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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. ūüôā

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‚Äôs name [[SUBJECT_USER]] for person-based objects
  • Object‚Äôs 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. ūüôā

Thanks and regards,

Soumyajit

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10 Comments

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  1. Niranjan Ghosh

    Very Interesting Soumyajit. I am glad that we have worked together in past. Congrats for your first blog and keep going the good work.

     

    Regards,

    Niranjan Ghosh

     

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  2. Jean Cindy Gorospe

    Hi Sir!

    We’re actually in the middle of our implementation of Employee Central and we parked the Time Off/Time sheet module in the project because based on initial diagnosis, Time sheet is not sufficient for our business requirements. I have two questions re: the article above:

     

    1. After receiving a notification about their time sheet, can employees file a log in/log out entry in case they have days that they rendered official business outside of the office or forgot to simply use biometrics?
    2. Can the time off balances pick up the tenure of the employee (e.g. an employee who is more than 5 yrs of tenure has a 2.0 multiplier for time off accrual)? ūüôā

    Would appreciate any replies from anybody ūüôā

    (0) 
    1. Soumyajit Roy
      Post author

      Hi Jean,

      Sorry for the late response.

      I read through your requirements. EC Timesheet as a product  is getting matured release after release and its very sad to hear that you have parked the implementation. Now to your requirements:

      1. I think the employees can use the attendance types to record the time in the timesheet in case they forgot the biometrics or offsite work. EC Timesheet also supports importing data from the time collectors. Request you to look into the implementation guide available in help.sap.com for further details.
      2. I think this is a case of seniority-based¬†accrual scenario. Seniority-based¬†accruals are supported in the standard. Here also I would recommend you take a look at the implementation guide section 11.6¬† “Accrual Lookup By Seniority”.
      3. https://help.sap.com/doc/5305967051ad42f49bb6d1af6c4bd247/1805/en-US/SuccessFactors_Employee_Central_Time_Off.pdf

       

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks and regards,

      Soumyajit

       

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  3. Cindy Lumbert

     

    Hi Soumyajit,

    Thank you for the excellent information. I have a similar requirement and have walked through your steps very easily. The only point that I am stuck on is defining when the alert will go out. My requirement is to send the notification every Monday until the status has changed to ‘Approved’. It appears that the ‘Alert Due Date’ in the Trigger MDF Alert Event in the Business Rule defines when the alert will be generated. I don’t see any option to define a recurring date (ie. every Monday).

    Is your notification really going out periodically? Or just once on the Time Sheet End Date?

    Thank you,

    Cindy

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    1. Soumyajit Roy
      Post author

      Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      2 things can be done for your requirement:

      1. You can schedule the EC Alerts and notification job recurring every week starting on first monday¬†post go-live. Pass the parameter “Alert Due Date” value as¬† “Today”.
      2. Or else, Considering the weekly time sheet recording end-date is always Sunday.¬† you can use the date plus function to add 1 day to Employee Time Sheet. End Date and pass it as value to the “Alert Due Date Parameter”.

      I think this should work. Do let me know your test results.

       

      Thanks and regards,

      Soumyajit

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  4. Rohit Verma

    Dear Soumyajit,

     

    We are implementing Time off and Timesheet presently as Kronos not a best fit for our business model. We are the Customers.

    Excellent write up. Kudos!

    I have achieved other requirements following this blog. Other requirements which are achieved:

    1. Alerts and notification goes when a user time recording is less than half of the planning working time (derived from Workschedule) for that day.
    2. Alerts and notification goes when there is less than a certain number of hours recorded for the entire timesheet week.
    3. Alerts and notification goes when there is a timesheet entries saved.

    All these requirements are achieved and emails are being triggered. I can share the configurations that I have built. The only concern I have now is, these emails are triggered when there is a change made by admin/manager. However, when an employee makes any changes (save draft, records less than half of planned hours etc) to his/her timesheet entries, Email notifications do not trigger.

    Please help if I am missing out something in Workflow config. However, I have tried all permutations and combinations (context and relationship to approver) of workflow config, but none worked.

    Need help!

    Thank You,

    Rohit Verma

     

    (0) 
    1. Soumyajit Roy
      Post author

      Hi Rohit,

      In my opinion, the postsave rules are fired irrespective of the whether user is a manager/employee/hr admin. The post save rule should fire each time the timesheet weekly entry is edited and saved. The alert will also get registered to the alert queue and would be handled by scheduler between the successfull runs.

      I would like to see the business rule which triggers the alert. Do you see any errors in the monitor jobs?

       

      Thanks and regards,

      Soumyajit

      (0) 

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