:27 PM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 2:31 AM
  • Thanks for the suggestions, I've done some testing and am facing another issue. 

    I have created a new project, created a task on the project, assigned a test user as the resource for the task.

    I have created two test PM's and a testPMGroup user in Project Server.  I've assigned all 3 to a testExternalPM team and set the testPMGroup user as the team assignment pool resource. 

    I have then logged in as the testPMGroup resource, opened the project in project professional, set the status manager to testPMGroup and published the changes (had to do some dancing with permissions, but eventually the testPMGroup team/resource showed up in the status manager drop down).

    Finally, I have logged in as the test user, enterred some hours and submitted a status update.

    Now the approval is sitting with the testPMGroup, but the two test PM users cannot see/approve it.  I do see the pending status update when logging in as the testPMGroup resource. 

    Any suggestions?   I'm guessing that the Status Manager can't be set to a team with the kind of access that I'm looking for.  If all else fails, I can see if the client PM's will share a login for approvals and enter their names as comments.  I would much rather have the system control the audit trail for approvals though. 
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:27 PM
  • Hi,

    I can see now more clearly what you are trying to achieve with the groups, however using the status manage option will still not allow you to create a 'group approver' even when using the team pool functionality..

    If you are able to have named managers approving specific updates then the above would be possible but I cannot see anyway of doing exactly as you want with groups.

     

    The only other option I would suggest is to investigate using a demand management workflow to satisfy your requirement, however that would require at least some development work in this case.

     

    Regards,


    Martin Laukkanen (Project Server Blog - http://www.nearbaseline.com/blog)
    • Proposed as answer by Marc Soester [MVP] Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:42 PM
    • Marked as answer by pghsteve418 Thursday, September 22, 2011 12:50 AM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:11 PM