Office 365 Project Time Reporter–and a very useful timesheet tip


Yesterday saw the announcement and availability of the Office 365 Project Time Reporter iOS app – which allows team members to use their iOS devices to submit timesheets and report progress on tasks tracked in Project Online.  You can get it from the Apple Store now – and there will be Android and Windows versions following later this year.  I downloaded it for my support iPad and put it through its paces!

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These are a couple of screenshots from the iPad where I’ve entered time against a few tasks (The MSN_MailTest task may well appear in another blog post in the near future!) as well as putting in some vacation time.  The next screenshot is the scrolled down view showing the vacation time and the totals – as well as the navigation options to select previous and next weeks – along with save and send, a filter option for Projects and the ‘+’ to add new tasks.

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Once I’d sent these I could see the result over on my Project Online tenant:

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Plenty more details over on support.office.com which shows the UI you’d see with a smaller device.

And now for the timesheet tip – and for me this helps to avoid a Project Server 2013 timesheet bug that we are currently fixing (already fixed in Project Online, but still exists in Project Server 2016).  One thing that sometimes confuses customers is that in Single Entry Mode the timesheet is really just a window onto a task (in reality an assignment) that may span multiple weeks and multiple timesheets – and if you have time entered in this week’s timesheet and you then submit last weeks timesheet this will send the task updates for both weeks (but not the timesheet).  This isn’t the bug – this is all perfectly normal and expected (at least by me!).  Where a bug crept in was if you enter more time on the same task in the current week and then just send final timesheet (without hitting save first) then this additional time would just get saved but wouldn’t actually submit until you sent a further update – for example the following week.  You could also send this by drilling through from the timesheet to the task detail page and not changing anything but just clicking ‘Send’ (Or even using the ‘SubmitStatusForResource’ PSI method if you find you have a few of these to fix).

The tip that could help avoid this came from Elli Johnston’s blog (and I probably wouldn’t have said the page was evil!) by helping your users from accidentally entering time in the wrong week.  I guess the design of the page and navigation assumes that users are capturing time as they go along – but for many customers they could well be entering for last week – and not ready for this week until next week – but when you click ‘Timesheet’ – it will create this week’s timesheet for you!  The blog post describes how you can make the link navigate to the Manage Timesheet page instead – as well as other safeguards to keep users in the timesheet you want them to be in!  The Office 365 Project Time Reporter also goes to the current week by default… You can still hit this issue by working across two old timesheets – the current timesheet isn’t key to the problem – but the way the page defaults to creating this weeks timesheet may well make it more common.

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Comments (5)

  1. Brian,

    Do you know if there is any plan to incorporate SSO with this tool as our company would find this very useful but as we go through a SSO doesnt seem to configure properly.

    1. I don't know Krishnan - I'll ask. Do other Microsoft iOS Apps you use - for example the SharePoint one - work with SSO?
      Best regards,
      Brian

  2. It's the same behavior as PWA. Unfortunate, but not evil. It would be nice to default it to the next timesheet not created or after last submitted. Down side is that it might be different in different scenarios, but would be a nice option. Hmm, is it in the user voice??

  3. Julian says:

    Hello Brain, I tried to use solely 'tasks' or 'tasks and timesheets' without single entry mode, but I was not able to enter actual work in the task details. For whatever reason I can only edit the remaining work. Is this a normal behavior? BR, Julian

    1. I'm seeing the same Julian - even after setting different options for task updating (% work complete, free form etc.) Only remaining work is editable. I'm just getting clarification as the help text at https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Office-365-Project-Time-Reporter-for-iPhone-510160e0-bd7f-46c7-a49b-788aeed1bcef?ui=en-US&rs=en-US&ad=US suggests you can enter task progress.
      Best regards,
      Brian.

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