Administering Date Periods
This article explains how to set up date periods in administration.
In order to enter a labor or financial forecast or actual for a time period, there must be a definition for that time period in the system and in the database. ResourceFirst comes preloaded with periods defined through 12/31/30 at each level of granularity (Week, Month, Quarter, Half, and Year).
There are many reasons to make changes to period definitions:
1) Configuring fiscal periods, including the name, and start and end dates of these periods
2) Adding additional time periods as time passes
3) Customizing period names for display on pages that show period data
1) Configuring time periods for timesheet entry (by setting specific weeks to active or inactive)
3) Defining Sprint dates for Agile projects
How to define periods
To set up date periods, click Administration->Periods:
An image similar to the following will appear:
The system comes preloaded with periods defined through 12/31/30 at each level of granularity (Week, Month, Quarter, Year.) However, you would use the period administration for three purposes:
1) Configuring active time periods for timesheet entry (generally in weeks, by setting specific weeks to active)
2) Configuring fiscal months, quarters, and years, particularly the start and end of these periods
3) Defining Sprint dates for Agile projects
Referencing the screenshot above, at the top you first specify the start and end dates for the periods you want to define, and the granularity (aka Type) you wish to edit.
You must edit each granularity (type) separately. For example, within a date range spanning a year, weeks are defined independently of months, quarters, etc. Also, Sprints can be defined for Agile work. The system will automatically determine how many business days are in the given period being defined (excluding weekends).
The period dates are used when displaying date-based views (such as assignments, project demand and resource utilization), and on timesheets.
Setting the Name defines how it displays as in the Period Headers on forecasts, etc. That way ˜January” could start on 2/1/2020 and not display as Feb.
Note that you can adjust the visible dates and granularity (weeks, months, quarters, etc.) you wish to show for most date-based views by clicking the global Scope/Filters funnel button at the upper right of the ResourceFirst screen and setting the Date Parameters.
Adding a Period
Though periods come preloaded, to add a new period, simply click the “+” button in the upper left. You’ll be prompted to enter:
- Period Name (this is most often used for Sprints, but can also be used to name months and quarters as well. Otherwise, the system uses the first date of the period as the name)
- Start Date
- End Date
- Period Year (the fiscal year — this is where fiscal years are set)
- Period Number (sequential within the selected granularity)
Once the periods are entered, you can set periods Active or Locked as needed.
– Only applies to Weekly periods that are used for timesheets; While this column shows when you load Month, Quarter, Half, Year, and Sprint period types, it will not impact these period types.
– Use: When checked, the weekly period appears on the Time>Track page as an available weekly time period for time tracking. When un-checked, the weekly period does not appear thus making that weekly period un-accessible to be seen. This applies to timesheets in all status states.
An example when a Weekly time period is un-checked: Let’s say we are in March 2021, and, as normal business process, the previous quarter time periods are deactivated. A project manager finds a time entry mistake back in November 2020. The resource is asked to correct that timesheet. They go to Time>Track and look for that weekly time period. They will not find that time period because that time period is deactivated. To make the adjustment, the Admin will activate the time period, the resource will make an adjustment to the timesheet and submit it for approval. Once the timesheet is approved, that weekly time period can be deactivated.
Note: The active/inactive flag has no impact on direct entry of actuals on the Assignments pages, only timesheets.
– Applies to all time period types.
– Use: When checked, that time period is locked and prevents updates to forecasts and actuals for that time period. Pages impacted include:
– Labor Assignments: Forecast and Actuals
– Financial>Assignments: Forecast and Actuals
Generally timesheets are in weeks, so this only needs to be done for the Weeks granularity. You can also edit any of the fields directly on the grid by clicking on a cell. As mentioned, Business Days in the period are calculated automatically.
Note: For timesheets, many customers will keep 4 past periods (weeks) active and 6 future periods active. Often, they will lock the oldest 2 active periods so they will be display only. A Pulse Engine script can be provided so that this is all done automatically.
Creating Fiscal Periods such as 4/4/5
To create a 4/4/5 fiscal monthly year:
- Select Months.
- For each month, enter the Start date and the End date for each month following the 4/4/5 weekly pattern.
- Optional: Update the month’s name since you would likely rather see 2021-Jan instead of 1/3/21.