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manage the reasons you allow resources to take time off


Info

When resources take time off, they need to provide a reason for it. From here you manage what those reasons are. It may be for a vacation, maternity leave, or jury duty. We recommend that you have your resources request their time off prior to taking it (if possible). With those hours scheduled in, the resource appears as unavailable for that day and won't be scheduled onto work they can't address.

Resources can optionally request time off from the Time Off section of Projector Web. In addition to requesting the time off, they must also report that time off in time entry. Previous time off, future time off, and time off balances are available for resources to review on their Time Off page.

Projector supports time off balances through hours tracking. These are enabled on a per reason basis. For example, you may track balances on vacation, but not on jury duty. An administrator enters your rollover and balance as of a certain date. We then track your balance from that date going forward. If, for whatever reason, a resources balance should change - then you can manually update their balance in Projector.

Projector does not support accrual calculations. This is because accrual is often a complicated equation driven by factors that differ for every organization (accrual rate, carryover days, comp days, etc). If you need a true, data-driven approach to your time off accruals, then you should use the ProjectorBI Introduction module to calculate and display it on a resource's home page.

For resources that need a long leave of absence, you should consider editing their resource profile and making them inactive rather than scheduling in a long period of time off. This can potentially reduce your monthly billing by reducing the number of active resources.

One aspect that sometimes confuses administrators is that resources must both request time off and enter time off. So Jim requests a week of vacation and then must also enter a week of vacation in time entry. This begs the common question - if Projector already knows Jim is taking the week off why doesn't it just fill hours into time entry automatically? Projector could, but has chosen not to for a specific business reason. It has been our experience that time off requests frequently change. Someone plans it, but then changes it last minute, or ends up working when they weren't expecting it. Rather than asking your users and administrators to re-enter and approve every small change - we simply ask the resource to tell us what really happened during their scheduled week off. History will always be correct because it has already happened! Note that Holidays are treated differently. For Holidays we find the inverse is true - holidays don't tend to change at the last minute. In addition, most resources actually take their holidays off. So Projector assumes you don't work on a holiday and no time entry is required. The goal in both cases is to reduce the administrative burden of tracking time.

This form is reached from the Administration Tab | Job Accounting Subsection | Time Off Reasons.

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Permissions and Settings

To view this area you need the global permission System Settings set to View.

To make changes to time off reasons you must have the global permission System Settings set to Update.

To make changes to available hour balances you must have the global permission Resource Available Time Off set to Update.

Resources report their scheduled time off from Time Entry and can view their upcoming scheduled time off from their Time Off page. If the system setting Show-to-date is enabled for your installation, they will also be able to view accumulated time-off on their My Home Page..

Approvers for time off requests are determined by the cost center permission Approve and Maintain Resource Time Off.

Approvers for time off entry are determined by anyone who is the direct manager for a resource, or who has the cost center permission Approve Time.

When requesting time off, you may optionally send a message to time off approvers.

When confirming time off, you may optionally send a message to the resource.

Your minimum time off requesting granularity is determined by scheduling granularity. The minimum you can schedule off may range from 3 minutes to 8 hours.

Your maximum time off request is limited to 365 days.

You can find outstanding time off requests by going to the resource editor and ticking the checkbox Limit to resources with time off or skill awaiting my approval.

Resources can be marked inactive rather than scheduled to be off. We recommended this for extended (multi-month) leaves of absence.

Time-off reasons can be limited on a per resource type basis. For example, perhaps your contractors only get sick time, but salaried individuals get personal days, vacation, and maternity leave.

Manage Time Off Reasons

The main screen shows all the time off reasons in your installation. Here you can create, edit, delete, and reorder them.

Add 

Click Edit. Click the New button at the bottom of the table. 

Edit

Click EditClick anywhere in the Name column and adjust the text as necessary.

Reorder

Click EditWhen schedulers choose time off reasons or time entry users enter their time off, they are shown in the same order as you see on this screen. Use the up/down buttons (  ) on the upper right side of the form to put them in a new sort order.

Delete

Click EditClick the Delete button in the appropriate row. If the time off reason has ever been used on a time card or there is any existing scheduled time off you won't be able to delete it. You should inactivate it instead. This limitation is because Projector needs to keep an accurate history of all time cards in the system.

Inactive

Click EditTick the Inactive checkbox in the appropriate row. Inactive time off reasons cannot be chosen when scheduling future time off or entering future hours. Existing entries will continue to persist.


Edit Available Time Off Hours

When a time off reason has Track Available Hours enabled, then a new button called Edit Available Hours is displayed. Click it to open the Edit Available Time Off editor. This is where you set time off, for a particular time off reason, available to each resource.

