Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Quick Questions: Assign Employees By Skill

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. We are taking the time out of our day to answer your questions. A lot of them have been asked. Ray, I’m a project manager and I need to hire an engineer with a certain certification. How do I do that within Standard Time?

Ray: OK. Let’s go over to the tools menu to answer that. I’m going to click tools, projects, click on the project; I’m guessing you want an existing employee that’s in your organization that has that certification. Right click, choose assign users by skill; don’t let the word skill throw you off, it could mean certification, discipline, other things. So I’m going to click a couple disciplines that you might consider. You can see what’s happening here in the back ground; it’s looking through finding all the employees that have that skill or certification and has some availability. Buzz Aldren looks like a good choice here. I’m going to click the … because he has time in the three upcoming months. Up comes his availability chart, you can see the blue bars indicate that he has time available. If you had empty bars it would mean he’s not available. So it looks good here from this perspective. You can go down here, you’ve got your project you can click add and assign him to your project. That’s all there is to it.

That’s amazing. If you go to the website you can try it today. Stdtime.com it’s a great program to have, it will make your life easier. We’re going to answer more of your questions next time so be sure to check back often. Catch you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqtWCbvBMGA

Quick Questions: Quick Task Timer Window

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White the deer slayer of Scoutwest. How you doing Ray? I’m having trouble knowing how long my projects are actually taking me. And in the long run that’s making my pricing off. How within Standard Time can I fix that?

Ray: Start by looking at the timesheet. Right next to it you see a tab for time log. So in the time log you going to see some information to help with that. First of all there is a start column, stop column, actual work. These are the exact start and stop times and hours that the activities take on your project. The next thing you might consider is going over to the view menu, clicking quick tasks, up will come a list of your tasks you can then click on one to start the timer. You see the start time there, a bold record and then you can go about your work. When you’re done uncheck that and that will then stop the timer, you can see that the bold goes away. Now you have exact start and stop times for the activities in your project.

I noticed when you stopped the timer something in your system tray turned red, turned green.

Right. That’s this little icon down here, turns out we have the same ability to start and stop the timer, you can go to the project. You can simply click that starts the timer, you see the same results down below. This is collecting the exact start and stop times. You’ll know exactly how long your project takes.

This is also available on mobile?

It is-android, iOS. You have the same tasks down that you can start and stop the timer.

That’s great. This is all available on the website. Click the link after this video and down load it today if you haven’t. We’ll be answering more of your questions after we get back from slaying our deer. Tune back then, we’ll catch you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myAgqrIlMAA

Whiteboard: Project Portfolio Management

 

Have you ever wanted to put your projects into collections so you can report on entire groups?

For example:

  1. Collections of consulting projects
  2. Collections of manufacturing projects
  3. Or projects for each division in the company

In Standard Time®, these collections are called portfolios. Each portfolio has multiple projects. And they can be grouped so you can:

  1. see revenue for entire portfolios
  2. learn which portfolios you’re spending the most time on
  3. find portfolios that are the most profitable to you
  4. or just for general reporting

Whatever the reason, Standard Time has you covered. Every project can be part of a larger portfolio, which you’ll find useful in many ways.

Download Standard Time now, and give portfolios a try!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TbIW3VND2U

Quick Questions: Time Tracking for Mac

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest developers of Standard Time. And from the looks of today’s set I think you might know what the question might be. Ray, can Standard Time run on the Mac?

Ray: Of course. You can see the Mac sitting right here.

It’s Standard Time.

Let’s switch over here and take a look. You’re looking at Mac running on Safari. Just a browser like any other. All the information you see here, your timesheet is going to look identical as it would on Windows, Linux any other kind of system. You see the same kind of tabs along the top here. When I click on one you see the same information. You’ve got your tasks there, do a little project management. You’ve got timelogs that are roughly equivalent to the timesheet. And you do your expense tracking, mileage vehicles here. Your client billing is there and you’ve got your time off for PTO and vacation and so on. Back to the timesheet, now you’ve got your reporting over on the left hand side. This is identical to what you would see on another system.

Although not a native to Mac you can still run it on a Mac.

Absolutely lots of people do.

Now we talk a lot about being out in the field and using our smartphones. Can we use our iOS devices iPhones, iPads?

Yes, sure. You can basically run Standard Time on your phone whether it’s Android or iOS. These are native apps on the devices.

You can get these apps and the software at the website stdtime.com. If you haven’t downloaded it yet do it right now. It’s a great tool to make your life a whole lot easier. We’re answering your questions next time with Standard Time. We’ll see you then.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fezzr846wLs

 

Quick Questions: Viewing Employee Time

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. And we’ve taken the joy of taking this huge box out of our warehouse and answering your questions. What’s in the box? Your questions of course. Today Ray people, managers in particular, want to know how they can view their employee’s timesheets.

