Microsoft Project Server 2010 introduces the ability to enter the time you spend on project tasks and the progress you’re making against that task in one view. This feature is called “single entry mode” and can be turned on or off by your site administrator.
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Understanding time versus task progress
First, let's make sure we are clear on the differences between time and task progress. Time is the actual number of hours you spend working on a specific task. This is what you fill out on a timesheet to capture the number of hours you spent on different things during your work week. Task progress is an umbrella term for things like percent complete and remaining work. Submitting task progress is a way to capture a broader description of what you currently have done on a specific task, and what you think there is left to do to complete the task.
Let's look at an example to get clear on the differences between these two task update methods. You are assigned to a task that has a duration of 5 days (or 40 hours). You spent 8 hours on the task on Monday, 4 hours on Tuesday, and 8 hours on Wednesday, for a total of 20 hours. This is the information you would enter on a timesheet. However, when looking at the work you did from a task progress perspective, even though 20 of 40 hours have been spent on the task, you may not feel that you are 50% complete. You may think you are farther along, say 60% complete, or a bit behind, maybe 35% complete. When you communicate your estimated percent complete, this is your task progress. Communicating your estimated number of hours left on the task is also considered your task progress.
Advantages to using single entry mode
Project Server 2010 enables site administrators to set up Microsoft Project Web App so that team members can enter and submit time and task progress using two separate views, or by using single entry mode, where actual work is captured in one view, and submitted to both the task project plan (as task progress) and the timesheet.
Single entry mode eliminates the duplicate effort involved with submitting time and task progress separately. When you are using separate views to enter time and task progress, you have to do one of the following:
Enter the hours spent on a task in both the Timesheet view and the Tasks view.
Import the hours spent on a task from the Timesheet view to the Tasks view.
Import the hours spent on a task from the Tasks view to the Timesheet view.
While some organizations require this separation, the more streamlined method of entering hours is by using single entry mode. With single entry mode turned on, you only have to enter your actual work in one view, where it gets submitted both to the task project plan and to the timesheet.
Note: When you are using single entry mode, task progress is entered as actual work, not as a percent complete. If you prefer to enter task progress as a percent complete, discuss the option of not using single entry mode with your site administrator.
Turn on single entry mode
Site administrators can turn on single entry mode on the Server Settings page to enable users to enter time and task progress in the same view.
On the Quick Launch, click Server Settings.
On the Server Settings page, under Time and Task Management, click Timesheet Settings and Defaults.
Select the Single Entry Mode check box, and then click Save.
For more information about timesheets and task status, check out these resources: