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Hi Time Management Folks,

 

This is my very first blog post in this space. I hope this will be useful for implementation. My sincere thanks to Volker Ruof, EC timesheet product manager and our time management Guru, for all his inputs. 🙂

Business scenario: Periodic notification to the employees who have saved time sheets as draft.

EC payroll timesheet gives us a wonderful functionality to save the timesheet records/ overtime in draft mode to submit them for approval later. However, currently, there is no configurable option to send periodic reminders to the employees to submit the timesheet entries which are saved in draft previously. Hence users tend to lose track of these timesheet entries.

Below, I tried a workaround to this requirement using the newly introduced MDF alerts, which works.

Technical Background: Employee timesheet entries are saved in the MDF object “EmployeeTimeSheet” in the status approvalStatus= “To Be Submitted”. This is a key information based on which we will configure the MDF alerts. 

Lets have a look on how to achieve this:

  1. Make changes to the definition of the object “Employee Time Sheet”: By default, the fields like  “startDate”, “endDate”, “approvalStatus” are hidden in the object definition. You need to change the Visibility settings to “Readonly”.
  2. Create the Alert Message for the body of message/notification to be sent to the users. You do this via Admin Center > Manage Data> Create New Alert Message. 
  3. Create a workflow. You do this on Manage Organization, Pay and Job Structures > Create New [Workflow]; Please refer to KBA-2532558 for detailed information
    • There is no special handling cases here just bear in mind that you can use three different scenarios for your configuration:
      1. Receive an Alert Notification only: For this you just need to create a workflow with CC Role, this way only the Alert email notification will be sent;
      2. Receive an Alert ToDo item only: For this you need to fill the Contributors instead of the CC Role, then an Alert ToDo item will be created only*;
      3. Receive both an Alert Notification and ToDo item: You need to fill both Contributors and CC Role sections of the Workflow;

      * When you configure a to-do alert you need to fill the step approvers, just note that there is no difference (from the alert perspective) between step 1 or step ‘n’. All the contributors in all steps will receive the alert at the same time.

  4. Create the Alert Rule. You do this on Configure Business Rules > Create New: The business rule below triggers an alert if there is any timesheet entry in draft status “To be submitted” status and the end date time sheet is in the past. The base object of the above rule must be the Employee Time Sheet object. You need to use this function “Trigger MDF Alert Event()” with the parameters that you can see in the screenshot above
  5.  Assign the rule to Employee Timesheet Object. Configure Object Definitions>select [Object Definitions]>select[Employee Timesheet]>Take Action>Make correction:
  6. Note that the rule must be assigned as a “Post Save Rules”
  7. Schedule “EC Alerts and Notifications” job to send the notifications.

Test your configuration: 

  1. Log in as an employee and save draft some timesheet entries in any of the past weeks.
  2. Make sure to update you email id employee’s people profile.
  3. Go to provisioning and run the “EC Alerts and Notifications” ad-hoc.
  4. Check your email inbox for the notification.

Sample output notification from the above configuration.

I hope this is useful for now till we get a similar functionality included in the standard product.

I have tested this according to my use cases. I would recommend thorough testing. Please provide your feedback and suggest improvements in case you notice any flaws with this approach.

Some limitations observed:  

Below you can see the supported tags that you can use for MDF alerts:

  • Employee’s name [[SUBJECT_USER]] for person-based objects
  • Object’s name [[OBJECT_NAME]] for non-person-based objects
  • Object type [[OBJECT_TYPE]] for the MDF object like position, timesheet
  • Effective date of the alert [[EFFECTIVE_DATE]] for effective dated objects

I could not use other tags from the MDF object like START-DATE (start date of the timesheet object) END-DATE (start date of the timesheet object) which would be very useful for the users to identify the timesheet entries.

Appreciate your time reading through this. Have a great day.

Disclaimer: I am not that good at writing blogs hence I request your understanding if you find any silly mistakes. 🙂

Thanks and regards,

Soumyajit

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