Time. Task Progress. Are they different?


Tracking the time and task progress is critical for the success of the project!

In this blog post, I will highlight options with methods to report time and progress using Project Online/Server.

First, let’s differentiate task progress with time.

Image result for progress

Task progress is about reporting how much you have accomplished and how much is remaining in the project. Task progress is not just about you rather it is about your project. Reporting accurate task progress will help your project manager to reschedule or rearrange tasks and give accurate status of the project.

Time is about reporting the actual hours you spent on different things in that week. Different things? Huh. These things could be your assigned tasks, personal tasks and administrative tasks. Time is not just about you rather it will help the organization to get the following benefits:

  • Track billable and non billable hours
  • Integrate timesheet with an accounting system for billing
  • Know which type of work employees spend more time on

Now, you should clear with the difference between task progress and time let’s talk about task progress work by default.

You will create an enterprise project plan and, insert and sequence the tasks to be done. Each task is associated with the status manager. Status manager, by default, is the project owner. You will then build a team for that project, assign the tasks to these enterprise resources and publish this project. Publishing the project makes the latest changes visible to others including team members.

Team members, who have associated user accounts, can now login and submit the task progress through Tasks page. Task page displays the tasks assigned for the current period, and tasks assigned for the next two periods. Depending on the “Tracking Method” set by the administrator in Task Settings and Display of PWA settings, the team member can report task progress using one of the following methods:

  1. Percent of work complete. Team members report the percent of work they have completed, from 0 through 100 percent.
  2. Actual work done and work remaining. Team members report the actual work done and the work remaining to be done on each task.
  3. Hours of work done per period. Team members report their hours worked on each task per period.
  4. Free form. Team members report their hours using any method.

I recommend the second and third method as the task progress will be reported in a detailed and consistent way by team members. Once the team member sends the task status, it goes to the status manager for approval.

Now, let’s discuss about timesheet. When the team member visits the Timesheet page, the following message is displayed!

Why does this happen? You don’t want team member to report time for next week today. So, the administrator should create time periods and open the time periods to allow team members to report time.

Time Reporting Period page in PWA Settings provides options to create and open the time periods:

Once the timesheet period is opened, the team member can record the billable and non-billable hours against project tasks and other tasks.

When the team member makes the Timesheet final, who approves it? Each team member can have a different timesheet manager. Timesheet manager can be the project manager, or line manager or resource manager.

You can change the timesheet manager of a resource in Resource Center. By default, the timesheet manager of each resource is set to their own name. So, timesheets are automatically approved.

In my next post, I will write about approval of task progress and timesheet.

So, how are you tracking time and task progress for project?

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