Mike: Coming up on Standard Time® we are talking timesheet management, employee timesheets and Marty McFly. That’s up next. Mike with Standard Time with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Hey Ray! We can log our past time, we can log our present time; can I look into the future and log my future time?
Ray: OK. So Marty McFly, Back to the Future, can you put time into the future?
Is the future here, Ray?
It turns out you can. Out of the box Standard Time will let you put your time into the past, into the present (today) and into the future. Sometimes people go on vacation or something like that and they want it out into the future and put their time in, where they know they’ll be working on a project. But in other circumstances managers sometimes want to shut that off. One circumstance that comes to mind would be DCAA (Defense Contract Audit Agency); you’re supposed to put your time in today only, not into the paste, not into the future. If you want to shut that off let me show you how to do it.
You would go to the tools menu choose users and organizations, right click on a user and choose user rights. Because the user rights control how you could do that, or in fact other things. You see a right called enter time into past dates, enter time into future dates. You can actually control that right here on user by user basis, some users can some users can’t. If you’re a manager you can bypass those little situations and be able to put time in on behalf of an employee.
Let me show you another way. Go to the tools menu, choose approve time and expenses, I’m going to go down to the lock date range. Completely different way you can pick a date range; start stop click the lock date range you’ll see it at the bottom. And that will control whether people can put time into their past. If you lock out certain dates in the past, which is often done if you’re a consulting agency that would log time to client billing, you would want to lock that out as soon as you bill the client. Or into the future, you can create locks into the future. Couple of different ways, flexibility here, you can do it!
Great Scott! Thanks Ray. We’re answering more of your questions next time on Standard Time. If you have a question you’d like to see us answer submit it at the website and we’d be honored to record that response for you.
Mike: Today on Standard Time®; PTO, vacation accruals and you. Up next. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, my company determines vacation depending on years. How do we do that in Standard Time?
Ray: Ok. People who have been there a long time get more vacation than those who have just joined. Let’s switch over to the time off tab and I’m going to right click and show you how to set up time off policies. So these policies would be for each employee in the company. Pick time off policies and I’m looking at Buzz Aldrin, you can see the different kinds of time off that he can take; these are all set up by you. The first column that you see here would be the hours that are available to Buzz. The number of hours that he earns and when he earns those; whether those are biweekly, weekly, yearly, semimonthly. You get to set up when people earn time, how much they earn. So if they’ve been with the company longer you can give them more time more frequently.
Let’s switch over to another user. You can see the numbers change, these are the number of hours available again for vacation. Each one of these time off reasons has a different number of hours, the bank of hours. So sick, personal, you can go negative on these if you need to. Again you get to set the number of hours that they earn and when they earn it. So that each person has their own profile of policies that you’ve set up. That’s how you do it.
That’s great. So a lot of religious organizations and non-profits, companies that give sabbaticals for leaders who’ve have been there for eons. Can you do that within Standard Time?
You could set up another one of these time off reasons. You can click time off reasons here, create a new one for sabbatical and then you can earn hours toward that. As you’re with the company you can earn hours or you can just grant them a number of hours for that sabbatical.
We’re answering more of your questions out of the mad hatter’s hat which that one was. Next time on Standard Time.
Mike: This time on Standard Time®; project management and project triangles. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, I have a boss, he wants his project, he wants it now, he wants it at the lowest cost and he wants it layered with gold! Obviously that’s not doable what can I do to show him that it’s not?
Ray: That’s a common demand. You have three competing demands; time, cost and then scope. Which is what you want out of the deliverable. It turns out Standard Time can illustrate this. We’ve got this little thing called project triangles. Let’s take a look at the screen, I’m going to click on the view menu and choose project triangles. When I do first of all you see one project here that illustrates the issue that we’re talking about. We’ve got scope of 25% you see in the tool tip. Our cost is about 33% but look at the time, we’re going to go over budget. If you get 100% of what you want your time is going to be like 400% because you can see the direction this is going right now. It’s a terrible looking triangle, look at the peak way up here, this is going to go way off the chart.
Let’s take a look at another example, same kind of situation the one over on the right hand side. Again we’ve got our time, cost and scope, the three competing demands. In this case we’ve got our scope around 30%, our time is about 13, but look at the cost, we’re way over here at 81%-it’s peeking out its way over. By the time this is project is done it’s going to be way over budget. These triangles you can see are illustrating these three demands that can get out of wack if you don’t watch them.
Switch to another project in this case time and cost kinda looking good but look at the scope we’re only at 20%. When you hit 100% on this both time and cost will be out of control. You’ve got to watch those things. Let’s take a look at the perfect, nirvana project. Down here we have the scope at 90, you’ve got 90% time, 95% cost everything is looking really nice. That’s hard to achieve but still this illustrates the health of your projects, how they can get out of control and things that you want to jump in and take a look at, figure out some resolutions and get your project back on track.
