Managing Internal Targets
Internal targets are tasks that fall outside the realm of epics, stories, features, and work items, such as vacation, sick days, meetings, parental leave, travel, etc.
You can manage your internal targets in 7pace Timetracker in one of the following ways:
- Include them as part of your project and/or sprint
- Maintain them independently
Include Internal Targets as Part of Your Project
To include internal tasks as part of your project or sprint, you would simply create separate work items for the vacation, sick days,meetings, etc., within the project or sprint, and ask your team members to track time to these work items. The downside to this method is that when your sprint is over, the internal tasks are included in that, and so you then loose the detailed history that goes with it.
Maintain Internal Targets Independently
To maintain your internal targets independently from your project work items, you would create a separate project for them, define the work items for each internal target/task, and then track time to those targets/tasks.
Managing internal targets independently from within a separate project has the following benefits:
- Define once, use forever: You define the work items once in a separate project, irrespective of the project or sprint, and keep tracking time to them indefinitely.
- Budget Assignment:You can assign a budget to the project that contains your internal targets and then ask your team members to track time against that budget. Once you set the budget, you can always check the time tracked for the internal targets across the budgeted time. This provides managers with detailed information about planned vs. tracked time by all team members for all internal targets.
- Data Analytics: You can export time details for the project containing internal targets and generate reports that provide detailed analysis of the time spent on these tasks by all your team members. For example, if a team member took one vacation day in a given work week, they would fill out their timesheet for that week with eight (8) hours logged to an internal target/task that belongs to its own separate project. When the time details report is generated, you can clearly see the total time spent by that team member on true work items and the time logged as vacation.
Configuring Internal Targets as an Administrator
Below, we have listed the steps that you, as an administrator, need to perform to configure internal targets/tasks, from identifying which tasks you want to include, to setting up the template, structure, and hierarchy.
Note: We have explained these steps according to the 'Scrum' project template, but you can use any template. You do, however, need to ensure that you maintain proper hierarchy from project to work items.
Step 1: Identify all required internal targets
For example, vacation, parental or extended leave, meetings, travel.
Step 2: Create a new project in TFS for your internal targets
For example, "Internal Targets".
Note: While naming the project, we advise you to choose a name that you can easily recognize and distinguish from other projects as unique to internal targets.
Step 3: Create a "dummy" iteration to group the PBIs and tasks
For example, "Internal-tasks".
You can use this iteration to group the PBIs and tasks created for the internal targets.
Step 4: Create a single PBI for the entire team or separate PBIs for different groups in the team.
For example, "Internal" or "Int-Developers", "Int-Testers", "Int-Support".
Step 5: In the PBI, create task-type work items for each internal target that you identified for your team.
For example, int-vacation, int-leaves, int-travel, int-daily scrum, int-sprint review, int-sprint planning, and so on.
Note: You'll notice that the naming structure of the PBIs and work items we used starts with a specific string, like "Int". You can elect to follow a similar naming structure so it's easier to search for these work items when you add time or filter them in reports.
After performing these steps, the TFS project (with 'Scrum' template) structure will look something like this:
Step 5: (Optional) Create a new budget and assign the PBIs and tasks for internal targets to the budget.
On the "Iteration" page, you can view the items created for internal targets. Assign a budget to these items, if desired.
Tracking Time for Internal Targets as a Team Member
Once an administrator creates the outlined internal targets and shares the work item IDs for those, as a team member, you can then either track your time using the Windows Client or the built-in Web Client (for example, for a meeting) or manually add time after-the-fact (such as for a sick day or vacation) on the "Monthly" or "Timesheet" pages or directly on the internal target work item ID .
Viewing Time for Internal Targets as a Manager or Team Lead
For a manager or team lead, Timetracker provides different options for you to view the tracked time details of internal targets. On the "Times Explorer" page, you can filter by project, title, or team member, to view exactly the details you want to see. On the "Budgets" page, you can export the details of just the internal targets project, and view those details in Excel.