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add user comment to time charge
#1
I'm wondering how difficult it would be make a couple changes to the Create Charge form. I'm interested in working on this myself if someone can help by suggesting where to start. I have used Yii for a previous project, but some informed direction would be really appreciated. Basically, I'd like to have a one-week timesheet, instead of two weeks, and add a column for entering a comment per task for the time charged. 

   

Justifications:

1. Comments provide accountability and traceability from hours charged to what the effort accomplished (or didn't accomplish). As a project team leader, I find candid comments to be very useful in following the subtleties of a project, and identifying inconsistencies between team members. It can be argued that this is what scrum or other regular meetings are for, but there is a tendency for team members to avoid calling each other out in a group meeting, overstate accomplishments and gloss over troublesome aspects of the project. Entering a short comment at the same hour charges are entered requires only a little additional work, and the more personal nature of entering time charges can produce more candid comments. Also, more or longer meetings are often counter-productive.

2. Creating very specific or detailed tasks can take significant time to maintain as they often must be updated as the project progresses. Creating less specific tasks can reduce the management effort with comments providing the finer details. For example, a task may be simply "design PCB", but the comments indicate "created all new required footprints", "completed trial layout", "reviewed 2:1 plots", etc.

3. I find entering time every two weeks is not often enough, team members forget exactly what they were working on two weeks prior without a separate personal time tracking system - and using two systems for the same thing is a waste of time. Personally, I find requiring time to be submitted every Friday afternoon (for example) helps provides structure and consistency to the team. Some may argue this is too restrictive, but I've found the structure works well in enterprise environments, and is appreciated by other groups who use the data, such as project oversight, accounting and payroll.

Other comments:
  • the comment field may need to be multi-line, and it may be desirable to use a config variable to the number of lines shown.
  • The general case for charge comments would be a comment per time charge, which I would propose to be implemented at the database level. However, supporting only one comment per task per period keeps the UI simple. On read, the charge form could show the comment for the first day of the period, and on write the comment could be copied to to each time charge in the period. Saving the same comment multiple times duplicates data in the database, but I would argue that if per-charge comments might one day be desirable, then some duplicated text is a very low cost for doing all the low-level comment-per-charge work now.
  • I have included a "Submit" button to support team environments in which a team leader review and approves charged time before it becomes "official". For functionality, the Submit button may lock the time, notify the team leader, update the status of the time charges, etc.

Would this functionality be useful to anyone else? Could it be supported as an option, or would it require a major departure from how MyT works now?

Dale
Dale Scott
Transparency with Trust
http://www.dalescott.net
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#2
Hi scott did you find the way to done the comment?
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