Sunday, March 24, 2013

PeopleSoft 9.2 feature review - Timesheet page gets a major facelift

'I reported 45 hours this week, but has not been paid any weekly overtime. Could you take a look and tell me why?'
Questions on the (in)accuracy of time calculations are probably the most common query that a Time and Attendance administrator will have to face (right up there will be queries on absence balances as well!). If the above question came to the T&A administrator of a company running on PeopleSoft Time and Labor prior to v9.2, what would she have done? Let us try to trace the steps she would have gone through in PeopleSoft while trying to answer this question:
1. Open the timesheet page to check the actual number of hours the employee reported. 
2. Open the payable time detail page to view the payable hours generated for each day of the week and compare it with the hours reported on the timesheet.
3. Open the work schedule page of the employee to verify the schedule assigned to the employee.
4. Check the exceptions of the employee to ensure that there were no unresolved high severity exceptions.
5. Check whether the payable time was approved.
6. Check whether there were any absences for the week.
Assuming that there are no customised reports in the system to aggregate the above data, the T&A administrator would have had to navigate to multiple pages and compare data across different pages to troubleshoot this issue. Wouldn't it have been better if most of the information related to 'time' and 'absence' were available in one single place? Going a step further, wouldn't it have been better if the employee herself had the right tools/data to figure out what was going wrong with her overtime?
With a revamped design of the timesheet page, PeopleSoft v9.2 has taken steps to move towards that direction - bring together all relevant information related to time/absence transactions and reduce the number of navigational clicks. The new timesheet page is given below:
I would like to highlight the following changes to the timesheet functionality in v9.2:
a. The UI of the page has been revamped by arranging different related information areas as tabs (highlighted in the red box in the above screenshot) in the timesheet page.
b. The Apply Rules button will run time administratin process in real time and populate the payable time details in the payable time tab in the timesheet. I think this is an excellent feature that will give lot of transparency to users regarding what they will be paid out and should help improve operational efficiency. We had configured the employee used in the demo to have simple California specific overtime rules. As seen in the payable time tab - the employee can immediately view the regular, straight OT and double time generated for the week and compare the results with the time reported.
c. The print timesheet functionality is new and we had discussed the details of that functionality here.
d. A timesheet sign-off/acknowledgement message can be configured at the workgroup level which will be displayed to the employees when they submit the timesheet.
e.  The fields and sections to be displayed on the timesheet can be configured at the time reporting template level.

To be fair to previous releases, the product has had grids for absences, reported time summary etc. in older versions as well. PeopleSoft 9.2 has a revamped look, with the grids which were arranged one below the other being arranged as horizontal tabs. The major enhancement that I notice on this page is the introduction of a tab to display the Payable Time data alongside reported time from timesheet. This will enable employees, manager and administrators to easily compare reported and payable time on the same page and will lead to operational efficiencies. Another interesting enhancement is with the way the 'Apply Rules' functionality behaves. On clicking the 'Apply Rules' button (the display of the button can be controlled by timesheet display settings in the Time Reporting template setup), certain sections of the time administration process is invoked real time. Once the time administration process completes, the payable time, exceptions and attendance tabs on the timesheet page is immediately refreshed with the newly calculated data. This will help especially employees and managers to immediately see the results of reported time and take necessary action, if required. This has potential to greatly improve operational efficiency as more actionable data and alerts are presented to employees and managers. The only question I have with respect to using the 'Apply Rules' functionality is the impact on system performance, which has to be verified.
The fact that other related information like Absences, Exceptions, Compensatory and Leave Balances and Attendance actions are present in the same page as multiple tabs will help in troubleshooting and alerting issues faster. I am also sure that this will drastically reduce the training/learning curve that users of the system will have, as most of the related information is present in one page. 
Given below is an example where the attendance infraction details are immediately shown to the employee on the timesheet.

I foresee the below operational advantages due to the revamped timesheet design in 9.2:
a. Better usability of the system and reduced number of navigational clicks.
b. More issues will be self-diagnosed and resolved by employees/managers given the information easily available to them. End users can also request for information on an on-demand fashion, which will further aid productivity.
c. Faster and more accurate payroll processing/closure with the ability to Apply Rules at an individual timesheet level and empowerment of employees/managers to resolve issues faster.
d. Shorter learning curve for users.
e. Lesser number of incidents to HR services and faster turn around time on incidents.

Looking for more 9.2 feature reviews? Click here.

Have questions or want to discuss on this further?
We have a dedicated HR Tech lab researching the new features of 9.2 as well as developing innovative solutions utilising 9.2/8.53 features. If you want to discuss further on this new feature or on 9.2 in general, mail into

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