Providing Team Member Updates

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Audience

Team members or others providing updates on tasks, issues or work

Description

If you are a Project Insight team member, being asked to provide task updates, then this is the session for you. We cover the different ways to update task percentage complete, add comments and enter time.

Benefits

  • Learn the different ways to provide task updates
  • Figure out the best method for your team

Key Points


Transcript

This session covers the basic functions that team members working on projects are typically expected to perform.

Team members play an important role in project management as the updates you provide as a team member help to ensure that projects are delivered on time and on budget.

Accessing Work Assignments

What you’re seeing is a typical team member Home Screen which can be accessed by going to the My Insight menu option and selecting Home Screen.

From this Home Screen, you can easily access all of your assignments and the information that is important to you as a team member.

You’re going to see how to access two of the most common options for a Team Member, which is managing your tasks and your issues. There are other things you can do as team member such as manage your to-dos, approval request and other items, but those topics aren’t covered in this session.

You’ll also see what the Work List is, and how that can be used.

Now, the red number indicates how many of the items there are in that particular section based on your current filter settings.

You can see by the red number on tasks that you have tasks that are currently assigned to you and need to have work done on them.

Click on Tasks to see a list of them.

If you have any overdue tasks, you will see the End Date appearing in red. This is a visual indicator that this task is late and you need to start working on it. You’ll also need to notify your project manager that it’s late and you will see some options for doing that later on.

But if everything is going well, you won’t have any overdue tasks, so you can just start working on the first one on the list or the one with the earliest End Date.

Updating the Work Status

As you’re working on a task, you’ll want to update the status of that task.

You don’t want to update the status just when it’s completed. You want to update it while it’s in progress. This gives your project managers the data they need to ensure the project is on track and to identify when it isn’t so they can make adjustments to address the situation.

Your system or project administrators will determine rules for when they expect you to update status, but a best practice is to do it as soon as you stop working on it. That may be because the task is finished or you switch to another task or you take a break or it’s the end of the day.

Since you are already on the Home Screen accessing your tasks, you can also update the task status right from there as well.

To do that, click on the current status for the task.

The Update Status Layer appears.

On this layer, the first option you have is the ability to update the Work Status.

Click on the drop down for the Work Status.

You will see the different options that are available.

Your system administrator will have set up these different Work Status definitions.

As a team member on a project, you don’t necessarily see that each of these statuses equates to a percent complete value in the backend of the system.

For example, Not Started equates to 0%, Started equals to 25% complete, In Progress is 50%, Almost Done represents 75% and Done equates to 100% complete.

These metrics that are attached to these work statuses are used by the system to calculate the health of a project.

If you do have more analytical types in your organization, your system administrator could change the configuration of the system to enable team members to enter an actual percent complete number or even an estimate of the time remaining.

However, in most cases, you as a team member only have to worry about choosing the work status that most closely describes how far along you are on a task.

Click what most appropriately describes how far along on the task you are, such as Started.

You can also see the number of hours that was planned for this task.

And you can see if any hours were previously entered against this task.

If you think you are going to need more hours than what is indicated to complete the task, then again, it’s your responsibility to communicate that to your project manager so even though the project manager will be monitoring that separately, you want to be as pro-active as possible.

Updating Task Actual Start and End Dates

You can also enter in the Actual Start Date and Actual End Date of the task.

Click on the Advanced label to expand that section.

You can see that you can enter the Actual Start Date and time and Actual End Date and time.

Click in the box to type in the date or click on the calendar to select the date.

If you don’t have these options showing, then it’s because your system may have been configured to automatically populate the dates.

If you’re a project manager on this project, you will see other options such as 100% complete status confirmed by a Project Manager and Re-calculate the scheduled based on the actual start and end dates. Touch on those boxes to turn those options on. If you’re a resource on a project and not a project manager then you won’t see some of the options.

Click on the Advanced label to collapse that section.

Go ahead now and click Save.

You can see that the status has been updated to Started.

In some organizations, that’s all you will be required to do. Update the task status so that project managers, other team members and your executives will know what the status of the project is, and if there are any problems, they can be addressed before it delays the schedule, causes cost overruns or affect your customer or other projects.

Adding a Comment to Tasks

However, it may be applicable to communicate more than just the task status and you can do this with comments.

The first place you’ll see to enter comments is also from the Update Status layer, so click on the Status again for the task.

Click on the Comment label to expand out that section.

You can see you can now type in a comment, so go ahead and do that.

For example, enter ‘things look good so far.’

This comment will be recorded against the task and will be visible to project managers and others working on the project or looking at the status.

By entering comments, you can reduce the number of emails, phone calls and interruptions you get. Stakeholders can simply go to the task and see where it is, without having to talk to you.

If the task was late, for example, and the end date was red, you can also enter a comment here explaining the reason why. Then project managers can be set up to receive automatic notifications when any type of comment is entered. That topic is covered in another training session.

Click on the Comment label to collapse that section.

The information that you just entered is still retained.

Entering Time

You are also able to enter time in the Update Status layer.

Click on the Time label to expand out that section.

The date of the time entry defaults to the current date.

Type in a different date or click on the calendar icon to choose a date from the calendar.

For now, just leave the default date so click anywhere on the white space to close the calendar.

Click on the Time Code box to change the time code from the default.

For example, change it to Programming.

Now enter the Actual Hours that you worked on this task.

You can also enter a Description for the time entry.

The Description is different than the Comments that you entered previously. Comments get recorded against a task, while the description gets recorded against the time entry.

Enter a description such as Updated documentation.

You may also see a Billable option. This setting will show depending on the settings for this project so you may not have it on your form. Click on the Is Billable option to toggle it on or off if that’s applicable and depending on the situation.

Now click Save.

Now, that time entry as well as the comment has been recorded against the task.

Viewing the Task Details

In some instances, you may want to see more information about the task than what is displayed on the Home Screen.

To see that, click on the task title to go to the task detail form.

Here you can see information such as the scheduled start and end date of the task, who the task is assigned to, if there are additional resources, and the expected amount of work it’s going to take and the current percent complete.

There are more details under each of these sections and you can click on the title of a section to expand out that section and see that information.

For example, if you click on the Details section, you can see the Actual Start and End Date if they’ve been entered, the Work Hours Remaining and the Resource Type role that’s required on this task.

Click on the Details section to collapse that section again.

The system will remember whether different sections are expanded or collapsed so that you don’t have to set them each time.

Comments

You can also review comments about the task on the comments tab.

You can see the comment you entered previously.

You can add also add a comment from this form by clicking on the plus sign icon.

Type in the Comment, such as keep up the good work and click Save.

Now, your new comment is displayed and is visible to anyone who has access to this Project and this Task.

You’ll see that it’s time and date stamped so you know when that comment was entered and by whom.

Time

You can also add time entries and see the time entries that were already entered for this task by clicking on the Time tab.

Any time that you or any another resource entered against this task, the entry will be listed.

You can add a new time entry by simply typing in the information in the gray blank line at the top.

Enter the actual hours.

Change or enter the other information as required such as the date or time code.

On this tab, you are seeing some additional details such as Actual Rate and Billing Rate. Only project managers see this information. Team members won’t see this level of detail. You’re seeing it here because this user is assigned as a project manager on this project.

Using the Timer

Another way to enter time is to leverage the Timer.

From this time tab, click on the Use Timer icon.

This brings up the timer layer.

To start the clock, click on the Start Timer icon .

You can see that it starts recording the time. You can now go off and do the work for the task and when you’re done working on the task, you come back to the Timer and click the Stop Timer icon.

You can have as many of these timers running at one time as you want and you can toggle them on and off as you work on different tasks. Just be careful that you stop one before starting another if you choose to have multiple timers open at once.

The other thing you can do while you’re running the timer is to add time. Say for example, you worked on the task already for an hour and forgot to start the clock.

Just change the hour to 1 by clicking on the drop down and selecting it.

Click on the Start Timer icon again..

This starts the time running from the time you already had on the clock plus the hour.

Click the Stop Timer icon,

Now you can enter a description for the time entry if you need to.

Then when you’re finished work on this task and want to close the timer, click the Update time entry icon .

The time recorded by the timer will be posted to the task but it is not yet saved.

You can see that once the line where the time entry has been made, the entry is still in edit mode. You can make more changes if you require, then click the save icon to actually save it.

The timer does not enter time, it transfer it from the timer utility onto an editable line where you can make changes if you need to and then save it.

Entering Expenses

From the Task Detail form, you can enter time, but from this same form, you can also enter any hard costs that have occurred on that task.

To do that, click on the Expense tab.

For example, if you had to purchase supplies to complete this task, you may enter that total expense in the Actual Cost field.

Or alternatively, enter in a quantity and a unit price and the system will calculate the total actual cost.

Also, you can change the date of the expense, change the expense code and enter a description if you require.

Then click Save to save that.

Now that’s tracking any non-labor costs against your task. You’ll see another way to enter expenses in a moment.

Posting an Issue

As a team member, while you’re working on tasks, you may encounter problems and you may need to record those as issues in a formal manner because an action must be taken or it must be brought to someone’s attention.

To add an Issue for a task, from the task details form, hover on the add icon and select issue.

The Issue add form appears.

The first thing you need to enter is the name of the Issue which is usually a short description.

Enter something like I won’t have time off sick, please reschedule

Then you can enter a more detailed description.

We cover issue management in detail in another training session called Track, Manage and Report on Issues, so we won’t cover all this detail now, but we will cover a few main things.

First, you do want to ensure that you assign the issue to someone.

To do that, click on the drop down for the Assigned To and select the appropriate person.

You’ll also see that this issue is automatically affiliated to the project and task from which it was created.

Go ahead and click save.

To see that issue, click on the Related Items section to expand it out.

You will see the issue listed.

Click on the issue name to display the issue details.

You can see the issue is assigned to this resource. The system is configured by default to automatically send an email notification to a resource when they are assigned an issue. It will also appear on this resources issue list or work list.

You can also see that this is pending right now. When Jill logs into the system, she will have the ability to accept responsibility of this issue or decline it. The software will send the notification back to you of her action.

Any team member can assign an issue to another team member. You don’t need to be a project manager on a project to do this.

So that’s the two main activities you need to do as a team member, manage tasks and manage issues.

Dashboard

You’ve seen how you access your list of tasks, issues and other work from the Home Screen.

You can also access it via a Dashboard.

Click on My Insight to see your default Dashboard.

What you’re seeing here is a typical team member dashboard with tasks, issues and projects. There is also a work list and you’ll see later on what that is and why you may use that.

Click on the arrow next to the Tasks label to expand out that section.

You’ll see the list of tasks that are assigned to you to work on.

You can access the tasks on the list and update them, the same way you did it from the Home Screen.

Go ahead and click on the arrow next to the Tasks label to collapse that section.

Then, click on the arrow next to the Issues label to expand out that section.

You can see all the Issues that are currently assigned to you and that require attention.

Click on the arrow next to the Issues label to collapse that section.

Work List from the Dashboard

You’ve seen this Work List on the Home Screen and now on the Dashboard.

The Work List is a consolidated list of all the items in Project Insight that are assigned to you. This could include tasks, issues and to-dos as well as approval requests, custom items, project requests and workflows.

Click on the arrow next to the Work Lists label to expand out that section.

You’ll see the list currently contains both tasks and issues.

You can identify what an item is by the icon and if you hover on the icon, you’ll also see what type of item it is.

Work List from the Home Screen

So your work list can be accessed from the dashboard, but if you hover on My Insight and select Home Screen, you can see the Work List here as well.

You could click on tasks to see only the tasks assigned to you. Click on issues to see just see issues, or you can click on the Work List to see everything assigned to you.

You can also update status and interact with the information on here the same way as you did on the task list.

View your Work List via an RSS Feed

There is another way you can view your work list and that’s via an RSS feed.

To do that, click on the RSS feed icon.

This icon will only be visible if your System Administrator has enabled it.

On the RSS Options layer, click on New URL.

You see that it will give you a URL. You can copy this URL into your Outlook and make it an Outlook RSS field or make it a Sharepoint RSS feed. You can even put these into applications like Facebook or your Google apps portal page.

This is a convenient way to feed your list of work items into other websites that you may use more frequently.

Click X to close the RSS options layer.

Click X to close your Work List layer.

Enter Time from the Time Entry Grid

So far, you’ve seen how you can access your work list from either the Home Screen or from the Dashboard and you’ve also seen how you can update the status and time from there or from the task details form.

Doing it that way supports a process of working on one individual task at a time.

Another process you can use is to enter time for multiple tasks all at once.

The first way to do this is with the Time Entry Grid.

Go to My Insight, hover on time and select Time Entry Grid.

If you need to account for the time spent all week, you may choose to enter everything from this one form instead of going to each individual task.

Or if you’d like to get a high level overview of all your tasks for the week or given time period, you may also choose to use this form to do your time entry.

To see the tasks for a particular project, click on the arrow next to the projuect name to expand that section.

You can expand one or all the projects that are listed.

The software will remember these settings for the next time you go to this form.

There are a number of tasks that are scheduled to be worked on this week for a few different projects. To enter time on the time entry grid, simply enter your time for the day on the different tasks you worked on.

At the bottom of the grid, you’ll notice that all of your hours for the week and day are automatically adding up. That includes totals for what you are just entering now, plus totals of these entries and anything entered previously.

After you have finished entering all of your time, click Save and that will save it to the database.

You can see the hours that are now saved because they are displayed on a separate line below the task.

Entering a Description

You can change other information as well from this grid such as the work status and the time code.

If you want to enter a description for the time entry, whenever you’re in one of these boxes, you’ll see the little triangle in the corner, click on it and the description layer will appear:

Enter in a description.

Click on the X to save the entry and close the layer.

Time Entry Worksheet

Another way to enter time for multiple tasks is on the Time Entry Worksheet.

To access the Time Entry Worksheet, Go to My Insight, hover on Time and select the Time Entry Worksheet option.

The Worksheet will show you all the time entries you have already entered for the given time period. This includes all time entries that were entered with any of the methods shown so far, such as the Home Screen, the Dashboard, the task detail screen or the Time Entry Grid.

You can also add new entries on this form as well.

You can add an entry by entering the details in the gray blank line at the top.

Select the Company if that’s applicable. For now click on the drop down for the Company and set it to No Selection.

Click on the drop down for the project and select the project that you’re entering time for.

Click on the drop down for the task and select the task that you’re entering for.

Change the Date or Time code if necessary.

Enter the Actual Hours.

Enter a Description.

Click the Save icon on the line.

Once you save an entry, it will organize all the entries by the date that they were entered so you can see how much time in total you spent on a given day.

There is another training session that goes into detail about how to enter time and submit it for approval but basically once you’ve entered all your time for the time period and reviewed it, you can click on the Create/Submit Time Sheet option.

Creating Expenses on the Expense Worksheet

You’ve entered expenses one way, from the Task Detail screen.

However, you can you also enter Expenses from the Expense Entry Worksheet.

Go to My Insight, hover on Expenses and select Expense Entry Worksheet.

Any entries that were previously made for this time period will be listed.

You enter a new expense entry in the gray blank line at the top.

Select the Project, then select the Task, then set the Expense Code.

Then enter in the total actual cost.

Click Save.

You can also attach a receipt for the expense. You can scan receipts or if you purchased online you may have a PDF receipt that you can upload.

If you want to upload a scanned receipt, click on the Expense Receipt icon. You can then browse to the receipt file and upload it.

That is covered in more detail on other training sessions.

Now, you should understand the most common functions that you, as a Team Member, are expected to perform on a typical day.

Online 7/28/2015
Updated on: