# Improvement: Time reporting

My colleagues and I often work on multiple projects at once, where our commitment might differ from day to day. Reporting daily, or at least weekly (if you have a really good memory), ensures that we don’t forget how many hours we spend and where. Even in the case of a month consisting of identical days, I have a hard time getting a quick overview of what’s going on in the current time reporting tool.

With the current solution in erpnext I would be reporting time at least twice every day before and after lunch. For the sake of argument, let’s say this takes 30 seconds per time, meaning one minute per day. Every month would be about 30 minutes. In a year this is 360 minutes give or take.

Now say I have 10 employees, and I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. Time reporting alone will account for 10360 = 3600 minutes. This is 60 hours of time. If a consultant is normally charging 120 USD/hour this means a net cost of 60120 = 7200 USD in just time reporting. An expensive time reporting system in other words.

No matter which solution you go for, the current list is rather pointless; it doesn’t actually say anything in itself. Rather than displaying a myriad of individual reports detailing parts of a day (which you would have to open to know anything about), I would display it as a calendar. Days are columns, activities are rows.

Each employee has his own calendar and using arrows you can move through the months to easily get an overview of how busy the employee has been. From there on I would suggest two modes, a “quick”, and a “detailed”. The quick mode is similar to the one I am arguing for; each cell is a textbox where you put the amount of hours you worked, that auto-saves on input. Setting the hours would be as easy as tabbing through the boxes.

The detailed mode keeps the calendar view but brings up a lightbox-div or similar where you enter the details for that day and activity, rather than just the hours.

Just ponder this use-case: find out what John did in February 2012:
- Open Johns calendar, one click.
- Jump to February 2012, assuming the use of two dropdowns, 4 clicks.

Benefits over the current solution:
1. The user (or admin?) gets to choose the granularity of the reporting.
2. The calendar gives a clear and instantaneous overview of the users activities on a monthly basis.
3. It saves a lot of time and/or money.

Same with the auto-save feature and the quick mode. Time reporting would be done in a breeze. The current form could be re-used for the detailed mode as well.

With my current time reporting tools written in-house I can do time-reporting for a whole month in 10 SECONDS (yes, seconds). This is a total of 120 seconds in a year, assuming you are working all months of the year. Sadly this tool is not as competent as erpnext in other aspects.

What do you guys think?

Joseph,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Currently your proposed solution would take a long time to build. Also I would strongly disagree with your analysis.

If someone needs to switch an activity to record a timesheet, the time taken in a software is not the bottle-neck. The bottleneck would be the time taken to do the switch and change the context of the work to fill out the timesheet. Sometimes, it may also be a welcome break from other routine activity.

Personally, I don't think it should matter how each employee is spending each and every minute. Again, it depends on your type of work, but I think its far more important what they are able to deliver what is expected within the broad constraints of your environement.

best,
Rushabh

W: https://erpnext.com
T: @rushabh_mehta

On 25-Jan-2013, at 4:23 PM, Josef <jn...@gmail.com> wrote:

My colleagues and I often work on multiple projects at once, where our commitment might differ from day to day. Reporting daily, or at least weekly (if you have a really good memory), ensures that we don't forget how many hours we spend and where. Even in the case of a month consisting of identical days, I have a hard time getting a quick overview of what's going on in the current time reporting tool.

With the current solution in erpnext I would be reporting time at least twice every day before and after lunch. For the sake of argument, let's say this takes 30 seconds per time, meaning one minute per day. Every month would be about 30 minutes. In a year this is 360 minutes give or take.

Now say I have 10 employees, and I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. Time reporting alone will account for 10*360 = 3600 minutes. This is 60 hours of time. If a consultant is normally charging 120 USD/hour this means a net cost of 60*120 = 7200 USD in just time reporting. An expensive time reporting system in other words.

No matter which solution you go for, the current list is rather pointless; it doesn't actually say anything in itself. Rather than displaying a myriad of individual reports detailing parts of a day (which you would have to open to know anything about), I would display it as a calendar. Days are columns, activities are rows.

Each employee has his own calendar and using arrows you can move through the months to easily get an overview of how busy the employee has been. From there on I would suggest two modes, a "quick", and a "detailed". The quick mode is similar to the one I am arguing for; each cell is a textbox where you put the amount of hours you worked, that auto-saves on input. Setting the hours would be as easy as tabbing through the boxes.

The detailed mode keeps the calendar view but brings up a lightbox-div or similar where you enter the details for that day and activity, rather than just the hours.

Just ponder this use-case: find out what John did in February 2012:
- Open Johns calendar, one click.
- Jump to February 2012, assuming the use of two dropdowns, 4 clicks.

Benefits over the current solution:
1. The user (or admin?) gets to choose the granularity of the reporting.
2. The calendar gives a clear and instantaneous overview of the users activities on a monthly basis.
3. It saves a lot of time and/or money.

Same with the auto-save feature and the quick mode. Time reporting would be done in a breeze. The current form could be re-used for the detailed mode as well.

With my current time reporting tools written in-house I can do time-reporting for a whole month in 10 SECONDS (yes, seconds). This is a total of 120 seconds in a year, assuming you are working all months of the year. Sadly this tool is not as competent as erpnext in other aspects.

What do you guys think?

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