Activities - LiquidPlanner

LiquidPlanner

Online Manufacturing Project Management Software

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Activities

Available with Professional and Enterprise

Each time entry in LiquidPlanner is associated to an activity. This is useful for billing and project analysis. For example, you might create activities like Design, Marketing, and Operations to classify logged and remaining hours. Other examples of commonly used Activities include Client Work, Overhead or Admin, and PTO.

Members are prompted to select an Activity whenever they track time. If you only have one activity code in your list, it will be automatically assigned.

Activities serve two purposes in LiquidPlanner:
1.    Categorize tracked and remaining hours to reflect how time is spent.
2.    Designate hours as billable or non-billable.

Creating Activities

Workspace administrators can define a full set of activity codes for the workspace. Add them individually, or in bulk.

Go to User Menu > Settings > Data Customization  > Activities.

Add_Activity

Shared vs. Unshared Activities

Designate an activity as either shared or unshared.  By default the Shared box is checked, as seen in the image above. That means the activity can be used when tracking time in any project and for any client.

If you uncheck the Shared box, you’ll have to manually enable that activity for clients or projects by checking a box on the edit panel. The process is the same for both clients and projects. (To access the client edit panel, switch to Client View on the Projects tab.)  The example below illustrates  enabling an activity for a project.

Open the edit panel and use the jump link, or scroll down to the Activities section:

activities

This section in the edit panel lists all workspace activities and indicates whether or not they are shared or billable. Here are some things to know about activities:

  • Shared activities are always checked.
  • An unshared activity must be manually checked by a Workspace administrator to make it available for this project. In the example above, the 090-Ops activity has been shared and the PTO Vacation activity has not.
  • If you share an activity with a project and then later uncheck the box so it is not shared, that activity will be cleared from the Activity and Default Activity fields on plan items in the project folder. These fields will be reset to “None.”
    • Once it is unshared, the activity is removed from the activity pick list on all items within the project.
    • If time has been tracked using that activity on a task, milestone, or event, it will still be presented in the activity field when tracking time to that existing entry. To prompt the selection of a new activity, use the “Add Time” link.
    • The history of time tracked to that activity remains intact for reporting purposes.

Billable vs. Non Billable Activities

You can designate an activity as either billable or not billable. By default, new activities are not billable. Be sure to check the “Billable” box if necessary.

  • In Analytics reports and timesheet data exports, time tracked will be be reported as either billable or non-billable based on the designation.
  • If you use Billing Rules, LiquidPlanner will also calculate dollar values for billable and non-billable hours.
  • If you change the billable status of an existing activity, that change is applied retroactively to existing hours already tracked to that activity.

Editing an Activity so it is unshared in the workspace

You can edit an activity to unshare it throughout the workspace by clicking on the Manage Activities link in the edit panel or by going to your User Menu > Settings > Data Customization  > Activities. When changing an activity from shared to unshared in the workspace:

  • That activity will no longer be enabled for new tasks or new time entries unless you manually activate it for specific clients or projects.
  • Although the item is no longer shared, it will remain available on plan items where it has already been used.
    • If it was the default activity on a plan item, it is still the default activity.
    • If time was tracked using that activity, it is still possible to continue using it by entering time in the existing entry row.
    • To discontinue that activity on a plan item, use the “Add Time” link when tracking time and you will be prompted to select a new activity.
  • The history of time tracked to that activity remains intact for reporting purposes.

Deleting an Activity

It is possible to delete activities by clicking on the Manage Activities link in the edit panel or by going to User Menu > Settings > Data Customization  > Activities. When you delete an activity via the Activity Settings page:

  • That activity will no longer be enabled for new tasks or new time entries.
  • Any plan item where the deleted activity was set as a default, will be reset to “None”.
  • Any plan item where time had been tracked will have the assignment Activity field set to “None”.
  • If time was tracked using the deleted activity, it is still possible to continue using it by entering time in the existing entry row. To discontinue that activity on a plan item, use the “Add Time” link when tracking time and you will be prompted to select a new activity.
  • The history of time tracked to that activity remains intact for reporting purposes.
  • If you later create a brand new activity that is named the same as the deleted activity,  LP treats them as one and same.  Historical time tracking data using the “deleted” activity will thereafter get combined with time tracked to the “new” activity.

Associating Activities to Plan Items

activities-2

Expected Activity on a Task

The Activity field, located on each assignment row in the People section of the edit panel determines how remaining effort hours are expected to be classified for each person on the task. The remaining hours reported in Analytics for billable or non-billable hours and the Analytics Activity Roll-Up report use this Activity field in their calculations. In Dashboards, the activity metric on the Upcoming Task and Donut widgets reflect this Activity field as well.

  • When tracking time to a task for the first time, the assignment row Activity field will update from “None” to the selected Activity.
  • To change the Activity for an assignment, click into the field in the People section of the Edit Panel and make a selection.

Personal Default Activity

The Personal Default Activity setting for members allows you to select one activity in your workspace that will automatically populate in the assignment Activity field when you track time to a task, milestone, or event.

  • If you do not want a member to use their Personal Default Activity when tracking time on a task, update the Expected Effort field before they track time to the task.
  • If you do not want a member to use their Personal Default Activity when tracking time on a milestone or event, let them know by commenting at them on the plan item.

To update the activity after time is tracked, open the Time Tracking window on the edit panel, or go to the timesheet and update the individual time entry. This can be done by the member or by an administrator or manager in the workspace.

Default Activity Behavior on a Plan Item

When a task, milestone, or event is created, its Default Activity is set at None. If you’d like members to use a particular activity when tracking time, set a Default Activity.  Simply click into the field under Item Details in the Planning section of the Edit Panel and make a selection.

When an owner tracks time against a task, milestone, or event for the first time, they will be prompted to use the plan item Default Activity – unless they have a Personal Default Activity set in the workspace.

  • When a member with a Personal Default Activity is made an owner on a plan item after the Default Activity is set, the Default Activity will override the member’s Personal Default Activity. They will be prompted to use the plan item Default Activity when tracking time.
  • When a member with a Personal Default Activity is made an owner on a plan item before the Default Activity is set, then the Personal Default Activity will prevail. It will appear in the activity field of the Track Time window when tracking time to a task, milestone or event. It will also populate the expected assignment Activity field in the People section of the edit panel. (This example is illustrated below.)
activities-3

Associating Activities to Time Entries

The time entry activity determines how tracked time is classified. Tracked time is always associated with an activity. Once an activity is selected it will appear in the Track Time window the next time you track time. If the activity should be changed, use the Add Time link to start another time entry row.

After the first time entry, changing the activity when tracking time does not automatically change the assignment Activity field.

In the example below, Dale changed his Time Tracking activity to 080 – IT Services but his expected assignment Activity is set to 090 – Ops, which is the Default Activity on the task. This means his tracked time will be reported as 080 – IT Services, while the remaining hours will be associated with 090 – Ops, until the Activity field is updated in his assignment row. The next time he tracks time to this task assignment, he will be prompted to use the 090 – Ops activity again.

activities-4

To change the activity after time is tracked, open the Time Tracking window on the edit panel, or go to the timesheet and update the individual time entry.

Add another time tracking activity by clicking the Add Time link. This will start anew entry row and prompt you to select an activity.

Report on time entry activities using Timesheet Export.

Managing Activities on the Projects tab

  • To see each plan item’s Default Activity, open the Activity Column on the Projects tab.
  • The only way to filter by Default Activity is with a custom status filter.
    • The rule “Has an Activity” will identify items with or without a Default Activity set.
    • The rule “Activity” allows you to specify a Default Activity for filtering.
  • You cannot filter by the Activity field on assignment rows on the Projects tab.
  • If you have only one activity (whether it’s the original activity LP started you with, or one you created yourself), that one activity will be set as the Default Activity and assignment Activity each time a task, milestone, or event is created.
  • Use the bulk edit feature to set the same Activity for multiple tasks or assignments.

 

Related Articles

Personal Default Activity
Tracking Time
Timesheet Data Analysis in Excel
Using Activities for Billing

Activities was last modified: November 28th, 2017 by Zareen Maurer

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