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Time Entries

This article covers:

Overview

PPO’s time entry functionality makes it easy for project managers and team members to record time against projects. Features that facilitate this include:

  • Automatic pre-population of your timesheet based on items that you worked on;
  • Pinning of items that you frequently book time to; and
  • Advanced filtering and search functionality to allow you to easily find the projects and items that you want to book time to;

PPO provides a lot of flexibility in terms of the level of detail at which you can capture time. You can record time:

  • Per project;
  • Per work item (such as Issues, Tasks and Risks);
  • Per activity (such as work, meetings, research, training, etc.);
  • Indicate whether time is billable or not (operational / administration) time;
  • Provide detailed notes for time recorded.

PPO also provides a flexible approval workflow, which allows project managers or line managers to easily approve time captured. Finally, there is also a rich set of summary and detailed reports available.

Accessing the time entries maintenance page

The time entry functionality is available, by clicking on the “My Time Entries” icon, on your home page.

FAQ_timeentryapprovals_step3.png
If the icon is not visible on your home page, access the following knowledge base article to learn more about user group access settings.

Time Entry Options

At the top of the page you will see a section that shows "Time Entry Options":

The first two items are just for information purposes. 

The first, "Employee" shows the name of the currently logged in user, i.e. you your name.  The reason that it is shown, will become evident when you approve time entries which provides functionality to allow you to view the timesheet of the employee whose time you are approving, in which case it will show you their name.

The "Show" dropdown is there to remind you that items that you have already booked time to as well as items that you have pinned will ALWAYS be shown. To prevent users from accidentally capturing duplicate time, this option cannot be changed.

The "Also Include" option, allows you to pre-populate your timesheet with other items.  Currently, there are three options to choose from:

  1. Items I updated this week: This is the default option and will prepopulate your time sheet with items such as tasks, risks or issues which you updated during the week. For example, if you updated the progress on a task during the week, it will automatically appear on your timesheet.
  2. Items I booked time to last week: If you select this option, your timesheet will be pre-populated with items that appear on the previous week's timesheet. This option is useful if you book time to the same items every week. Note that the pinning option discussed later is an alternative for this.
  3. Leave it blank: If you leave this option blank, only items that you have captured time against and pinned items will be shown.

The last item is a week selector. By default, when you go to the time entry page, you will be shown your time sheet for the current week.  You can, however, use the hyperlinked date selector to select a different week for which to capture time. Use the arrows to move to the previous or next week or click on the link itself to show the week selector. You can then use the month and year drop-downs as well as the arrows to select a different week.

Note that the currently selected week is highlighted in yellow (as per the screenshot above). To get back to the current week, you can simply click on the Today link, on the calendar.

Manually adding a project

As previously mentioned, your timesheet may be pre-populated with items depending on your selection under the time entry options and items you've previously pinned. In some cases however you may need to manually add a project in order for you to book your time to it. 

To add a project, simply click on the Add Project link at the bottom of the page as highlighted in the screenshot below:

A search box will pop up, which allows you to find and select a project.  You can locate the specific project by simply typing a part of the name in the search box shown on the right. In addition, you can narrow the projects shown by selecting a personal or shared filter from the drop-down on the left. Finally, you can enable or disable the global project filter by toggling the global filter icon in the middle. For more information about working with filters, refer to the following knowledge base article.

Note that the list of projects that are shown at the bottom of the search box will be based on the filters and search text that you provide and will show the first 100 items. If the project you are looking for is not contained in the list, narrow your search criteria by selecting a different filter or type a portion of the project name.

Manually linking an item

Once a project has been added, tasks, issues, risks and other entities that relate to that project, can be added, by clicking on the Link button located to the right of each project name. The entities that can be linked are determined by your instance configuration, as well as the entities which you have access to.

The specific project related item can be located, by once again making use of the search box and filters as described above. Simply select the appropriate item type, e.g. Issues and then select appropriate filters or type a portion of the item's title.

