There are many reasons why an organization may want to track time, such as learning how employees spend their time, what specific projects or tasks they're spending time on, and determining if the company can capitalize on that information and/or otherwise benefit from using the data points for use in estimating future initiatives. Having a tool that can capture this data can be extremely beneficial. Bamboo introduced just such a tool late last year and, based on customer feedback to date, we recently added several additional features to the product. Time Tracking and Management R1.5 for SharePoint 2010 was recently released, and for more information about the specific enhancements, we encourage you to refer to this blog post.
Once you've read about the many benefits of the product's feature-set, your next question is probably going to be, "How do I get started?"
The following steps will describe the configuration process necessary to utilize Time Tracking and Management (TTM) as a standalone (as opposed to being integrated with PM Central), where the main goal is to track time and costs against tasks but to also focus lightly on project management best practices and approaches, such as resource capacity planning, risk factors, schedules, and dependencies.
1. Confirming that TTM features have been activated:
Following a successful install of TTM, login as a Site Collection Administrator to the site collection in which you want to manage your timesheets. From the top-level site in the site collection, go to Site Actions -> Site Settings -> Site Collection Administration -> Site Collection Features:
Locate the Bamboo product features and make sure they are all Active.
2. Creating the TTM site:
Follow the steps from the online documentation for Creating the TTM site. Once the site has been created, you will see something like this:
3. Configuring Time Tracking:
Before your organization can use the TTM site, there are several configuration tasks that must be completed. To help you complete all tasks in the correct order, the TTM site has organized these tasks in the Time Tracking Configuration Checklist. You can also use the checklist to change time tracking settings.
The Time Tracking Configuration Checklist can be accessed in two ways:
If you have a new TTM site that has not yet been configured, a link to the checklist is included in the welcome message at the top of the main site page. Click the link to access the checklist:
- If the welcome message is no longer displayed on the main site page, go to Site Actions -> Time Tracking and Management Control Panel. In the Application Settings section, click Configure time tracking:
For help completing each task, click a task name in the list shown below. After you have completed each step, click the checkmark next to the task in the checklist to mark it complete:
Time Tracking Configuration Checklist Tasks
Create/Manage Time Reporting Periods
Before resources can enter their time, you must first create the reporting periods for each timesheet. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to create the reporting periods.
Select Data Sources
The Timesheet Entry Web Part contains the data source settings for timesheet tasks, resources, and administrative time categories. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to configure the Timesheet Entry Web Part (e.g., the Timesheet Tasks Data Source, Administrative Time List, and Timesheet Resources Data Source).
Configure Working Hours
TTM can be configured to restrict time entry to certain days of the week, and can also be configured to validate the number of hours entered per day or per timesheet. This prevents resources from entering time on weekends or from submitting a timesheet that contains more hours than they are allowed to work. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to configure the working hours.
Create Cost Codes
A cost code is a short code assigned to timesheet tasks that can be used to bill work for that task to the correct department, cost center, accounting code, or other unique cost identifier. When a cost code is assigned to a resource in the resource list, it is available in the Cost Codes column of the timesheet and can be selected for timesheet tasks. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to configure the cost codes.
Add Resources and Timesheet Managers
When you configured data sources for TTM, you selected a data source to use for timesheet resources and timesheet managers. This data source contains the list of users and managers who can submit and approve timesheets. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to add resources and timesheet managers.
Define Administrative Time Categories
Administrative time lets you track non-working time such as vacation or sick time, or time spent on administrative tasks like support or maintenance. When an administrative time list is configured for Time Tracking and Management, administrative tasks are automatically included on all timesheets. You can also add administrative tasks to one resource's timesheet by assigning the task. Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described for configuring and using administrative time.
Create Timesheet Tasks
Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to create tasks and assign a resource tasks in the configured task list.
- Notify timesheet managers when a resource submits a timesheet for approval.
- Notify resources when their timesheet manager approves a timesheet.
- Notify resources when their timesheet manager rejects a timesheet.
- Warn resources when timesheets are past due (one-time, daily, or weekly alert options).
- Warn timesheet managers when timesheets have been waiting for approval for three or more days.
Click the hyperlink above, and follow the steps described to enable the alerts.
If Time Tracking and Management sounds like it would benefit your organization, give it a try by downloading a free 30-day trial today.
Read the entire User's Guide to Time Tracking and Management for SharePoint 2010: