The efforts function of the ProjectTRACKER provides a time, effort documentation and tracking tool. You also get basic project status information from the tasks you are working with.
A typical efforts page in edit mode looks like:
|User|| User filter. Normal users can select only them-self. Team leaders and admins can select their team members.
Info: When no user is selected, normal users will see only their own tasks, project and team leaders will see all tasks within their program visibility.
|Task ID||ID of selected task. A certain task can be selected by clicking on the ID field.|
|Task Group1)||Task group filter.|
|Task Prio2)||Task prio filter. Prio must be given in format: 1,2,3 …|
|Date|| Week date to view or start date of week range in overview mode.
Note: You can start the Efforts page always with the current week date, when you add the parameter ..TaskEffort.php?EngineerWD=CURWEEK to your HTML bookmark of the page.
|Range3)||End date of week range in overview mode.|
|Clicking on the arrow moves one week back. Clicking on CWnm/xy link switches to the first recorded week.|
|Clicking on the arrow moves one week ahead. Clicking on CWnm/xy link switches to the last recorded week.|
|Today||Set Date to current week.|
|Opens the Reports page showing all reports including 1 in the report view.|
|Export to MS Excel sheet.|
Note: Clicking on the week forward / backward and other links might change also the Year setting!
|Overview Flag||Switches from the input mode to a summary / overview mode.|
|Include Operations4)||When selecting the check box you make all Operations tasks visible, even when the program filter is set to another program.|
|Show Totals5)||By selecting this check box you can see the overall effort of a Task in case several team members are working on the same task.|
|Include Team6)7)||By selecting this check box you see not only the efforts of the current selected user, but also the effort sum of all team members belonging to this user. In case you have selected no user, you see the efforts of all selected Tasks visible to you.|
The efforts inline report with the name _Efforts Page Report is shown right to the Selection form when defined by a user with “Report” rights.
|ID8)||Internal ID of the effort record. Clicking on a task ID will select all tasks with only this ID. A tool tip with the task description is shown when moving the mouse cursor over the ID field.|
|Program Group Task9)||Name of the program / task. Note: It is not possible to add a task in the Efforts page, when the same task has been added already in the same week.|
|Clicking on the icon will open the Task Effort Description. As editor the FCK Editor is used. Press the help icon to get infos on how to use the FCK editor. A blue icon indicates that there is a description available. A tool tip with the content of the description is shown as soon the mouse cursor is moved over this field.|
| Clicking on the activity icon will open the Task Activities page. A green icon indicates that activity assignments are defined.
Note: Activities must be enabled by the ProjectTRACKER PHP administrator - when not enabled or no activities have been defined for the related program you cannot see the icon!
|Clicking on the clock icon will open the Time Measurement utility. With the measurement utility you can start or stop the time measurement for a selected task. A running clock is indicated with a red clock icon. The clock icon is shown only when the current week is selected. Note: Stop stops the timer and saves the measured time, Cancel stops the timer without saving!|
|Prio10)||Prio of this task - in case task is done (remaining effort is 0) the priority entry is shown in green.|
|Task Status11)||Status of the task. The task status will be set based on the time recording and / or directly via the task owner.|
|Date12)||In case no date is selected in the Selection Filter, the week date when the effort was recorded is shown.|
|#Plan||The Effort planned in Tasks.|
|#Done||The effort done so far. Depending on the Show Totals check box you see your total effort or the total effort done by the team.|
|#Rem|| The remaining effort. Depending on the Show Totals check box you see your estimated remaining effort or the total remaining effort the team estimated.
Remaining effort is always the latest value entered. This can be also a greater value then the one in the previous week - means the remaining effort was underestimated!
|%Rem||The remaining effort in %. Depending on the Show Totals check box you see your estimated remaining effort in % or the total remaining effort in % the team estimated.|
|%Plan||The effort in % of the plan. Depending on the Show Totals check box you see your estimated total effort in % of the plan or the total effort in % of the plan estimated by all team members.|
|Day nm.xy||Current effort in hours for selected day in current week Date.|
|CWnm/xy||Current effort in hours for selected week / year. If Day values are entered this is the calculated sum of these. You can enter also days as e.g. 10d or the remaining effort in percent of the Tasks Effort via e.g. 10%.|
|Rem.(PD)||Estimation of remaining effort. This field should be updated at the end of the week, e.g. by the person responsible for the planning of this task. Effort is given in Person Days (PD). You can enter also hours as e.g. 1:20 - the smallest value ProjectTRACKER is accepting is 0.01 person days ~ 5 Min's. You can use a prefix notation to calculate the remaining effort automatically - see below description.|
|% Notation||Calculates the remaining effort in percent of the Tasks Effort, e.g. 10%.|
|& Notation||If you want to be sure that remaining and effort done added together is exactly the Tasks Effort use the 100& notation, with the value representing your allocation to this task, e.g. here 100%. You can also double-click in the Rem. field to automatically calculate the remaining and effort done to 100%.|
|! Notation||Calculates the exact remaining effort in correlation to the effort done as with &, but adds the effort deviation described in the Task Description - see also the following chapter Remaining Effort in combination with Task Description.|
|Del.||In case a check box □ is available you can delete the effort entry. When you move the mouse cursor over the field a tool tip shows the owner of this record. When you are not allowed to edit the record choose another filter criteria to reduce the list to entries you are allowed to edit.|
Note: If you cannot see / find certain programs or tasks check your View settings.
When remaining effort is maintained, it is highly recommended that only one person (e.g. the task owner) takes care. Here a short cookbook on handling the “remaining efforts” at the end of the week:
To make the remaining effort estimations more easy for the task owner add e.g. an additional column to your Task Description containing effort deviations like in the example below:
|Example Project : Specification|
|Description||Bla Bla Bla|
|Task Steps to do||Description||Responsible||Planned Effort||Min. Effort||Max. Effort||Risks/Issues identified||Effort Deviations||…|
|Step 1||Bla Bla Bla||Mr. X||10 PD||8- PD||12+ PD||Took more time …||+1! PD||…|
Let the task owner review the task by adding task deviations (positive and negative) and ideally also some descriptions why these deviations happened.
The deviations can be then used in the weekly updates of the remaining efforts via the '!' calculation function.
Just enter 100! in the remaining effort column as shown in the picture below:
ProjectTracker will calculate the remaining effort now on the basis:
Rem. := Plan + Deviation - Done
With the above example having a deviation of +1 PD the result will be 4.9 PD in comparison of 3.9 PD the 100& function will calculate. See also Detailed Planning via Task Description.
Note: Activities must be enabled by the ProjectTRACKER PHP administrator - when not enabled you cannot use this functionality!
Activities could be used to further refine a Task. Activities are defined per Program and could also have a global scope, means are visible for all programs with the same Top Level Group name. For further details see Program Activities.
Task activities are independent to task efforts and represent only a ratio / percental effort of the task efforts, means once defined for a week stay constant even when the task efforts are changed. Task activities should be maintained on a weekly basis and with a “round about” accuracy only. A typical task activities page looks like:
Note: In case activities are not visible (e.g. not active anymore or the global scope has changed) the text Hidden Activities! will be shown in the headline. When activities are hidden and the activity ratio is changed all hidden activities will be deleted!
|ID13)||Internal task activity ID. A tool tip with the activity description is shown when moving the mouse cursor over the ID field.|
|Name14)||Name of activity.|
|Percent||Percent of task time spend for this activity.|
|Hours||Hours of task time spend for this activity. Here always decimal hours are used.|
|Ratio||A slider gives a quick overview over the activity distribution. Values can be changed also by moving the sliders with the left mouse button pressed.|
|Update||Save task activity distribution. Task activities are always normalized to 100%. In case the total percentage of changed values is less then 100% the exact values are used, and the remaining ones are normalized.|
|Close||Close page without storing.|
|Full Edit||When Full Edit is clicked you can easily shift an already recorded task to another task. Note: It is not possible to shift efforts to a task already defined in the same week - here you have to simply add the efforts to one task and then delete the other task.|
|Copy Descr.||When Copy Descr. is clicked, Task Effort Descriptions from the previous week are also copied.|
|Update||Store time entries. Note: To save a new entry at least User and Date must be set!|
|Copy||Copy task assignments as defined by the copy select list below. The newly created time entries will be empty. Note: User and Date must be defined to see and use the copy functionality!|
|Copy from previous week||Copy the task assignment entries from previous week to the current week.|
|Copy from Plan||Copy all your task assignments from the current Plan to the current week.|
|Copy from scrum planning||Copy all task assignments from the current Scrum cycle with you as task owner to the current week.|
|Chown15)||Make assigned engineers owner of the their effort records.|
|Cancel||Reload page without storing.|
|Prio18)||Prio of task - in case task is done (remaining effort is 0) the priority entry is shown in green.|
|#Plan||The planned effort.|
|#Done||The total team effort done.|
|Done||The effort done by you.|
|#Rem||The remaining effort.|
|%Rem||The remaining effort in %.|
|%Plan||The effort in % of the Tasks Effort.|