Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PeopleSoft HCM 9.2 - Time and Labor new features Part 1

In this two part series, we want to examine and highlight the various new features proposed in version 9.2 of PeopleSoft HCM for the Time and Labor module. We had reviewed the features for Absence Management, in a previous post. While we were disappointed with the proposed feature changes for Absence Management, Time and Labor tells a very different story.
The Oracle PeopleSoft Time and Labor product team has come up with an impressive list of enhancements for PeopleSoft 9.2, many of which have been critical pain points during a Time and Labor implementation. What impressed us the most was that, while there are certain brand new high value features like Time and Labor Workcenter, a number of features address existing product gaps - which is exactly what we have missed in Absence Management. Without taking more time, we would like to highlight the main enhancements to existing functionalities in version 9.2 of Time and Labor. In the next part, we will cover details of brand new features.

1. Enhanced display controls for TRCs: It is proposed to bring in enhanced features to control the display of Time Reporting Codes (TRCs) in Employee and Manager timesheet pages. Using this feature, it will be possible to control the list of TRCs that need to be displayed in the ESS/MSS timesheet pages as well as the order in which it should be displayed.
Our opinion:  A big thumbs up for this enhancement as it addresses an important pain point during implementations. This is a very common requirement in a Time and Labor implementation and most customers address this through a customisation.

2. Timesheet lockdown feature: We had hinted in a previous post that there is a planned enhancement to allow administrators to lock down edits on timesheets during critical periods like payroll runs. That feature is proposed to be delivered in v9.2. This feature supposedly allows administrators to select group of employees and choose to lock or unlock timesheets.
Our opinion: The T&L product team have been listening well to the customers! This is indeed a feature requested in most implementations which need to be addressed through a customisation. One thing struck us while seeing the screenshot of the proposed page to lock down timesheets - the group of employees for whom timesheet has to be locked was identified by the 'Company' and 'Paygroup' fields. This structure is compatible only for customers using Payroll Interface or Payroll for North America products, in conjuction with Time and Labor. Does this mean that customers who are using Time and Labor as a standalone product or T&L with Global Payroll as the pay system, will not be able to make use of this timesheet lockdown feature?

3. Enhanced display control of Timesheet page: The timesheet page in PeopleSoft Time and Labor is a complex one with a lot of fields and functionalities present in it. While the Time Reporting Template allows us to configure the fields that should be displayed in the timesheet page to a certain extent, ofcourse it does not extend to all the fields on the page. In a very useful extension, PeopleSoft 9.2 will come with extended Time Reporting template configuration options, that can be used to control the display of most fields and group of fields on the timesheet page. For example, it can be decided to show or hide 'Show All Punches' field, 'Leave and Compensatory Time' section, control the options in the 'View By' field etc.
Our opinion: Very useful enhancements. Eventhough we would not call these changes as strategic or high value, they help to increase the configurability of the system and ofcourse decrease customisations.

4. Print timesheet and controls on Timesheet edits: A new link will be provided on the timesheet page to enable printing the timesheet. There will also be feature to control who can edit an employee's timesheet and also ability to send notification to employees if their timesheet is edited by another user.
We also noticed that the Earliest Change Date (ECD) is now displayed on the timesheet. Excellent that the all important ECD has been brought out of obscurity and made easily referencable.
Our opinion: Printing of timesheets is another frequently requested feature. We have seen many custom, javascript based solutions that have been implemented for this. Another very useful feature!

5. Generation of Payable Time on Timesheet submission: There will be a configurable option on Time and Labor installation page, to allow the generation of payable time (and ofcourse exceptions, if configured) on the submission of timesheet or on clicking the Apply Rules button. This clearly implies that the system can react faster to reported time changes and payable time can be in sync with reported time in a more real time manner.
Our opinion: Reported time is converted to payable time when running the time administration process. There are operational issues with this process, because this introduces a delay in the generation of payable time. With this new enhancement, it becomes possible to generate payable time, as soon as the timesheet is submitted. This should ofcourse help increase the productivity of time and payroll administrators. We do have questions on the performance impact of this process as it will be required to invoke sections of the time administration process to generate payable time and it could get a bit heavy, especially during payroll cut-off dates when there will be increased traffic on the timesheet functionality.

6. Combined view of Payable Time, Absence, Exception on timesheet: In another enhancement, there will be new sections within the timesheet page that displays Absences, Payable Time, Exception, Attendance details etc. in different tabs. This will help the user to have a consolidated view of most elements related to time in one single page, i.e. the timesheet.
Our opinion: This is an excellent enhancement and will be well received by customers and users alike.
We would like to point out to customers who are on v9.1 (and excellent if you are on 8.52 tools as there are significant enhancements to related content framework in 8.52), that they should be making use of the related content feature to build similar usability enhancements. The 'related actions' framework delivered in 9.1 Feature Pack 2,can be further used to develop enhanced usability features, even within version 9.1.

These are the enhancements to existing features of Time and Labor that we identified from the various resources available on PeopleSoft HCM v9.2. In the next part of this series, we will discuss some of the brand new features for Time and Labor in v9.2.

For more information on PeopleSoft HCM and Time and Attendance modules, get in touch with us at partner@hroiconsulting.com

More posts on PeopleSoft 9.2 here - http://peoplesofthrms.blogspot.be/search/label/PeopleSoft%209.2

1. https://blogs.oracle.com/peoplesoft/entry/new_support_news_for_peoplesoft
2. https://blogs.oracle.com/peoplesoft/entry/peoplesoft_hcm_and_fscm_9

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