Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Discussion forum about Anuko Time Tracker
dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:35 am

Testing with an iPad Mini. The time boxes are too small using Chrome, the entire “HH:MM” is not visible.
1E399D79-3C3A-4729-8221-A09CEDEADDBA.jpeg
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Nik
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:09 pm

I added a capability to add a new week entry in version 1.13.2.3709. The top row is for the new entry, and the familiar controls as on time.php are to select the components for it.

So, my week view is "kind of" working. However, there are a few bugs to fix. I need to address not billable color, and fix control population scripts, handle week time and monthly quotas, and quite possibly a few other bugs.

I'll look at whether or not a comment field (or fields) is / are doable without introducing too much complexity to the existing view.

Nik
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:25 pm

I added a note field onto the week view to be applied to new entries (in top row only).

Hope it helps with comments on new records.
Attachments
note_field_on_week_vew_in_time_tracker.png
Note field to be applied to new entries in top row.
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dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:38 am

Hi @Nik. this seems ok for data entry, but I think maybe not so convenient when reviewing time already entered. I'm working on a mockup and hope to send it later tonight. I'm not sure how difficult it will to implement from a development perspective, but I think more convenient from a user perspective. Pros and cons.... Stay tuned.

I have a related proposal about the SR&ED flag though. Having the worker decide if their work is SR&ED eligible is the most flexible, but in a larger enterprise team or department I fear it will not be accurate enough just due to human nature. I think the results would be would accurate if the project planner or department manager decide to make a _task_ SR&ED eligible (or not). An individual worker in a larger enterprise team may not understand the SR&ED claim rules, or the strategy by the business in the claim, assuming they remember to set (or unset from last time) the flag at all. This proposal requires that tasks be created with SR&ED eligibility in mind, but I think the increased accuracy and project visibility will more than justify the up-front setup effort.

IMHO. Of course, this is only my opinion. Are you aware of any specific users who are using Time Tracker to support SR&ED claims? I will post a new topic to see if anyone else can comment.

Cheers,
Dale
Last edited by dalescott on Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Sun Dec 31, 2017 5:21 am

Here's the mockup. I as a worker entering my weekly timesheet will first pick a project from the project drop-down (filtered for projects I am assigned to), pick a task from the task drop-down (filtered by the project I selected), and finally enter my time for the week and a comment for what I accomplished.

The client drop-down isn't necessary because clients are already associated with projects. The "Billable" flag was removed because it seemed cumbersome in a weekly paradigm. In an enterprise environment, employees are often salaried and there isn't a client, so all time can be considered is "billable". To still support creating invoices for projects where there is a client (or a "partner" paying the bills), I propose adding a billable option to the task config, and not include non-billable tasks on invoices.

P.S. it might be useful to have a project config option to allow only selected users to enter time towards a project, or any user can enter time to the project (useful in ad hoc teams dealing with many projects simultaneously).
timesheet-proposed-04.jpg
proposed weekly timesheet
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dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Sun Dec 31, 2017 7:41 pm

@Nik, I forgot to add,
  • As a system administrator, I would like to set the default (or fixed) height of the comment text box with a system config variable (i.e. not project-specific). E.g. 1, 2 or 3 (the purpose isn't to let people write a book).
Btw, are you into stories and sprints?

Here are some other feature ideas I've mentioned before in posts. I think these would fill in the basics of what enterprise will want, or at least this is what it would have taken for the last organization I worked with to ditch Ceridian Dayforce, the web-based timesheet system they were using for Engineering to collect labour for SR&ED claims.

The company was an 80'ish person, boutique engineering design and manufacturing company, and used Ceridian for payroll and Ceridian/Dayforce for timesheets. We weren't able to create projects ourselves in Dayforce, and had to call Ceridian/Dayforce to have them add a new project to the system and make it available on timesheets. The system was extremely inflexible and totally overkill for our needs The only complicated bit, and I'm not sure how easy this would be to implement with Time Tracker, was that hourly-paid manufacturing staff had a keycard and scanned in to work, out on break, back at work, etc. I never saw the terminal the manufacturing staff used, but suspect it simply recorded work time for payroll purposes

I don't know what Ceridian's business model is though, and whether Dayforce is bundled into a per-employee payroll cost, or if charged for separately as a special feature. If you have only salaried staff, you can enter employee salary and payroll details directly into the Ceridian service, shortcutting Dayforce - which in essence sits in front of Ceridian's service.

I guess I'm asking if enterprise groupware is a direction Time Tracker wants to go?
  • As a worker entering time, I would like to see a new (empty) timesheet with rows defaulted to the same Project/Tasks that I entered on my previous timesheet.
  • As a supervisor, I would like the option to review and approve time entries before they are invoiced (aka "posted", "official", ...). This implies building a parent/child relationship of users, and a project configuration option to require timesheet approval (or not).
  • As a supervisor, I would like to be able to delegate my approval authority to someone else for a certain period of time. (e.g. if I go on vacation).
  • As a supervisor, I would like workers to be able to submit leave requests (normally in the future but also potentially in the past), which I would have to approve to be granted. I would like to receive a notice that a request has been made, which should also go to my delegate if one exists. Leave requests could be treated as a type of time entry.
Any thoughts?

P.S. Full disclosure, I'm also working with a full-blown ERP (ERPNext http://www.erpnext.org). It's complicated and not at all suitable for basic timesheet needs. Also its timesheet system (like many others ERPs) is more about creating system records than presenting a good user interface. I'm investigating using a cron export from Time Tracker and automated import into ERPNext as a solution.

