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Posts by Calina Madden:

New! A Fast Way to Edit Lots of Time at Once

Our latest feature helps you speedily move lots of time from one project to another, making it easier to keep your team’s time accurate.

So it’s Friday night, and you’ve got just one more to-do before the weekend: check on your team’s time. Everything looks good until you realize, uh oh, your team’s been tracking time to the wrong project all week!

Maybe they’re getting used to a project restructure. Or you might have a lot of projects with the same name, making it easy to mistake one project for another. Or maybe your client changed scope that you broke into a new project.

Whatever caused your team to track to the wrong project, it usually means you’ve got to edit every single time entry. One. By. One. The weekend’s looking farther away than ever.

How to Quickly Move Time between Projects

Now, you no longer have to spend your time editing time. Our latest feature helps move a lot of time entries between projects with a few clicks.

If you’re an Administrator, just run a Detailed Time Report for the time entries you’d like to edit. Then use the Bulk Actions menu to choose to Move hours to another project. With a quick confirmation, you can move thousands of entries to a different project, saving time, and keeping your account accurate and up to date.

GIF showing click on bulk action menu item, choosing project to move time to, and time being moved

A Few Details about Moving Time

Here’s a quick rundown of some special cases that you might run into when moving time:

  • If a time entry’s person or task isn’t on the project you move time to, we’ll assign that person or task to the project for you.
  • If hours are approved, you can still move them.
  • If hours are invoiced, you won’t be able to move them. That could cause your invoices to get out of step with your projects.

The next time you discover a time tracking error, we hope this helps get your account into tip-top shape, fast. And that you save some time to better spend elsewhere. Happy tracking!

Whether You Charge a Fixed Fee or By the Hour, It’s Now Easier to Invoice

Some new invoicing features are headed your way!

Since we launched the new fixed fee project type, it’s been a lot easier to gain valuable insight into the health and profitability of projects that bill at a fixed price.

But there was a catch: Harvest was originally built to invoice for tracked time, using hourly rates. Now that Harvest supports projects that bill a variety of ways (not just hourly), what’s the best way to invoice? It just wasn’t clear.

That means you may have run into a few invoicing problems in the last few months. For example:

  • A lot of fixed fee projects have multiple invoices, which are issued only when you hit a milestone. Harvest had no easy way to track these invoice schedules. For many of you, this meant you had to track this info outside of Harvest, and jump there when it was time to invoice.
  • There was no clear way to invoice for a fixed fee project’s expenses. Even with workarounds, you still had to do some manual editing to get those expenses into a proper invoice.
  • It was difficult to include both time & materials and fixed fee projects on the same invoice. Either you had to issue your client one invoice per project, or manually edit your invoices to combine them.

If you’ve run into these things, don’t be discouraged. We’ve got some new features for you! Continue reading…

Power Up Your Project Knowledge by Budgeting in Fees per Task

Have you been using Harvest’s new budgets for fixed fee projects? If so, you might’ve run into an interesting problem. A project can come under its total budget, but how do you know exactly what happened beneath that total number? How do you pinpoint where your team’s kicking butt, or going off track? Or where should you rethink expectations for future projects?

Those questions can be hard to answer if you’re setting just one general budget for every project. But we’ve just released a bit of x-ray vision into exactly what’s going on: the Fees per Task budget.

What’s Beneath the Surface of Your Budgets?

Check it out: this under-budget project looks healthy, and probably made a profit.

 

But is this project really as on-track as it appears? What if:

  • One task took 10 times longer than you expected. Egad!
  • Another task took up $200 worth of time, instead of the $2000 you expected. Nice, but something’s off.
  • Someone tracked $500 worth of time to a task you didn’t expect to work on for several more weeks.

If you look at just the overall budget, you might never know these things were happening. And you wouldn’t have the info to know how to improve (or whom to high-five), how to better budget your next project, or where to focus your project management energy.

Continue reading…

New Roles Get You Faster Access to Team-Specific Reports

A few weeks ago, we announced a forthcoming feature: roles. Today, we’re beginning to roll out this new feature, so you should see it in your account within the next few days! That means you’ll be just a few clicks away from reports that can answer questions like:

  • Do I need to hire another person to help my design team?
  • Did my remote team track time this week?
  • Which team is most billable, most overworked, or consistently under capacity?

What’s a Role?

Roles are descriptors for your teammates, which let you associate a person with their responsibility or position at your company. You can create any role to help identify your teammates—like Designer, Sales, Manager, NYC Office, etc. And you’ll be able to apply any role to anyone on your team.