To define a resource's available time off:

  1. Select the resource from the list on the left.
  2. Click New, to enter the start of a new time off period by entering an as of date.
  3. Enter rollover hours. If you enter a number, then that will be the number of available hours at the start of the time off period that are rolled over from the previous time off period. If left blank, then the rollover hours will be computed from the available hours at the end of the previous period (which is based on the previous period's rollover hours, granted hours, and total time off reported).
  4. Enter grant hours. These are additional available hours granted starting on the as of date. For example, if you expect Sally to work the whole year, and if she gets 120 hours of vacation, and you want her to see that she those hours are available as of the start of the year, then enter 120 as of January 1.

  5. Click Save (resources whose characteristics will change are marked with an asterisk).

In summary, Projector calculates available time off hours during the time off period as follows. Note that if rollover hours are blank, then they are calculated as described above.

Code Block
Available Time Off Hours = Rollover Hours + Grant Hours - Time Off hours reported during the time off period

The available hours can be negative.

Bulk Load Available Time Off Hours

Projector has created a secure utility to facilitate the bulk loading of time off balances into Projector. When a time off reason has Track Available Hours enabled, you can perform a bulk upload of new time off grant and rollover hours. This is an alternative to entering grant and rollover hours manually.

Application Access

The application can be accessed from here: https://projector-available-time-off-uploader.azurewebsites.net - Production site

To log into the application you will need your Projector User ID, your Projector password (an SSO password will not work, so the user must be setup to have SSO optional), and your Projector account code. In order to actually upload a file and make changes to the available hours balances you must have the global permission Resource Available Time Off set to Update.

Instructions for Upload

Please choose a CSV file on your device.  If necessary, select the encoding to use when reading that CSV file.  When you hit the Submit Upload Task button, your file will be uploaded and each record will be imported by Projector as a Resource Available Time Off entry. 

If the operation as a whole succeeds, a copy of your CSV file will be downloaded to your device with two additional columns.  _PpsaStatus will display the Status of that record, indicating success or failure.  _PpsaMessage will contain additional information about why a record failed to upload.  You will likely want to edit that file, by optionally removing all successfully uploaded records and fixing the failed records, and then you may re-upload the correct file.

File and Field Formats

The input CSV file MUST have the following three columns with the first row of the spreadsheet being these column headings exactly, in any order:

ResourceReferenceSystemId (string, Projector employee id)

AsOfDate (date with no time component; it is highly suggested to use the format yyyy-MM-dd; the program does the upload based on a US date format where month comes before day)

TimeOffReasonName (string, must match a Time Off Reason in Projector that has Track Available Hours selected)

The input CSV file should additionally have at least one (but possibly both) of the following two columns, in any order:

StartingAvailableHours (decimal / floating point; use this field to set a starting balance- set to zero if no hours will roll over from the prior period; leave blank if all remaining hours should roll over; set to a specific value if you intend for a specific number of hours to roll over.)

AdditionalAvailableHours (decimal / floating point; use this field to set the hours granted as of a particular date)       

Any additional columns will be ignored.

Please note that the uploader converts the hours to minutes via floating point arithmetic, and rounds to the nearest whole number of minutes. Please be careful to ensure that any fractional hours provided as input will properly convert to the number of minutes you intend to upload.

Projector recommends testing the upload on a limited number of resources prior to using the program, to ensure that you get the results that you intend.

Here is an Excel template that you can download to facilitate the upload: Template for Uploading Time off Grants and Rollover Hours . Delete Column A and Rows 2 – 5 prior to uploading your data.


In Practice

Here are some high level examples of using time off reasons. Please visit the individual help pages for each section to learn more detailed information.

Request Time Off

Resources who have time off requests enabled on their user profile can visit the Time Off area and request or book the dates they need.

Confirm Time Off

Time off managers can edit a resource profile and manually enter scheduled time off, approve time off requests, view time off request history, and view PTO balances.


Enter Time Off

Your users will also need to enter their time off in the Projector time entry interface. 


Time Off Year to Date

If the system setting Show-to-date is enabled then your resources will see the amount of vacation they have taken this year and last year on their dashboards.

Time Off and Scheduling

When resources view their dashboards, they will see their future scheduled time off.

When project managers and schedulers are planning projects, they will see these resources as unavailable on their days off. In this screenshot you can see the scheduled time off on the resourcing dashboard.

Resource Types

Limit who can take time-off to specific resource types. In the screenshot below I have limited my hourly people to only have access to certain types.