Adding an "Other" item

You may not wish to book time to a specific project related item.  In this case, click on the "Add Other" link located next to each project which will add a generic line item for that project.

If the “Add Other” option is not visible, the feature may have been disabled by your system administrator.

Capturing Time

Once you have added the projects and items that you wish to book time to as described above, you are ready to actually capture hours as well as additional details related to each time entry.

Capturing time is as simple as recording the number of hours for the appropriate day of the week against any item. Note that time can be recorded up to 2 decimal places, e.g. 0.25 would be a quarter of an hour and 0.5 would be a half an hour.

Adding a note

You can add a note by clicking on the "Notes" link next to each item. This can be used to provide more information and context to the item you have worked on. Once you have captured a note, you will see it displayed below the item. To update a note, just click on the “Notes” link again.

Keep in mind that a note relates to the whole "row" of a time entry.  If you want to capture a note for a particular day, simply split the time entry by adding another row with the same item/details.

Marking a time entry as billable / non-billable

Each time entry row can be marked as billable or non-billable by toggling the "Billable" flag. The default value of the "Billable" flag is dependent on a configuration setting set by the system administrator.  You can, however, override this default by changing it under the “My Preferences” settings on your home page.

Selecting an Activity

You can further classify your time by selecting an appropriate activity from the drop-down, e.g.  "Work", "Meeting", "Leave".  The specific items that appear under the Activity drop-down will depend on your system configuration and can be customised to meet your requirements.

Submitting Changes

Once you are happy with your time entries, you can submit/save them by clicking on the Submit action icon.  To ensure that you do not lose time entry changes because your session has timed out, submit your time entries regularly.  You can always come back later and make additional changes.

Pinning items

If there are items that you regularly book time to, for example weekly meetings, it might be useful to “pin” that item on the page. Pinning, as the name suggests, will ensure that the item always remains on your time entry page. When pinning an item, it will also "remember" the Activity, as well as the value of the Billable flag that was selected, when you pinned the item. Notes however are not carried across.

To pin an item, simply click on the pin on the far right.  Once an item has been pinned, it will show as a blue pin-head.  To unpin an item, simply click on it again.

Approvals

If required, your system administrator can enable time entry approvals on your instance. For more information on using time entry approvals, refer to the following knowledge base article.

Hyperlinking

Sometimes, especially if an item has been automatically added to your timesheet, it is useful to be able to see additional information about that item.  For your convenience, both projects and related items can be accessed from the time entry page by clicking on the item, which will open the linked item in a new tab/window.

Time entry summary charts

At the top right-hand corner of your time entry maintenance page are two charts. The chart on the right shows you a summary of your time entry records for the last 10 weeks and the other chart shows you a summary of your time entry records for the last week. Let’s first look at the 10-week chart.

Both charts indicate the normal hours in green, the missing hours in yellow and the overtime hours in blue. You can see the exact value for each of the bars by hovering over it with your mouse. This makes it easy to identify missing time which you need to complete. 

In the case of the "Hours for the last 10 weeks chart" you can open the timesheet for a particular week by simply clicking on the bar for that week.

Note that the missing hours and overtime hours is determined with reference to your capacity. Capacity in turn is determined by the "Standard Hours" on your employee record, or if that is not specified, by the global configuration setting on your instance.

The charts described above can be customised as follows:

  1. You can hide either or both of the charts
  2. You can modify the roll-up that is done to for example show leave, administrative time, etc.
  3. You can customise the bar colours.

Should you require any of the above to be changed, please log a support call.

Time Entry Reports

A detailed explanation of each time entry report and dashboard is available by accessing the following knowledge base article.

Customising the Time Entry Page

Each organisation is different and you may have specific requirements that are not covered by the default configuration.  You may, for example, want to specify a "Sub-activity" in addition to the standard "Activity" field. Maybe, you do not need to distinguish between billable and non-billable time.

If you have specific requirements in this regard, simply log a ticket with our support desk and we will be happy to assist.

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