All about SmartBeats
SmartBeats are updates on task progress sent from a task owner to their project manager. They're sometimes simply referred to as 'beats'.
They are typically sent daily, to help the project manager stay up to date on the task’s status, so managers know right away when project schedules begin to slip, allowing them to quickly intervene.
You can think of a SmartBeat as a slightly more structured way for a team lead to tell their manager something like this:
"The task is going well. Since we last talked I got 20 hours of work done, and think there are 10 more to go. I should have it done by the 14th."
SmartBeats are also a method of automatically populating timesheets; work hours the task owner includes in their beat are added to their timesheet. This makes completing timesheets easier – and more accurate, since beats are submitted immediately after work was performed.
Fields included in SmartBeats
Smart are structured feedback, and include fields for:
- Hours the task owner worked that day
- The task owner’s best estimate of the work remaining for the task
- Their best estimate of when they’ll complete the task
- Any comments they have on their progress
- Marking the task as done
Benefits of using SmartBeats
- Help ensure project managers are always up to date on the status of their projects
- Allow project managers to intervene early if projects are going off track
- Make the resource’s job easier, since they only have to remember what they did today
- Promote accuracy, since resources don’t have time to forget what they worked on
- Save resources from having to complete timesheets after the fact
- Help ensure project completion estimates are being regularly reviewed and updated, as work progresses
- Promote resource accountability
- Project manager sets up a project and a task, and assigns a project resource as the task’s owner.
- Task owner views each current task they’re assigned on the My Work > My SmartBeats page.
- Each work day, the task owner completes and submits a beat for the task.
- Work hours recorded in the submitted beat automatically populate the task owner’s timesheet.
- Project manager views and accepts beats for tasks they manage on the SmartBeats page, as they’re submitted. They can edit certain fields, if necessary.
Setting up resources to use SmartBeats
Resources must be assigned the following settings before they can submit beats:
- Project resource permissions
- A Time Distribution Grid timesheet - we recommend that you enable auto-submit in the timesheet template, so resources submitting beats don’t need to touch their timesheet
And, the resource must be assigned as the task owner of the tasks they’ll be submitting beats for.
What happens if we miss a day?
If a resource misses submitting a beat, we recommend they don’t submit it retroactively. Beats are most accurate and most useful if they apply only to that day’s work.
Can only one resource submit beats for a given task?
Yes - only the task owner can submit beats. However, other resources can work on and be billed for the task.
Can a resource submit beats at the project level, rather than against a task?
No. Resources can only submit beats for tasks, not for the project as a whole.
Are beats validated at all?
No, apart from manual validation by the project manager when they review and accept beats. Validation based on automated rules can be set up in timesheet templates.