With the popup box I notice that quality was on there.
Oh, good point! You can actually click here and show a fourth demand which is quality. You’ve got time, cost, quality and scope. Quality would be the goodness and how well the product is proceeding. That’s going to change over time but you can look at that demand as well. Usually people are looking at the triangle only but still you have that fourth demand that you can look at.
That’s awesome. So the proof is in the triangle! No more explaining, you just show it and pick which you want.
Project managers can document and point out and illustrate where their projects are going. We’ve got these three demands all in check to make that perfect project for time, cost and scope.
Thanks Ray. We’re answering more of your questions next time on Standard Time so be sure to check back very, very often. We’ll see you soon.
Mike: Coming up next on Standard Time® we’re talking freelancing, contractors, the field and tablets. Mike with Standard Time back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. Ray, we all know that Standard Time runs on a desktop. What about tablets?
Ray: OK. Let’s take a look and I’ll show you how it works. This little notebook is actually a tablet. You can buy a system like this for $200. I’m going to just pop this screen off so you can see that this is a two-in-one. We’ve got Standard Time running on it right there. And when I turn it over I get a nice portrait view. I’ve got the desktop version of Standard Time running but I’m going to switch over now and look at the web edition. You have the same look there; you’ve got your timesheet, time logs, expenses, back to the windows edition. Yes, perfect little set up for freelancers, consultants out in the field, works great.
Let’s say I’m a Mac guy or an Android phone guy, can we do that?
Yeah, if you don’t want to take your notepad, laptop out into the field you just have your phone, your iPhone, iPad, Android. Yeah let’s take a look here and I can show you what they look like. We’ve seen the tablet here; Standard Time runs nicely on that, Windows and web. If you have your phone out there you’ve got your time and expenses here on your phone. iOS and right there on your iPad. Any one of the systems Standard Time will run great you can take these out in the field do your consulting, client billing, and you’ll have it all right there, time and expenses.
That’s great. All you freelancers out there, all you contractors, you field workers, you have no excuse. You have Standard Time in the field now to take with you. We’re answering more of your questions next time with Standard Time. We’ll see you then.
Let’s take a look and see how Standard Time® would be used by consultants. First of all everything starts with the timesheet and maybe the time log. In the timesheet you have your projects that you’re working on for clients, you have your Monday through Sunday hours here. Daily totals at the bottom weekly totals as well, simply type your hours into a particular project and task and you’re good to go. You might also consider using the timer, you can start and stop a timer. You can go over here to the view menu and choose quick tasks. Here you can actually just click and click again to start and stop a timer for particular quick tasks. That’s a quick way of putting time into the system.
What I also want to draw attention to is the time log tab, let’s click on that at the top. These are some of the columns I like to display in the time log; start time for each record, actual work on each record, these again are the same records you see in the time log except they are displayed from top to bottom in record format rather than Monday through Sunday. You’ve got your project maybe a client category. The category column, notes for each record, the client rate and then the cost client and whether these records are billable and marked as billed. Those are some valuable fields you can display and make sure everything comes out alright. But again those are the same records you’ll see in the time log.
Where do those billing rates that you see over here come from? They come from the tools menu choose billing rates and then employee billing rates or category billing rates. You can choose a client or project, set your billing rates for each individual consultant then you’re good to go.
One of the other things that’s valuable is go over to view menu and choose project revenue. This little window allows you to look out into the future for a year and see where you’re project revenue is coming from for each of the jobs that you have. So you see a couple of bad months like this, bad quarter; want to make sure you take care of that. I’m going to close out of this show you some other things.
One of the other things you can look at for individual consultants is the quick info window. Click that icon, you can choose a particular project from the drop down or show all projects, it will show you spent today, this week, this month. You can choose little drop downs to look at yesterday, last week or the different months of the year. That allows you to see how many hours you have for these different time periods. And it helps you coordinate the billable hours.
By way of reporting you might consider going over here and looking at the time logs. One of the good reports for consulting is the client receivables. When I run this I can look at this month; when I do that I see records that show me the start time and date, the hours, the rate and the cost client along with some notes. Scroll down and you will see the totals for that; these are the dollar totals that are still outstanding for each of the clients. You can see the clients here then the total at the bottom.
There’s another report we can look at; we close the time logs and go in the management. Take a look at the utilization and rates report. This on also wants a date range; let’s look at the last 120 days. When we do we see individual employees and we see scheduled hours, actual hours they worked and that yields a utilization rate and effective billing rate. As I scroll through this you see the effective billing rate for each of the consultants and then it averages down here at the bottom for the entire company. That is useful to look through and increase your effective billing rate for the entire company.
We’ll close out of that. There is so much to see in this product and I’ve just touched the surface. But hopefully it gives you a chance to focus on a few things and then take a look and see what you like.