Nik
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:38 pm

dalescott wrote:it might be useful to have a project config option to allow only selected users to enter time towards a project, or any user can enter time to the project (useful in ad hoc teams dealing with many projects simultaneously).
Well, currently you can assign projects to user on the user edit page. Same on the project edit page. To assign / deassign all, use the "Select all / Deselect all" links on the project edit page or the common Project checkbox on the user edit page.
dalescott wrote:As a system administrator, I would like to set the default (or fixed) height of the comment text box with a system config variable (i.e. not project-specific). E.g. 1, 2 or 3 (the purpose isn't to let people write a book).
You can use the NOTE_INPUT_HEIGHT in config.php.

Code: Select all

// Height in pixels for the note input field in time.php. Defaults to 40.
// define('NOTE_INPUT_HEIGHT', 100);
I hope it helps.

Nik
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Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:59 pm

dalescott wrote:Here's the mockup. I as a worker entering my weekly timesheet will first pick a project from the project drop-down (filtered for projects I am assigned to), pick a task from the task drop-down (filtered by the project I selected), and finally enter my time for the week and a comment for what I accomplished.
I'll be thinking about it but there are multiple challenges if we wanted to keep Time Tracker simple but flexible. Users generally have very different ideas on how they want to use the system. Flexibility is great but comes with cost, too, so I am trying to find compromises where possible.

A weekly comment field in the database does not seem good to me, because of the additional problem it will create for reports, as user will expect to see it in there, and they are complicated already.

One option is to check whether we have the same comment for all week entries, truncate it nicely and add to the row label, which is currently Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1. If we do it, it may become:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - Truncated comment.

In future when multiple custom fields are introduced:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - ,,, - Custom Filed N - Truncated comment.

Probably cumbersome, but doable, and will address the need to see the weekly comment in week view.

A non standard field in the table extending some cells is currently not supported, so not a straightforward thing to do without significant complications.

I'll try to think about it more.

Nik
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:47 pm

dalescott wrote:Testing with an iPad Mini. The time boxes are too small using Chrome, the entire “HH:MM” is not visible.
I fixed this, hopefully, with a temporary style fix in 1.13.6.3715 by setting the control width to 60 pixels. Need to work more on styles, though, and do it properly, eventually.

dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:28 am

Thanks. I just pulled latest but haven't tested yet.
One option is to check whether we have the same comment for all week entries, truncate it nicely and add to the row label, which is currently Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1. If we do it, it may become:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - Truncated comment.

In future when multiple custom fields are introduced:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - ,,, - Custom Filed N - Truncated comment.
This seems reasonable.

Btw, what will be the architecture for multiple custom fields?

Cheers,
Dale

Nik
Posts: 489
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:54 am

Nik wrote:One option is to check whether we have the same comment for all week entries, truncate it nicely and add to the row label, which is currently Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1. If we do it, it may become:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - Truncated comment.

In future when multiple custom fields are introduced:

Client - Project - Task - Custom Field 1 - ... - Custom Filed N - Truncated comment.
Actually, it is not going to work if we want an editable comment. Looks like someone has to redo rendering of tables and introduce composite (or more complex) cells, after all.

dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:21 am

I didn't catch on that you had proposed to render the week comment as the last part of the row label. I see how that's not going to be editable.

How do you feel about a site config variable to select either weekly or daily time entry? Page rendering aside, I think treating daily and weekly as modes, and not supporting switching back and forth between the two would simply the logic. I'll look more at the page rendering code but don't expect miracles, my skills are closer to user than developer unfortunately.

Nik
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:54 pm

I enhanced the week view with a list of editable week records, where you can see entry comments and edit them by clicking on the Edit link that leads to an individual record edit page.

See attachment.

If / when I have more time, I plan to replace the list view with a table with editable comment column, in which one could hopefully modify multiple comments in one submit.

I hope this improves the week view.
Attachments
enhanced_week_view.png
Week view enhanced with editable week time records.
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dalescott
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Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by dalescott » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:28 am

Hi @Nik, you've been busy!

I pulled the latest changes and I think the basic user behavior is ok. I'm not sure if replacing the list with the table as per your mockup is a significant improvement. It could be confusing for users to click Edit on a row for a specific time entry to edit the common comment for the period (just determining if there is a common comment could be problematic in itself).

I found one issue with the current behavior. I just used Weekview to enter 4 hours on each of Monday to Friday with a comment. Then I added 2 more hours to Thursday. The text box didn't show the week comment, so I re-entered the old week comment plus a bit more and clicked Submit, the "new" comment didn't get saved (I had expected it to be saved to all the time entries again).

If the above issue can be dealt with, I think Weekview will be sufficient for those that insist on entering time weekly. Perhaps the Weekview text comments box can be a) the common comment in all the time entries in the week for that project/task, or, if there is no common comment, b) a notice that editing must now be done in Dayview.

Cheers,
Dale
Last edited by dalescott on Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nik
Posts: 489
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 5:55 pm

Re: Possible to enter time on a weekly basis?

Post by Nik » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:28 pm

dalescott wrote:I found one issue with the current behavior. I just used Weekview to enter 4 hours on each of Monday to Friday with a comment. Then I added 2 more hours to Thursday.
Added how? By editing the existing duration in the cell? That should keep the comment. Or by adding a new entry without providing a new comment in the textarea above? If you don't provide a comment for a new entry, is is saved without it.
dalescott wrote:The text box didn't show the week comment, so I re-entered the old week comment plus a bit more and clicked Submit, the "new" comment didn't get saved (I had expected it to be saved to all the time entries again).
The textarea as well as all other controls above it on top of the table apply to a new entry only (top row in the table). They do not apply to already existing rows in the table.

If I am missing something and the bug exists please clarify with a screenshot or some more details.

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