New features in Replicon

This topic gives an overview of all the new features added to Replicon for the past nine months.

Timesheet

Time Off

Project, Billing, & Costing

ZeroTimeTM

Other

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Timesheet

Option to require project managers to include comments when reopening timesheets

You can now require project managers to include approval comments when they reopen a timesheet.

This can help timesheet owners understand what they need to fix on the timesheet before resubmitting. For example, a PM could indicate that the wrong task was selected in the timesheet, and that it needs to be updated.

To enable this new permission:

  1. Go to Administration > Employees and Organization > Permission Sets, and open the desired Project Management permission set.
  2. From the Timesheet Approval Permissions section, find the Allow Reopening Previously Approved Timesheets permission.

Select the Allowed with Comments option, and click Save.

Quick Add options on timesheet can be shown as auto-recalculating buttons

Administrators have long been able to include Quick Add population methods on user timesheets. Now, they can specify that up to three of those options display as separate buttons on the timesheet, rather than in the Quick Fill drop-down.

Enabling buttons yields two benefits:

  • The population methods are easier to see and access, which should result in greater use of these options and less time spent filling out timesheets
  • Custom methods that require recalculation are easier to use. Some custom rules require timesheets to be recalculated before they’re applied. Since these new buttons automatically recalculate the timesheet, users no longer have to remember to click recalculate before using Quick Fill.

To set up these buttons:

  1. Find the Time Entry Quick Fill Options section within the user’s timesheet template, and choose Selected Timesheet Population Methods.
  2. Add each method that should be available. Then for each one that should have a separate button, choose the Separate Button drop-down option from the field on the right.
  3. For more information on adding Quick Add methods, refer to Setting up timesheet autofill and quick fill population methods.



Option to require project managers to include comments when reopening timesheets

You can now require project managers to include approval comments when they reopen a timesheet.

This can help timesheet owners understand what they need to fix on the timesheet before resubmitting. For example, a PM could indicate that the wrong task was selected in the timesheet, and that it needs to be updated.

To enable this new permission:

  1. Go to Administration > Employees and Organization > Permission Sets, and open the desired Project Management permission set.
  2. From the Timesheet Approval Permissions section, find the Allow Reopening Previously Approved Timesheets permission.
  3. Select the Allowed with Comments option, and click Save.



Option to skip prompting for approval comments

An approval confirmation dialog prompting users to enter an Approval Comment displays whenever a user approves any type of item (e.g. a timesheet, expense sheet, or time off booking).

But, for some approvers who don't need to enter comments, clicking Approve in this dialog constitutes an extra, unwanted step.

To save those approvers time, we’ve introduced a new Prompt for Approval Comments option on the User Settings > Preferences page.

If the user sets this to Required Only, they will only see the comments dialog for the types of items they are required to include comments for.

Comments are required for a type of item (e.g. timesheets) if the Allow Blank Approval Comments option for that type is unchecked in the approver’s permission set.

So, for example:

If Required Only is selected, and the Allow Blank Approval Comments option is unchecked for timesheets (so comments are required), the approver will see the comments dialog and must enter comments for timesheets.

But, if Required Only is selected, and the Allow Blank Approval Comments is checked for expenses (so comments are optional), the approver will no longer be presented with the comments dialog when approving expenses.

 

AM/PM selector is available in in-out timesheets

If you use either a simple or complex in/out timesheet, and have your clock format set to the AM/PM format, you now have the option of choosing whether AM or PM apply for each entry on your in/out timesheet.

The likeliest option – based on your previous entries and the time of day – will still show beside the entry by default, but the other option will show in a drop-down box beneath it.

This change will allow users to quickly select the correct option, and should help prevent time entry errors.

 

Advanced search fields in the timesheet task selector are more accessible

When setting up timesheet templates, you can include advanced filter fields, like Manager or Location, in the timesheet task selector. These fields help users find projects and tasks to record time against.

However, previously when they appeared on timesheets, these filters were always hidden under an Advanced Search label, making it hard for users to find and use the fields.

So we’ve updated the task selector, so that if one or two of these fields are enabled, those fields will be visible by default, and no Advanced Search label will display.

In all other cases (i.e. if 0 or 3+ fields are enabled), task selector functionality remains unchanged.

 

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Time Off

Option to hide time off policy details from users

For each time off type, you can now hide the policy details for that type from displaying to employees.

You might want to do this if:

  • You don’t want to disclose certain policy details to some or all employees, or
  • You want to declutter the user balance pages 

The hide policies, go to Administration > Time Off Types, select a type, and set the Show Time Off Policy to the Employees field to Disabled.

Then, that policy won’t display for any users on these pages:

  • My Replicon > Time Off > All Balances > <time off type>
  • Team > Time Off > Team Balances > <employee name> > <time off type>
  • Payroll > Time Off > Time Off Balances > <employee name> > <time off type>

Time off type search and wrapping when booking time off

We’ve made some improvements to the Time Off Type field users access when booking time off.

Previously, longer time off type names were truncated when selected, so the full name wasn’t viewable. Now, we’ve increased the field’s width and allow text wrapping, so full names display.

