Glossary: Terms and Definitions


Actual cost: Costs associated with actual work that has been applied to a task.

Actual work: Actual employee hours applied to a task.  Normally logged with a timesheet or automated timer.

ASP: Application Service Provider.  An organization offering a web-based application that is accessible to users in many locations.


Baseline: A copy of a task or entire project plan.  Used to compare with the current plan.

Billing rates: Monetary amounts used to bill clients.  Each project, user, or category may have different billable rates.

Burn down chart: A line chart showing remaining work for a project, presumably burning down to zero.  A scrum chart.


Client receivables: Monies you have earned from services performed.

Cost variance: Cost minus baseline cost.  The difference between original cost estimates and current estimates.

Cost fields: Client and salary costs for project tasks.  Costs your client is expected to pay for work performed.

Critical path: A series of tasks that extend a project to its longest finish date.  Tasks that depend upon previous tasks, causing a project to finish at the latest time.


Duration: Task duration or estimate.  The number or hours or days a task is expected to take.


Earned value: The amount of money a project has already earned, based on percent complete.

Enterprise project management: A system like Standard Time® that displays all projects and tasks for all the workgroups of an organization.


Finish date: The date when a task is expected to be finished.


Gantt chart: Graphical representation of tasks on a timeline.  Invented by Henry L. Gantt.






Linking tasks: Placing tasks in sequence, such that each start date coincides with the finish date of the previous task.  This represents the scenarios where tasks depend upon the completion of earlier work.


Microsoft Project: Software product for planning and scheduling projects.  Works with timesheet to track employee time.

MPP file: File format used by Microsoft Project to store tasks, resources, calendars, and other project related items.



Outline level: The hierarchy number indicating the level of indenting of project tasks.


Percent complete: A measure of task completion used for project status.  Leads to remaining work and remaining cost values.

PERT: Program Evaluation and Review Technique.  A model for viewing and analyzing project tasks.

Project management: Techniques used to plan and execute projects, typically employed to increase efficiency and lower costs.

Project plan: A sequence of tasks illustrating how a project will be completed.

Project scope: The size of a project, normally in terms of hours or cost.

Project Server: A product of Microsoft, used to publish project tasks to web pages.

Project task: Single entity representing the starting and finish dates for a planned activity.  Normally assigned to resources or groups for completion at the scheduled time.

Project template: A series of tasks intended for duplication to begin a new project.  Tasks are arranged and assigned in a common format for new projects to start from.


Quick task: Project task specifically marked for quick input or to start and stop a timer.


Remaining cost: The client or salary cost still remaining in an uncompleted task.

Remaining duration: The amount of time still left in an uncompleted task.

Remaining work: The number of hours or days still left in an uncompleted task.

Resource: An employee assigned to a project task.

Resource allocation: Project time assigned to an employee.  Represents the amount of employee time that has been allocated to project work.

Resource assignment: An employee assigned to work on project tasks.

RBS: Resource Breakdown Structure.  A numerical representation of workgroups and employees under them.

Resource breakdown structure: A numerical representation of workgroups and employees under them.

Resource calendar: Calendar of working hours for a project plan.

Resource pool: A group of employees that may be assigned to projects and tasks.

Resource leveling: The act of moving project tasks so that an employee has steady work for the duration of a project.


Scrum chart: A line chart showing remaining work for a project, presumably burning down to zero.  A burn-down chart.

Standard Issue®: Software product by Scoutwest, Inc. used for tracking issues and defect management.

Standard Time®: Software product by Scoutwest, Inc. used for time tracking and project management.

Start date: The date a project task is scheduled to begin.

Subproject: Smaller project that is included by a master project.  A project breakdown or subsystem.

Summary task: A project task representing the head of a series of lower tasks.  Represents the subtasks by showing aggregated start, stop, and work hours.


Task: A project activity, normally assigned to employees and schedule to start and finish at a certain time.

Task dependencies: Project tasks that depend upon an earlier task to compete before they may be started.  Links to successor tasks.

Task duration: The amount of time a tasks is expected to take.  May differ from “task work” if resources work less than 100% of their time of the task.

Task linking: The act of connecting tasks in a series, such that one task is performed only after its predecessor is completed.

Task predecessor: The project task that must be completed before another may start.  A task that is linked into another, and is shown before another.

Task successor: The project task that may begin when another is completed.  A task that is linked to another, and is shown after.

Time tracking: Recording the time spent working on a project task.  Normally done with a timesheet or automated timer.

Timesheet: Grid-style software allowing time entry for days of the week.   timesheet.  Projects and tasks are shown in a grid, allowing employees to enter hours worked.

Timesheet approval: The act of reviewing and signing off on employee hours.  Normally performed by a manager.



Variance: The difference between a current plan and a baseline.  Used to determine the accuracy of a task prediction.


