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Project Server 2010: Timesheets - Where do Personal Tasks come from?

Project Server 2010: Timesheets - Where do Personal Tasks come from?

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If you have the setting to allow personal tasks to be added to the timesheet then they of course could come from the user.  But what about the ones that haven’t been entered by the user and appear to have the same name as tasks that were in projects that they had already started work on?  We have had a few questions on this behavior so thought it worth a blog posting.

So here is my timesheet – and I have 5 tasks in the “Project BriSmith TS Blog” project, and I’ve spent an hour on each – so I’ve entered the time and saved my timesheet. (Status is “In Progress”)

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Later on I go back to my timesheet and things have changed!

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So what happened?  The task names give you the clue, and the Project Manager (me) has followed through on his action for each of the tasks.  Basically if a task gets deleted while a timesheet is in progress then we do not delete the time that is already entered but instead the task gets changed to a Personal Task.  A couple of interesting things to note though – the task name is actually cached as part of the timesheet (in case it gets deleted!) so the spelling mistake was actually corrected in the plan for the “Correcttting the spellling” task – but the cached version is still shown.  This would be the case for any re-named task – as long as the resource was still assigned.  If I click through to the task I see the current name published from the plan – correcting the spelling:

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The next thing to note is that if I delete and re-create a task then as far as project is concerned this is a new task (with a new unique GUID) so it shows up as a Personal Task (keeping the original entered time) and also as the new task.

The 4th task is interesting – I unassigned myself from this task and then re-assigned – so this is actually a new assignment – but as far as the timesheet is concerned it still shows it related to the project.  Also if I had published after de-assigning I would have seen a Personal Task and then after re-assigning and publishing this personal task would be gone and the project task back again (along with the entered time).   This surprised me a little - so I had to take a look behind the scenes.  It appears that as long as you don’t assign this task to anyone else, then you will get the same GUID for the re-assignment – but if you re-assigned to someone else, and then added back the original resource then the GUID would change and the timesheet would show the same behavior as the deleted and re-created task – both a Personal Task with the already entered time and the ‘new’ project task.

The 5th task just got deleted so no longer exists so my recorded time now shows against Personal Tasks.  And finally the untouched task is still there as expected.

So if the Personal Task does really relate to a task that has been re-created in some way then the resource should copy the time entered across the the project task and delete the personal task (Remove Task in the ribbon).  If it has been removed for good then the personal task is a record of the time spent – and should remain (depending on your time recording processes).

This is the behavior when the timesheet is “In Progress”. If it is approved then the Project name and Task name are persisted even if the task is deleted.

Other actions can lead to this behavior – if the project is saved back to the server (save as) over the top of an existing plan then all tasks and assignments will be replaced by identical ones – and any tasks in progress will change to Personal Tasks in the timesheets.  Also before we fixed the bug with Save for Sharing in the June CU this would change the GUIDs too – and have the same effect.

All the above behavior assumes that Single Entry Mode is turned off.  With Single Entry Mode turned on then the Personal Tasks do not appear – the tasks just go (along with the time entered into them) – and also any task name changes reflect immediately in the timesheet (it is a direct link to the task, rather than a placeholder in the timesheet).  The re-assignment to the same task, even though it maintains the same GUID does not keep the entered time.  Single Entry Mode keeps the My Tasks and Timesheet view in Sync and Personal Tasks are never seen on the My Tasks view.

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  • Have got problems/strange behaviors with Time Sheet entries and task assignments too. Microsoft promised a hotfix to the August CU. August has gone and none CU published(?).

  • Hi JJ,

    There should be an August CU announcement later today.  There will be a slight delay for the roll-up server packages until next week.  You don't say what your issues are exactly - are you working directly with us (Microsoft)?  Let me know so I can confirm what you are suffering with is really fixed.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  • Hi,

    Best Timesheet guidelines I found on the net.

    Can you please update this blog for Project Server 2013, we're getting different behavior in 2013. I will really appreciate your effort.

    Thank you in advance.

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