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Timesheet & Tracking: Best Practice in Tracking Support Hours in Project Server 2010? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi there. What is the "best practice" in tracking production support hours in Project Server? I am familiar with configuring Administrative Time, where there are three default tracking categories (Administrative, Sick time, and Vacation), and I can add additional categories. However, our people-resources are not dedicated to project work. About 20% of their time is on production support, so we would like to use Project Server 2010's timesheet feature to track time expended in supporting a particular production software application (in additional to project tracking). We have over 80 applications to support.

    I was thinking of setting up a "support project" with all of the applications listed as tasks, then assign the primary and secondary support resource to each task. Then, whenever the person expended hours per the Customer Support (aka Helpdesk) ticket for a particular application), he/she would record the hours on this task in the PWA timesheet.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.

    --George

     

    • Changed type treet007 Friday, October 15, 2010 2:00 PM This is more a general discussion, not an admin question
    • Changed type Gary Chefetz, MCITP, MCT, MVP Monday, May 23, 2011 5:51 PM Is a question
    Friday, October 15, 2010 1:56 PM

Answers

  • Your option is what a lot of folks end up with.  Other options I've seen:
     
    1) Book out support projects by setting Max Units to .6 or .75.  Then add
    an interface to your trouble ticket system on the same Webpage as the Timesheet
    using webparts.  Then they book in two different systems depending on what
    they're working on - but it's on the same page.
    2) Same thing, but invest in a third party tool like HMS TimeControl which
    will create a front end Timesheet interface that feeds data back into Project
    Server as well as your support management system.
     
    At the end of the day, ITIL guidance calls for a relational database for
    support management, with a timesheet application tied to that relational
    database for tracking application TOC.  IMHO, Project Server doesn't handle
    that aspect very well as it is primarily designed for project and administrative
    work.  Hence, there's still a need for two systems: project management and
    ticket tracking.
     
    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP]
    Twitter: @alavinsky
     
    > What is the "best practice" in tracking production support hours in
    > Project Server? I am familiar with configuring Administrative Time,
    > where there are three default tracking categories (Administrative,
    > Sick time, and Vacation), and I can add additional categories.
    > However, our people-resources are not dedicated to project work. About
    > 20% of their time is on production support, so we would like to use
    > Project Server 2010's timesheet feature to track time expended in
    > supporting a particular production software application (in additional
    > to project tracking). We have over 80 applications to support.
    >
    > I was thinking of setting up a "support project" with all of the
    > applications listed as tasks, then assign the primary and secondary
    > support resource to each task. Then, whenever the person expended
    > hours per the Customer Support (aka Helpdesk) ticket for a particular
    > application), he/she would record the hours on this task in the PWA
    > timesheet.
    >
    > Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
    >
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Twitter: @alavinsky Blog: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/epm
    Friday, October 15, 2010 2:06 PM

All replies

  • Your option is what a lot of folks end up with.  Other options I've seen:
     
    1) Book out support projects by setting Max Units to .6 or .75.  Then add
    an interface to your trouble ticket system on the same Webpage as the Timesheet
    using webparts.  Then they book in two different systems depending on what
    they're working on - but it's on the same page.
    2) Same thing, but invest in a third party tool like HMS TimeControl which
    will create a front end Timesheet interface that feeds data back into Project
    Server as well as your support management system.
     
    At the end of the day, ITIL guidance calls for a relational database for
    support management, with a timesheet application tied to that relational
    database for tracking application TOC.  IMHO, Project Server doesn't handle
    that aspect very well as it is primarily designed for project and administrative
    work.  Hence, there's still a need for two systems: project management and
    ticket tracking.
     
    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP]
    Twitter: @alavinsky
     
    > What is the "best practice" in tracking production support hours in
    > Project Server? I am familiar with configuring Administrative Time,
    > where there are three default tracking categories (Administrative,
    > Sick time, and Vacation), and I can add additional categories.
    > However, our people-resources are not dedicated to project work. About
    > 20% of their time is on production support, so we would like to use
    > Project Server 2010's timesheet feature to track time expended in
    > supporting a particular production software application (in additional
    > to project tracking). We have over 80 applications to support.
    >
    > I was thinking of setting up a "support project" with all of the
    > applications listed as tasks, then assign the primary and secondary
    > support resource to each task. Then, whenever the person expended
    > hours per the Customer Support (aka Helpdesk) ticket for a particular
    > application), he/she would record the hours on this task in the PWA
    > timesheet.
    >
    > Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
    >
     
     

    Andrew Lavinsky [MVP] Twitter: @alavinsky Blog: http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/epm
    Friday, October 15, 2010 2:06 PM
  • Andrew, thanks for the information. We do have an incident management-tracking system called Numara Software TrackIT (http://www.numarasoftware.com/welcome/help_desk.aspx?src=msn&trm=track_it). However, we do not use this for incident work time tracking. Currently, we use a home-grown MS Access application, and people supposed to enter their time at the end of each week on what support hours were expended for applications or administrative tasks.

    Our purpose for the non-project timesheet entry requirement using Project Server is to permit the IT staff to have a single place to enter their time, then let it generate a monthly timesheet/report for the individuals, who will then enter the data manually into the BEACON SAP system (which is the real HR and payroll system). An automatic feed is not possible since BEACON SAP is managed by another agency. We were told by our HR section to manually create a paper timesheet on a monthly basis as a verification to BEACON. So the timesheets are currently submitted by the staff to their respective managers, who then forwards them to HR. So the non-project time tracking use in Project Server would strictly be to replace this arcane process by having all of the time data in one place, then we can produce a custom monthly timesheet report for HR.

    Friday, October 15, 2010 5:10 PM
  • treet007

    did you find any further information on this topic? we have set up support "projects" and "tasks" with start/end dates on the same day, 0 work and assigned everyone who needs that option to track time against.

    The users don't like it because they have to insert the tasks each week to see it on their timesheet, but at least they can log their time and we can generate reports with the info. We'll have to have our project schedules run in parallel to those time tracking projects, and we don't use SEM. I'd love to find a better way.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011 7:08 PM