WBS: Work Breakdown Structure.  A numerical representation of a task hierarchy.  Sequence of numbers representing tasks in a project.

Work breakdown structure: A numerical representation of a task hierarchy.  Sequence of numbers representing tasks in a project.

Work variance: The difference between task hours and the baseline number of hours.  Used to compare a current plan with the original estimate.




Resource Allocation For Future Task Availability

Standard Time® is primarily a time tracking product for client billing and project management, but it also has a complete resource allocation feature.  And it also offers full employee availability for future tasks assigned to team members.  You can search by skill-set, and assign tasks to under-allocated employees.  Watch the resource allocation video.

Here is a resource allocation chart produced by our product.  In this example, you can see that the resource is running out of hours, and may be a candidate for assignment to future projects.  (Choose View, Project Resource Allocation to see the full chart.)


Resource Allocation Report
Hours assigned to resources into the future


In the app, project tasks have the following fields that affect resource allocation.  Download a copy now!

    - Resource assignment (users and groups)
    - Start and due dates
    - Remaining duration


Resources (users in the program) are allocated to tasks in the Project Task view.  There, you can manage all the tasks and their assignments.  After building a series of tasks for each project, choose View, Project Resource Allocation to view the resource allocation dialog.  You will see a graphical bar chart that represents the time allocated to each resource.  You can quickly see if a task is over-allocated, under-allocated, or correctly allocated.

Blue bars represent correctly allocated time, while red and yellow bars represent over and under allocated time periods.  Time periods are adjustable for Day, Week, Month, and Quarter.  A single bar represents each time period.


Resource Allocation Dialog


In addition to the bar chart, the resource allocation dialog provides two grid views.  You can see time allocated in a task hierarchy, and time allocated to users in a resource hierarchy.  The same information is presented, but in textual form.

    - Resource allocation
    - Resource planning
    - Resource scheduling
    - Employee availability
    - Over allocation
    - Under allocation
    - Resource utilization
    - Effective billing rates


Microsoft Project MPP Timesheet

Standard Time® integrates its timesheet directly with Microsoft Project MPP files for time tracking and project management.  That means that you can track time to tasks with a weekly timesheet within your Project Server SQL Server database, and MPP Project files.  Simply assign tasks to all the members of your project, use the Project Integration Wizard, and you are ready to track time!  Time tracking for Microsoft Project has never been so simple.

Here's how Microsoft Project Integration works:

After completing the Microsoft Project Integration Wizard, users will see project tasks within the timesheet for all the tasks that are assigned to them.  These project tasks can be marked as Quick Tasks so that you can simply click on the check box next to a task to begin tracking time, or enter time for them in the weekly timesheet.  The program will update the MPP Project file with the time worked, time remaining, and percent complete.  That means you can open the Microsoft Project schedule at any time and see the work that has been performed on any task for any user.  Your project schedule comes alive with up-to-the-minute task tracking. 

Imagine finally being able to create a project schedule that is dynamically updated by every member of the team as the project progresses!  Imagine... having project status that is current and available for status meetings.  Imagine... having a simple time tracking solution for Microsoft Project.  Imagine... having detailed breakdown reports of project anatomy and knowing where all that time is spent.  This wonderful tool gives you that, and more!


Microsoft Project Videos

Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 1

Synchronize your timesheet with MS Project using an add-in. A single click from within Microsoft Project syncs.

Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 2

Steps to integrate your timesheet with MS Project. After integration, you can refresh project tasks any time you like.

Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 3

Question: Should you use MS Project or native ST projects? Both have their advantages.



Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 1

Automatically synchronize your MPP files with your timesheet. Come into the office in the morning to find all your tasks up to date.

Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 2

Learn the basics of Microsoft Project Integration with this simple whiteboard video

Barcode Scanner and Timer, Part 3

Short interview describing the Microsoft Project integration with employee timesheets



Sync MS Project Materials and Costs, Part 1

Synchronize MS Project resource tasks with your timesheet. Employees add or modify tasks that are sent to MS Project.

Sync MS Project Materials and Costs, Part 1

Synchronize MS Project resource costs with your timesheet. Human resources, material resources, and other expenses -- Part 1.

Sync MS Project Materials and Costs, Part 2

Part 2 in the series of synchronizing MS Project materials and costs. This focuses on sending materials up to MSP.




If you use Microsoft Project, the benefits are clear.
    - Time tracking, time sheets, and project tasks
    - Web based time sheet for Microsoft Project Tasks
    - Synchronize task to PDA's
    - Detailed reporting
    - Works with QuickBooks
    - Project planning and project management


Microsoft Project links: Sync Microsoft Project with Timesheet, Integrate with Microsoft Project, Use MS Project or ST for projects?

More Project Tracking Strategies Here


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