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Timesheets and Task Updates – a High Level Overview

This article is an overview for the diagram that can be found here:  http://pmpspecialists.com/WhitePapers.html  and is called “Timsheet and Task Update Workflow”.

The diagram and this article are a high level overview and are to help with understanding the workflow in Project Server 2010 for using Timesheets and Task Updates.  The goal is to demonstrate how the timesheet “splits” into two separate flows (from a system perspective).

First, it helps to understand that in Timesheets there are two basic types of work being accounted for:

  1. Work assigned in schedules as tasks
  2. NON-scheduled work called Administrative tasks

NON-scheduled tasks include things like Sick Time, Vacation, Jury Duty or other items that you want to track within your organization.

Secondly, there are two perspectives to think about – the Project Manager and the Timesheet Manager.  These are not necessarily the same person as the Timesheet Manager is the person approving the number of hours a person worked and may not even be a Project Manager.  The Project Manager may have only one task for an individual that takes only a few hours of their week and from their perspective, they don’t care whether or not the individual worked 4, 40 or 90 hours during the week.  They care about whether or not the individual worked on the tasks they were assigned and how that work (or lack thereof) affected the overall schedule.

When an individual enters their time, the timesheet “splits” into two separate flows:  one for the Project Manager(s) and one for the Timesheet Manager.  The splits are named based on their type – the updates of time on scheduled tasks are called Status Updates and the other items along with the overall timesheet are considered Timesheet Updates.

Not represented in the diagram is that Timesheet Managers can set up rules about accepting updates.  And, it is also an automatic setting that if you are your own Timesheet Manager that your update will be accepted.  So, it is important to understand that the diagram and this brief post are about the high level workflow and doesn’t try to include every setting that can be made to automate this process or the cases where a Project Manager and Timesheet Manager are the same person.

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