Ray: OK. Let’s switch over to the screen. I’m looking at my timesheet here; if I’m a manager I can look at the employees working for me. The way to do that is with this tree on the left hand side. Now you see this click to show filter items, it’s probably what you’ll see when you start the program up the first time. I’m going to go ahead and click it, it’s telling me if I choose any of these filter items I will change the timesheet. Which is really what I want. So I’m going to go ahead and click on the user section this now shows me all the employees that are working for me. And when I pick one I’m now looking at their timesheet. That’s really all there is to it. You see a blinking red and yellow X here which means that I can click this to go back to my own timesheet. But when I click on those employees I see their timesheet, go to another one, you may see the projects change here because they are working on different projects. You see daily totals, weekly totals at the bottom but each one I click on shows me their timesheet.

Let’s say that I’m having a busy week and I don’t have time to check this stuff and I have an employee who is short some time. Is there a way that I can send out a notification telling them they need to put in more time?

So there’s an automated email that they can get. They can get an email that indicates their timesheet appears to be short, that usually comes on a Monday morning. They can go fix their timesheet up, but you’ll probably want to go in, verify each of the employees so that you’re billing and projects are correct. That’s all there is to it.

That’s awesome. Thanks Ray. If you have questions send them to us, I promise they won’t end up in a box in the warehouse. We’ll take the time to answer them right here and if you haven’t downloaded do it now. It’s a great program to have it makes your life a lot easier. We’re answering your questions again next time with Standard Time. See you later.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bP0bhx9D5Bs

Quick Questions: Timesheet Pay Periods

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest developers of Standard Time. Ray how you doing? Pay periods. They make me want to pull out the hair I already don’t have. Question we got employees want to see full pay periods. How do we do that within Standard Time?

Ray: Ok. Right now they’re just looking at the week as you can see on the screen here you’ve got your Monday through Sunday, this is a default view. You’ve got a one week, you got your daily total at the bottom, weekly total. I happen to have a line here for pay periods because I have pay periods set up. But normally you would not have that you might just see a one week period. They’re wanting to see every day in that pay period.

Right.

OK. I’m going to click here go down to time periods and choose pay periods. Screen changes a little bit, you can see first of all the weekly total goes away at the bottom. I’ve got a new scroll bar that I can now start scrolling through and I see every day in the pay period. I happen to have one of these days that’s a holiday but basically they can go and put time in to any one of those days. You’re allowed to configure this any way you’d like. You can go into the tools menu, you have to be an admin to do this, to approve time and expenses, click on pay periods. You can create pay periods with any starting date any ending date and create them all the way out to the end of the year and see them listed here. Once you’ve done that then the timesheet is auto-configured. It will always show the full pay period and you’ll be able to scroll those for the entire pay period. That’s it, nothing to go crazy over.

You’ve really have saved my scalp. I’d don’t know if you’ve made me grow more hair but you’ve definitely made life easier. If you haven’t downloaded this app do it what are you waiting for? It’s a great software to own. Go to the website and submit your questions we’d love to answer them for you, let us know what you think. And we’re answering more of your questions next time with Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPwJkaRTtWk

Quick Questions: Submitting Timesheets

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. You’ve asked, we listened now we’re answering. How’s it going Ray?

Ray: Hey

We have a question about client billing. Want to make sure, do a double check that we’re billing our clients for all the time that we have put in. How do we do that within Standard Time?

Let’s switch over to the screen, I can think of one quick way to do that. That is the submit for approval button. That allows the consultants to be part of the process; they can submit their timesheets, certify their timesheets are correct. I’m going to switch over to last week, click this button and up pops a little dialog box telling me I only have to do this once. Normally they would do this on a Friday afternoon or on a Monday. When they do they are going to get this little icon, a certification icon is what you’re looking for in the upper right corner. Saying that the timesheet has been submitted. This also shows a lot, that’s another feature I have turned on here where the consultant cannot make any changes to their timesheet. Now that we’ve done that, the employees have done that, all on Friday Monday morning. The manager can go to the tools menu choose approve time and expenses, they will see pending timesheets here. I’m going to click approve date range button and here you will see a list of all of the people who have submitted and those who have not submitted, you’ll see the dates over on the right hand side.

We all have consultants and employees that forget to put in their time. Is there a way in Standard Time to send notifications about that?

Yeah, a couple ways. You can actually set up two different email notifications. One would be sent to the employee telling them you forgot to submit your timesheet maybe your timesheet contains fewer hours than we’re expecting. Those sort of things. Another one would go to the manager and it would tell the manager a list of all the people who have not submitted their timesheets.

Thanks Ray. If you haven’t down loaded Standard Time yet do it today. If you have one of those employees that keeps forgetting to send their time in this is a great way to keep on top of that. Let us know what you think. Send us your questions and we’ll be more than happy to answer them. Talk to you soon.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jejxthmaZ9k

Quick Questions: Linking Project Tasks

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. And we’re answering your questions about how to use Standard Time just a little bit more efficiently. How you doing Ray?

Ray: All right.

