Please note that this article no longer applies starting with Timesheets version 9.x.
We are in the midst of vacation season here at Tempo and almost every other desk is empty at the moment. Since it's vacation season in many places as well, we wanted to show you how we use time planning and planning approval process to help our teams plan and manage vacation planning with Tempo Timesheets.
In this case, we’ll create an internal issue for employee vacation planning with Tempo Timesheets, plan time as a team member on internal issues, and show how to implement Tempo Timesheets’ approval process to make sure that you, as a manager or a team lead, and your team remain in sync. This use case is an updated version of previous Tempo Timesheets tip of the month.
With time tracking at its core, Tempo Timesheets offers a variety of reporting features and planning options for team members, teams, and managers. A free mobile app, available for Android and iOS, makes logging time in JIRA simple and hassle-free.
Setting up vacation time as an administrator
Setting up internal issues and internal activities in JIRA and Tempo Timesheets for employees to log their time against is easy. Many organizations use internal issues for logging employee time on things like sick time, vacation time, meetings, travel time, and much more.
Internal issues are configurable by JIRA and Tempo administrators by doing the following:
- Log in with the Tempo administrator permission
- Select Administration from the Tempo drop-down menu in the top navigation bar
- Choose internal issues on your left
- Then, select an existing JIRA issue and convert it to an internal issue, or add an internal issue to the list of available internal issues
Vacation Planning with Tempo Timesheets as a team member
Once an Internal Activity has been created, Tempo Team Members can plan time against that Activity. They can do so by clicking the Plan Time button, which is located at the top of every screen within Tempo.
This opens up the Plan Time dialog, where users can plan their vacation time for one day or for a concurrent series of days by adding the dates, number of hours, and a brief description. - as seen below.
[callout class="tip”]Managers or team leaders can also plan time for their teams using the Plan Time dialog, where they can select the user they want to plan time for in the user picker. You can also plan time in the Tempo Timesheets calendar view by clicking in a cell in the calendar, within a JIRA issue, and by clicking on a cell in the user timesheet. Planned time generally displays as orange in Tempo Timesheets (unless a custom color is assigned to it), while logged time displays as green.[/callout]
Once you’ve added the dates, number of hours, and a brief description, you choose the reviewer. The reviewer is the person who approves your time off, usually a manager or a team lead.
In this case it is the person managing the team, Erica. Once you’ve submitted your request for time off, Erica needs to approve it in accordance to vacation schedule of other team members.
Viewing planned time as a manager or team lead
Organizations may not only desire to have employees’ plan their vacation ahead of time for logistical purposes, but they often need to plan around that vacation time as well.
It’s important for you to be able to:
- Glance at planned vacation times to work around any foreseeable staff shortages when considering project plans.
- Look at scheduled projects and timelines when deciding whether to approve or reject an employee’s requested time off (more on the approval process below).
Likewise, your team may need to view their planned time on other projects when deciding whether a particular period is an appropriate time to take a vacation.
Managers and team leads have one common goal: to carry out the work required on time to meet the team’s objectives.
There are a number of ways that you can view planned time in Tempo Timesheets.
Tempo Timesheets’ calendar views are intended for planning purposes, and enable users to view who is planned to work (or not work) during a given timeframe. If Tempo Timesheets’ planning feature is enabled, users can view calendars by user, team, or project by week or by month.
In this case, a user’s planned time, including vacation time and time planned on other issues, is visible. Likewise, planned time can be viewed by team and by project in the Tempo Timesheets calendar view.
Individual user, project, and team timesheets are a good way to view weekly or monthly schedules and workloads, and to determine who is available and scheduled to work on a particular project, and who will be or would like to be out of the office. Tempo Timesheets’ views also display planned and logged work by color, which makes it super easy to see whose time has been allocated for what.
As of Tempo Planner 1.2 and Tempo Timesheets 7.9, planning data is shared between these two products. This is given the plan items are supported in each product.[/callout]
Tempo Timesheets’ vacation planning approvals process
Once your team member has submitted a request for a vacation, you need to approve or reject the planned time off.
Once planned time has been requested, the plan status is displayed in the user’s timesheet cell(s) with a yellow background. This indicates that vacation time has been requested but has not yet been approved. If the vacation time is approved, the background color changes from yellow to green. If the cell is red, it means that their reviewer has rejected the planned vacation time, and if it’s blue, it means there is more than one status for planned time on that date, as seen below.
We hope these planning features will help your team stay on track, avoid resource shortages, and enjoy some well-deserved R&R.
To learn more about Tempo Timesheets, read our guide: