Warn employees when tasks are nearly complete or have already been completed.
Has your company ever had trouble keeping employees moving through tasks so they are completed on time and on budget? One of the biggest problems when doing projects is staying on track. Sometimes employees find that the task they are working on gets comfortable, so they begin to camp out on that one task instead of completing it and moving on. Future tasks can sometimes look scary, which makes people stay right where they feel comfortable.
The "Percent Warnings" feature prevents that. Here's how it works.
With any project task, you can have an estimated duration, which you hope the employee sticks to. When the employee enters time into the timesheet against that task, it adds "Actual work" to it. The ratio of actual work to duration is percent complete. So when you have 90 hours into a 100-hour task, you are 90% complete -- or so you hope. The Percent Warning feature lets you set a percentage to stop work at. Actually, it lets you set two percentages: a warning and a hard-stop limit.
Companies often set the warning to 90% and the hard-stop limit to something like 125%.
In the example above, when an employee enters 91 hours into the 100-hour task, they get a warning telling them that the task is nearly complete. That's a visual clue that they should stop soon. Setting the warning to 50% would give them a very early warning that they are half way done. But when they hit the hard-stop limit, like 125% in the example above, the program would prevent any additional input. This effectively cuts off any more hours for that task. (Administrators can override this.) Employees would then need permission to continue entering timesheet hours for that task.
Managers can also get an email notification when a task percent warning has been exceeded. This is a silent message sent off to the manager so he can reevaluate the duration and potentially arrange for an orderly transition to the next task.
You can actually set these two percentages at the project level, and then override them at the task level. For instance, that means you could set the percentages at the project level to 75% and 100% but then override them at the task level to 100% and 150%. This would give this task a little extra time for completion.
Employees should understand that percent warnings apply to the entire task duration. They do not apply to an employee's portion of that task. In other words, if two employees are working on the same task and it hits the final stop limit they cannot continue -- even one of the employees entered all the time, and other entered none.
Also see: Project Resource Allocation