We got a question from someone who has all these projects that need to start one after another because they’re all linked together. How do we do that within Standard Time?

OK. You’re probably talking about tasks; you have one task that has to start only when the other one has completed. Like a house with a foundation, you can’t do the roofing until you have a foundation and framing and so on.

Right.

So those tasks have to end before another one starts. OK. Let’s switch over to the screen, I’m going to show you real quick how that’s done. I’m going to click on the project tasks tab. I’ve got the Gantt chart display just so you can see the graphical representation of these tasks. I’ll be working on these two; you see these bars, I’m going to go over and select these two tasks. I’m going to right click on those, choose link tasks and what I’ve done here is linked them. Now you can see that this task cannot start until this one ends. You see a couple icons over here that show that those are linked. And that’s really all you have to do.

So you’ve just made a lot of people’s lives easier; more organized that’s a good thing. Go to the website and download it if you haven’t. You’re not going to regret it. Let us know what you think. If you have more questions submit them there and we’ll answer them right here in the land of the interwebs.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKz1pme4rH0

Quick Questions: Gantt chart

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. We’re answering your questions about how to utilize Standard Time just a little bit better. How’s it going Ray?

Ray: All right.

In a previous video I noticed that you just went over Gantt charts. Didn’t even really explain it but I now know Standard Time has them so I’m going to bring it up. Why don’t you explain how Gantt charts work within Standard Time?

All right. Let’s switch over to the screen here and I will show them. I’m looking at the timesheet right now; I’m going to click on the first tab, you see these six tabs along the top. I’m going to click on the project tasks tab and we’re now looking at an area that is typically used for managing projects and tasks. So you see a list of tasks here, those are the same tasks that you would see in your timesheet. Often administrators, managers would go in here to set up your project tasks. The column you’re seeing right here on the right side is a Gantt chart. This was invented during the 1910’s by a guy named Henry Gantt. Basically the idea here was to create a bar chart that shows you these bars that represent the starting and stopping time for every task. I click on a task here, select it you can see which bar belongs to that one.

Essentially you can scroll back and forth in time just to see these bars. If you open up Standard Time for the first time you may not see this column. So what you should do is go to the view menu choose columns you’ll see Gantt listed here in this list. You can click on it then click add and that will add it to your view and you’ll see it. That’s really it, that’s the Gantt chart.

That’s awesome. I see you have blue lines and red lines. What do those red lines represent?

OK. These red bars represent tasks that are overdue. So the blue ones are normal ones, you see the percent complete. The little bar in the middle, the red bar, represents tasks that are overdue that you should take a look at.

Gantt charts and Standard Time, it’s a really good thing. Go to the website submit your questions and let us know what you think.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNp2cKeWJnE

 

Quick Questions: Milestone Invoicing

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest and we are answering your questions on Standard Time. Welcome back Ray.

Ray: Hi Mike.

I have a questions about milestone billing. Can I within Standard Time bill 1/3 up front, 1/3 in the middle, 1/3 at completion. Is that possible in Standard Time?

That’s a very popular method of billing projects that consulting firms use. The client agrees I will pay you up front but you get started on this, pay you a third. Then I want to see you meet a milestone. Somewhere in the middle, usually a beta and then I’ll pay you a completion. That’s what you’re asking, right?

Correct.

Let’s switch over to the screen I’ll show you how it works. You’re looking at the timesheet now, I’m going to switch to a new screen. Go to the tools menu choose projects. Because this is on a project by project basis. I’m going to click on a project here and first of all draw your attention to the cost. This is a $10,000 deal and you want to be paid in three installments. I’m going to go here to milestones and show you how that’s done. This milestone payment is how it’s done. You simply set up the percentage to 33 1/3 and you can bill a third of the project. So the $10,000 project will be chopped up into thirds; first at signing, then somewhere in the middle and then at the end of completion. So that is how you would do that.

While we’re here I just want to point out a couple other ways you can bill your clients and bill jobs; these are usually for fixed fee projects. So one of those is a fixed amount in this case when I meet a certain milestone the clients says yes, go ahead and bill me it’s going to be $11,000 and the client has agreed to pay. Another way you can do it is with a date range. In this case I’m looking through all the time and expenses I’m going to bill that date range for the project. To answer your question; 1/3 here’s how you do it. We have this $10,000 project I’m going to go ahead and switch over to another screen. I’m going to the insert menu and choose new invoice. I have to have a client, so I’ve chosen the client, I then have to choose the project because these milestones are on a project by project basis. Then I’m going to choose the project here and you can see that $10,000 project is now billed on my first installment, $3,333. That’s how it’s done, milestones.

Also in milestones, we all have that one client who has weird billing techniques. So with the milestones we can compensate how they want…

Yes, you customize exactly how that client wants it. You set it up on the project and away you go.

Thanks Ray. We’re answering more of your questions. Go to the website and submit them there, while you’re there download your free version and let us know what you think.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZV6J5_dEZqc

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