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PS2010: Task updates sent for approval while timesheet is still “In Progress” RRS feed

  • Question

  • Imaging following scenario concerning timesheets in Single Entry Mode in PS2010:

    Timesheet week 1: User sends a timesheet with 40 h actual work on Task ABC of Project XYZ.
    Timesheet week 2: User enters 40h Actual Work on Task ABC of Project XYZ. User only saves the timesheet, but does not send the timesheet (Task updates are also not sent).
    Timesheet week 3: User submits timesheet with 40 h actual work on Task ABC of Project XYZ.

    At the end of this flow, the status manager receives a task update of 120 h (!!!), although the timesheet of week 2 hasn't been submitted by the end user.

    Issues with this scenario:
    1. The timesheet of week 2 hasn't been submitted, so the (intermediate) time entered by the end-user should not be sent to the Status Manager for approval.
    2. The status of the timesheet lines aren't OK. When the Status manager approves the task update for task ABC (120 h instead of 80 h); the timesheet line of the timesheet of week 2 still has the status "Pending" (Timesheet line status of week 1 & Week 3 has the status “Approved”, which is OK).  Comparing Project Actuals with approved timesheet lines then gives you a variation of 33 % (80h vs. 120h).


    EPM Consultant - www.threon.com

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 9:09 AM

All replies

  • THREON �?? BVO --
     
    I believe that what you are seeing is normal with Project Server 2010.  In fact, I believe you would see the task update with 120h of Actual Work if the TM had submitted only the timesheet in week 3, and had only saved the timesheets for weeks 1 and 2.  What the Project Server system does in the timesheet is to capture the total timephased Actual Work up through the current submitted timesheet week.  Thus, at the end of week 3, the Actual Work on task ABC is currently 120 hours, so that is what the PM sees when he/she goes to approve the timesheet for week 3.
     
    In your scenario, I think you realize that your organization has a huge methodology flaw.  Why in the world is the TM not submitting the timesheet for week 2?  That makes no sense, so I can only assume that this was user error.  Keep in mind that in your scenario, the Project Server 2010 system will not submit the saved timesheet for week 2 when the TM submits the timesheet for week 3.  The TM must still go back to the week 2 timesheet and submit it.
     
    Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 10:30 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your answer, Howard.

    In practice, such scenarios do occur a lot, for instance when a TM cannot finalize a timesheet because of the PM needs to add the TM to a task, or (s)he needs to publish his project plan,...

    In my understanding, it really is NOT logic that temporary (/ not-final) hours are already sent for approval. Submitting actuals is a very deliberate action of a TM, where (s)he indicated that the actuals are now final, and can be sent to the PM. All actuals on a timesheet that is still “in progress” are just temporary hours, which needs to  be reviewed and finalized by the TM, and should NOT be sent to the PM.

    Besides the strange functional behavior, it is also very confusing at database level, as big gaps can occur between project actuals and approved timesheet lines actuals (120h vs. 80h). If you follow the reporting Technet article (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh694531.aspx), and you use only approved timesheet lines, a huge delta will occur when comparing project plan actuals with actuals in reports.


    EPM Consultant - www.threon.com


    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:07 AM
  • THREON �?? BVO --
     
    Well, even though you do not like it, this is how the software actually works in the real world.  I think your client needs to adjust their company methodologies for working with timesheets.  Truthfully, how can a team member submit a timesheet for week #3 and claim that they are still not able to submit the timesheet for the previous week?  I simply do not see the logic in that.  Regardless, unless your client changes how they handle timesheet submission, they will continue to have this problem.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:33 AM
    Moderator
  • I noticed that this behavior does not only occur for ‘In progress’ timesheets in the past, but also for future timesheet periods. As soon as Project Server finds actuals on a task, ALL actuals are sent for approval as soon as the TM submits a timesheet with this particular task on it (regardless the timesheet status).

    E.g.: Enter actuals in timesheet of Wk01, and save the timesheet --> open timesheet of Wk02, enter actuals and save the timesheet --> go back to the timesheet of Wk01 and submit the timesheet.

    In this scenario, both the actuals of Wk01 and Wk02 are sent for approval. This scenario is much more common that the one I described yesterday, and is, on a functional perspective, very hard to defend to be honest…


    EPM Consultant - www.threon.com

    Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:33 PM