Harvest roles on a person's profile

The Power of Roles

Don’t let the simple setup of roles fool you. A role’s real power is in your Team report.

In the past, your Team Overview was just a list of everyone on your team. If you work with more than a handful of people, that list was unwieldy. What if you just wanted to report on a specific group?

Continue reading…

New Fixed Fee Budgets Show If You’re On Track or Billing Enough

We were excited to kick off the summer with the release of our new Fixed Fee feature. But one problem’s been bugging us all summer long. After you set up your fixed fee project, how do you know if it’s on track, or if you charged enough?

Answering those questions isn’t easy. Your fixed fee project might be wildly profitable or leaking thousands of dollars. Maybe your team’s working too much (and potentially out of scope), or working too little (and in danger of missing milestones). There simply isn’t a straightforward way to know this info in Harvest.

Today that’s changing! We just released budgets for fixed fee projects, so you can keep things on track.

Now if you create or edit any fixed fee project, you’ll see two ways to budget: in fees or in hours. And depending on which budget method you choose, Harvest will surface different kinds of useful info.

Continue reading…

Coming Soon: Organize Your Team by Role

Have you ever gone to your Team section and asked yourself, “How do I get this report to show me just the people I’m most interested in?” Maybe you want to know how billable your designers are, what your developers are working on, or which team might be overworked.

Good question, and good news. We’re working on a feature that’ll allow you to get answers quickly, and it’s called Roles.

Roles are descriptors for your teammates, and allow you to specify what role each person plays in your company: Designer, Manager, Copywriter, etc. When we launch in a few weeks, we’ll share more details about how we envision these roles being used.

Today, however, we want to tell you about some important changes we’re making to support roles, so you know what to expect.

Continue reading…

New Features You May Have Missed

The past month flew by quickly with the release of our new fixed fee projects. So we wanted to pause to highlight some new summer releases that you might have missed! (And if you haven’t skimmed our blog recently, here are last month’s mini updates too.)

Delete Projects with Tracked Data

Until now, Harvest wouldn’t let you delete projects with tracked time or expenses. That may have been too overprotective. Sometimes you just want to delete dummy projects, or get rid of old data. Now that’s as easy as typing YOLO.

Delete project modal

Save Time When Checking on an Invoice

Now when you search for an invoice, you’ll see your invoice’s status (paid, sent, etc) right in the search menu. This means you don’t have to waste time clicking into the invoice to check if you sent it, or if your client paid. Just search the ID, and you’ll see the status immediately.  Continue reading…

Introducing Fixed Fee Projects

Get ready, today we’re introducing support for fixed fee projects!

We’re rolling out these features gradually, so administrators and project managers, you can expect to see some changes to your account within the next few weeks.

What Is a Fixed Fee Project?

A fixed fee project is any scope of work that you bill at a set price, no matter how long it takes to complete. You may also call these projects flat rate, fixed price, or flat contract.

What’s New?

Harvest has always been great for tracking projects that bill hourly. Our project settings, reports, and invoices are built around these kinds of time and materials projects.

But until now, there just hasn’t been a clear way to track a fixed fee project. Today, we’re introducing three features to better support those fixed fees.

1. Setting Up a Fixed Fee Project

When you create a project, you can now choose if that project is time and materials, fixed fee, or non-billable.

fixed fee project type selector

2. Invoicing a Fixed Fee Project

If you invoice for a fixed fee project from its Analysis page, we’ll automatically pull in your uninvoiced fees. (Previously, we would pull in hours and hourly rates—yikes!).

fixed fee invoice

3. Reporting on a Fixed Fee Project

The Uninvoiced Amount for your fixed fee projects will now be accurate. Previously, it was based on hourly rates. Now, we’ll calculate it by taking your total project fees, and subtracting any invoiced amount.

uninvoiced amount report for fixed fee project

What Happens to My Existing Projects?

When you get access to these new features, all your projects will default to the Time and Materials project type.

But don’t worry, this is simply a label! All your project settings, reports, and invoices will remain unchanged. In fact, you may not even notice any changes to your account.

If you want to change the project’s type, all you need to do is edit the project. Otherwise, you don’t need to do a thing!

You can read more detail about how our new features will affect your account here.

What to Expect Going Forward

We’re happy to introduce these first steps to help track fixed fee projects more accurately and obviously. But we also know some additional features could make these projects even more useful.

There are a few features we’ve purposefully left out so that we could start simply. Over the next few months, however, you can expect us to keep improving fixed fee support.

A Note on the Past, Looking to the Future

If you’ve been with Harvest for a while, you might know that we’ve wanted to support fixed fee projects for…well, a long time. It’s been a winding path getting us to this blog post.

On that path here, we’ve knocked out some blockers—like a new Projects section, and the ability to link a project to an invoice. We released a preliminary set of fixed fee features to a group of beta users, whose generous feedback helped us learn how these projects work. And there have been a few paths we’ve gone down, only to turn around and start again.

That’s why we’re all the happier to be able to bring these features to you today. It’s a start of something we think will lead to a more useful, more powerful Harvest.

If you have any questions, or want to share your ideas to make fixed fee projects better, just let us know!

Hey Harvest, What’ve You Been Up To?

It’s been quiet here on the Harvest blog. Perhaps a bit too quiet…

The thing is, we’ve been heads down on a few big features. You’ll hear more about those later this year.

But every day, we also push out small updates that fly under the radar. This post will cover a few of those features, so you don’t miss out!

Archive People Faster

Our new Team section has been a hit. But unfortunately, archiving someone could take up to five clicks!

We didn’t like that, especially since archiving helps save money. If a contractor completes their work or a teammate moves on, just archive them. Then you can update your Settings to save a few bucks.

Now archiving in the Team section is quicker. Just click a person’s name, then choose Archive from their new Actions menu. Plus, we refreshed your list of Archived Users, so you can restore with just one click.

archive menu

Continue reading…

Permissions Update: Releasing Team to Project Managers

Update 11-10-2016: Since we published this blog post, we’ve heard significant feedback that expanding project manager permissions in Team has the potential to expose sensitive information many of our customers need to continue to restrict. We’re currently reconsidering our permissions change, and will update this blog post as soon as we have more news. In the meantime, only administrators have access to Team, and our permissions remain unchanged.

Our new Team section has been live for a few weeks. So far, only administrators have been able to see it.

This means project managers are missing out on useful Team info—like the quick and easy glimpse at who’s working on what, when, and how much.

Soon, project managers won’t have to miss out anymore! Within the next couple of weeks, we’ll open Team to project managers.

Permissions Change

When we release Team to project managers, they’ll be able to see some time-related info they currently can’t. Here’re the details.

What will project managers see in their Team section?

Project managers will be able to see this info in their Team section:

  • All the people on projects they manage.
  • All the time tracked by these people (including time on projects the PM does not manage).

What will project managers NOT see in their Team section?

  • Project managers will not see any billable rates or cost rates in Team.
  • They will not see any money-related information in Team, like fee-based budgets, billable amounts, or invoiced amounts.
  • They will not see a person who is not on a project they manage.
  • They will not be able to edit time entries for other people.
  • They will not be able to add, edit, archive, or delete anybody.
  • They will not see anyone’s profile page (it looks like this, and contains the person’s name, email, rates, etc).

A side note: if your project managers can currently see rates, invoices, or fee-based budgets in other parts of Harvest, they’ll still be able to.

How does this differ from what project managers see today?

Currently, project managers can see only time tracked to projects they manage.

For example, T.J. may have worked 1 hour on my project and 60 hours on another manager’s project. I won’t see those 60 hours, because they’re for a project I don’t manage.

With this upcoming change, project managers will be able see the full timesheet for people on projects they manage. This means a PM may see time tracked to projects they don’t manage. But, they’ll only see this time if it’s been tracked by a person on a project they do manage.

Why the change?

We think it’s important for a project manager to get the full story about their team’s work. Take the above example, where T.J. worked 1 hour on my project and 60 on another manager’s project.

Previously, I wouldn’t know that T.J. worked a 61-hour week. And I’d be stumped as to why my project wasn’t done, or maybe frustrated at T.J.’s lack of motivation.

But in reality, maybe T.J. just tracked time to the wrong project! Or, maybe he really is spread too thin and is stressed about his workload. The problem might not be with his work, but with scheduling—which is beyond his control!

Our permissions changes should make these problems obvious and easy to catch. Your team’s time will be more accurate, and you’ll have a better picture of their day-to-day. We think this kind of transparency is going to be hugely beneficial to understanding your team’s work, and catching those time tracking mistakes.

Get in Touch

We believe this upcoming permissions change will make Harvest all the more useful for all you project managers out there! We’ll release this change within a few weeks, to give some time to prepare for it.

If you think this change is going to be problematic for you, or you have any questions, please let us know!