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March 1, 2024

Configure and Use Timesheets with Microsoft Project Online

Configuring Timesheets in Microsoft Project Online

Our recommended configuration for project online timesheets is pretty simple. We like to have the Timesheet be the one-stop-shop for all time. We therefore use Single Entry Mode (SEM). That along with entering hours for each task, for each day of the week. Configuration as follows:

Page: Task Settings and Display

  • Tracking Method: Hours of work done per period (Resources report their hours worked on each task per period.)
  • Reporting Display: Resource should report their hours worked every day
  • Protect User Updates: Only allow task updates via Tasks and Timesheets (Particularly helpful to ensure Actual Work is only the result of what Team Members on timesheet. Otherwise adjustments of task details, such as dates, work, etc., may inadvertently change Actual Work.

Page: Timesheet Settings and Defaults

  • Default Timesheet Creation Mode: Current task assignments (This setting determines what project tasks are on your timesheet by default when you create it. This selection ensures tasks that have work scheduled for the current Time Reporting Period show up on the users Timesheet.
  • Timesheet Grid Columns: Days (This setting specifies that each column on the Timesheet represents Days).
  • Default Reporting Unit: Hours (This setting specifies the unit the Team Member should specify in each cell of the Timesheet to represent task progress for time tracking purposes.
  • Timesheet Policies: Allow future time reporting (This selection allows Team Members to enter time that occurs in the future. This is especially helpful for project managers when scheduling Team Members to project work, as it helps ensure a Team Members availability reflects reality.
  • Single Entry Mode: Selected (This selection ensures both project related tasks and administrative tasks show up in a Team Members timesheet.

The Timesheet in Project Online certainly has a number of options when it comes to configuring it in the Microsoft PPM solution. Project Web App is robust, and as such has many options. If you were to visit the MS Project Online documentation on the Microsoft website you'd quickly see the configuration options are robust.

Page: Time Reporting Periods

Define Bulk Period Parameters

You can simultaneously create multiple periods by using the bulk period creation option. We usually create Time Reporting Periods that are one (1) week in duration. Therefore we're creating 52 annually.

Define Batch Naming Convention

When you create multiple time reporting periods, it is recommended to use a unique name for each period. I will quite often use a prefix that reflects the year, such as "FY24-"

Create Periods

This section allows you to create time reporting periods using Insert Before and Insert After buttons. You may also use the Delete button to remove Time Reporting Periods.

The Benefits of Microsoft Project Online

Project Managing is a juggling act that requires delivering complex projects in the correct order — on time. It's for this reason that Microsoft Project Online exists.

But what is Microsoft's Project Online? Read more to find out.

What Is Microsoft's Project Online?

Microsoft Project Online is a cloud-based software solution designed to be a fully integrated project portfolio management (PPM) tool for all users of an organization. This would be from the Project Management Office, to executives, to the Team members doing the work of the project.

A project management tool curial to project managers, with four out of five project managers stating they can't do their job without them.

Microsoft's Project Online tool, which includes MS Project, consolidates all the data related to multiple projects and turns it into visuals that are easy to understand and will prioritize tasks, making resource material easier to access, as well as:

  • Automating scheduling
  • Task assigning
  • And will generate performance reports

And with this PPM tool being developed by Microsoft, it can integrate with the entire Microsoft 365 suite and their OneDrive cloud base solution..

The Benefits of Using Microsoft's Project Online

There are many benefits of utilizing Microsoft's PPM software solution, which include:

Collaborating Is Easier

No project can be completed in isolation. With PPMs being developed for easier collaboration, everyone is now on the same page. Your collaboration hub is primarily done via the Project Site.

Here your team can collaborate on Documents, Issues, and Risks. Also included is a OneNote notebook, team calendar, and other team-friendly objects.

Adding users to Microsoft Project Online is a simple task.

With Project Online, you can assign individuals direct tasks to complete with deadlines and reminders. Also, all communications and project updates are done in real-time. Considering the importance of communication to project success, this is a BIG DEAL!

A common issue that leads to the failure to adopt a PPM is individuals not using the software. To overcome this issue, your software solution must be easy to use.

Luckily, most corporate workers will be familiar with Microsoft. In addition, Office 365 Microsoft Project the desktop application has been used by project managers for many years. This also makes adoption of Microsoft PPM much easier.

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