Plus, we’ve added search functionality to the field, so users with many time off types assigned can find the type they’re looking for more easily.

This text wrapping and the search field are also available in the mobile app.

 

Ability to limit how far back users can delete time off bookings

You can now limit how far back, in months, users can delete time off bookings. For example, you can allow them to delete bookings up to 6 months in the past.

This option may be useful for companies that need to retain a record of more recent bookings.

 

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Project, Billing, & Costing

Project managers can be allowed to reopen approved timesheets

Previously, while supervisors could be allowed to reopen approved timesheets, project managers could not. This created delays, since if a PM approving a timesheet saw an error, they had to notify the supervisor to reopen the timesheet so the error could be fixed.

Now, project managers can be given permission to reopen timesheets they approve.

The reopened approved timesheet will be sent back to its owner for correction, or the PM can fix the issue directly if they have edit permission.

 

Independent co-manager permission

Previously, the ability to add and manage co-managers was included as part of the Projects permission in Project Manager permission sets.

This caused issues for some customers who manage projects in a third-party system. These customers disable all project edit permissions for users in Replicon, to ensure changes are only made in the third party app they sync with.

But, this meant they couldn’t enable co-managers.

Now, we’ve separated co-manager permissions out from Projects permission, and are offering it as a standalone permission, so it can be enabled without impacting other permissions.

 

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ZeroTimeTM

Auto Populate timesheet option

We’ve added an Auto Populate feature to ZeroTimeTM in both Replicon and Polaris. Auto Populate is an optional configuration that automatically moves captured time onto user timesheets, without them having to manually accept machine learning (ML) suggestions or move the time themselves.

Each ZeroTime user can activate this feature in their account by enabling the Auto Populate option under Settings.

Auto Populate will only move entries to which it can confidently assign the correct project, task, group, or custom field labels. If insufficient ML data is available for an entry, it will be listed as an exception that the user can update if needed, and accept manually.

Therefore, users should only enable this feature if they’re accepting most of ZeroTime’s ML suggestions, to minimize the number of exceptions.

ZeroTime will continue to learn new associations, and automatically accept them once they’ve reached the required confidence threshold.

Users can continue to edit data in their timesheets before submitting them, to add breaks, fix validation issues, and fill in gaps in their durations worked.

If you want complete automation of time capture, you can set timesheet templates to auto submit, too.

For more information on this feature, refer to Using ZeroTime™ in Auto Populate mode.

 

Enhancements to browser collectors

We launched ZeroTime collectors for the Chrome, Firefox, and Edge browsers in Q3 of this year. This quarter, we made a couple of improvements to them:

Allow list

Admins and users choose which web domains will be included when the collector records time. For example, you might want to time spend on all Google sites, if you perform work there, omitting social media sites that aren't used for work purposes. This makes time records more accurate, since it doesn't record time spent on sites that are not used for work.

In addition, you can assign # tags to websites. These tags allow sites to be automatically labelled with the relevant projects, tasks, clients, etc. when time is transferred to ZeroTime.

Auto mode

By default, users must manually move their recorded time to ZeroTime. But, with Auto mode enabled, the collector will automatically move time to the ZeroTime app at regular intervals.

 

Desktop collector

We've launched a new ZeroTime collector that records time spent working on desktop and laptop applications. This collector can help fill gaps that exist when no native collector is available for an app workers are using. It supports both Windows and Mac operating systems.

Similar to the browser collectors, administrators and end users can choose which applications the collector will record time for, while ignoring the rest. It can also be set to Auto mode, where time is moved to ZeroTime automatically.

Refer to our Installing the ZeroTime Desktop collector guide for more information.

If a native collector is available for the desktop app you're using (e.g. Microsoft Excel), we recommend using it, since native collectors support more meta data, which can aid ML training.

 

Microsoft and browser collectors

We added 5 new collectors used to collect data for ZeroTime: One for Microsoft Office 365, which works with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, one for Microsoft Outlook Email, plus, we added browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox, that you can use to record time spent on web tasks.

 

Unified marketplace

We've made it easier to find collectors by combining the Company and User collectors tabs within the ZeroTime UI. This means we now offer a single marketplace for all our collector apps.

And, now to find out details about a collector – including whether it requires a Company or Self level installation -- simply click its block on the Home tab.

 

Support for # and @ symbols

End users can now include hashtag (#) and at (@) symbols to associate terms they enter with timesheet labels, like projects, clients, or locations. Including these symbols can speed up the machine learning process and improve label suggestions.

 

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Other

Supervisor name now displays on the Overview page

The name of the user’s supervisor now displays on their Overview (or Home) page.

If you want to use a custom term, instead of “Supervisor” for a user, you can specify this in their User permission set using the Supervisor Label field.

We previewed this change on Dec 14.

User schedules available on the Home page

Users can now view their schedules on their Home (or Overview) page, using our new My Schedule card. It displays for both shift and office schedule workers.

This card shows start and end times, work duration, and holidays and other time off for the upcoming week.

 

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