Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Project Task Link Relationships

Every manufacturing project has tasks, or steps, phases, or activities that define the work you'll perform. And some of those tasks are dependent upon others. In other words, you can’t start one step until another is completed. Or, there may be phases later in the process that won’t start until previous phases are finished.
Those are called task dependencies. Tasks are linked, and their dates depend on previous tasks.

In this video, we’ll look at four types of task dependencies that model actual conditions on the shop floor.

Let’s take a look!

Here on Standard Time® we’ll look at four distinct types of link relationships that you can see by the lines and the arrows in the Gantt chart. The first one we’ll look at is finish-to-start, which is the most common; then start-to-start, then finish-to-finish and finally we’ll take a look at start-to-finish.

Let’s go ahead and look at the most common link relationship which would be the finish-to-start. The starting date of a successor task is linked back to the finish date of another. When this task ends another can start. That’s the most common. We’ll move this task and you can see the next task updates because this one has been moved. Finish date on this one changed so that changes the starting date of the successor task.

The next type would be start-to-start. You can see the starting date of this task is linked back to the starting date of another. When that one is moved then the successor is also moved because the two start dates are linked together.

The third type would be finish-to-finish, where the finish date of this task is linked back to the finish date of another. We move that, the two finish dates are linked together and when the predecessor moves then the successor would also be updated.

The fourth type would be start-to-finish, where the starting date of this task goes down to the finish date of another. When we move this task then the successor also moves because the starting date is linked back to the finish date.

The examples you see down below are variations of we already looked at. We’ve got start-to-start; when the starting date of this task changes then the starting date of a successor task would change. We’ve also looked at the finish-to-finish; so when the finish date of this one changes then the finish date of the successor would also change. So you can combine these to form a nice little link relationship.

The long lines you see on these milestones are lag times. If we click on this link icon in the link column; we can go ahead and look at the lag times that you see connected with these link relationships. I should point out that the inbound tasks that you see here, actually none here, are predecessors and the outbound tasks are the successors. They are linked together with certain link relationships. In this case they have some lag times. I’ll click here, you can see the finish-to-start link relationship; which we already looked at. And a lag time of two calendar days. Close that and look at this one.

We have start-to-start, which we’ve also looked at previously with minus-four calendar days. Cancel out of these and that explains the long lines that you see here linked to these milestones. That covers the four distinct types of link relationships in Standard Time that you can use for your projects.

Scheduling Projects for Manufacturing

Hello manufacturing managers! Do you ever have trouble scheduling jobs for production? • You have to get them slotted quickly • But you also have to find available resources • And you can’t overload them with too many jobs. That’s a challenge! Have you tried Standard Time? With Standard Time, a Resource Requirements chart updates as you drag projects in your Gantt chart. Now you instantly see the impact on labor and materials. Like the idea? Download today! www.stdtime.com/manufacturing

Assembly Line Project Allocation and Scheduling

If your manufacturing shop has assembly lines, you might like to see which projects are running on each line. Turns out, there’s a tool for that. It’s called Standard Time, and it answers a lot of similar questions like:

1. Which assembly line has a free slot for my next project?

2. Which lines are booked?

3.What is the utilization rate of each assembly line?

4. Which assembly line is my project running on?

5. And others

Let’s have a look at project resource allocation in Standard Time, and specifically how that relates to work orders… or projects… running on assembly lines.

Here we go!

We’ll start by choosing tools, assembly lines here in Standard Time®. This will give you a list of assembly lines in your operation; you can click the + symbol to add new ones and then set the properties on those assembly lines. I won’t go into the properties here; that’s not the focus of this video; we’ll be talking about project resource allocation on assembly lines. You probably would want to right click on an assembly line and choose assign projects.

You’ll notice that you can have multiple projects assigned to a single assembly line. Normally those projects would execute sequentially, so when one project ends the next would start. That would allow you to see the task and project allocation to assembly lines and spot gaps or slots where you can put new projects.

You may also use the project tasks tab and Gantt chart to see a timeline of those tasks into the future. Then choose view, Project, Resource Allocation. You’ll notice I’m looking at all projects here, I’m going to click this last option. And then choose an assembly line from the drop down. Here you can see all the projects that are allocated to this assembly line. Pick another one and you see the allocation for that assembly line.

You may also notice the Gantt chart is still visible behind this resource allocation window. I can grab tasks and projects and drag them and see the effect that it has on that assembly line. You can spot the slots where new projects could be added and use this as a tool to slot new projects for your assembly lines.

CNC Operators Track Time with Barcodes

Close tolerances and tight sales margins? Keep track of work orders using barcodes. CNC operators use barcodes to track manufacturing time on the shop floor. Here's the process:

1. Scan username

2. Scan work order

3. Scan task

4. Timer starts

5. Perform job and task

6. Scan username again

7. Scan STOP

8. Timer stops

Now you have just recorded the employee, work order, task, client, start, stop, actual work, and about ten other pieces of relevant data. Use that in reports, WIP, and KPI's.

Manufacturing Resource Allocation

What really is Project Resource Allocation? And why do manufacturing managers care about it? In essence, it’s just looking into the future and making sure: • You’re using project resources the best possible way •And that nobody is over-allocated • And nobody is under-allocated Nice! But is there a tool for that? Sure, it’s called Standard Time® It’s a project management and manufacturing tool for your shop floor. Download a copy from www.stdtime.com/manufacturing



Organizing Manufacturing Projects

In this video I will introduce you to Standard Time®, a Manufacturing Resource Planner. We’ll look at five ways to organize projects for your manufacturing operation. In other words, how to group and report on projects of differing types. The groupings I’ll show are: 1.Portfolios 2.Folders 3.Clients 4.Status 5. And assembly lines

These are all optional. Use any or all to visualize and report on your manufacturing projects.

Want to take a look? Here goes!

Let’s begin by choosing Tools, Projects in Standard Time®. This is the place where administrators would set up projects and set the properties for them. Right off the bat you see folders where projects can be dropped into; create your own hierarchy of folders, that would be the first level of classification. You also, on the right-hand side in the properties, see client, portfolio and status.

As I click on the different projects you can see those fields changing. You could use clients for external or internal clients, that you’re doing work for or departments. If you don’t have any of those three you might consider using client for a completely different purpose for classifying projects. Portfolios of course would be for different kinds of projects that you do, you could group them together by kind. And then you can also set the status, which is another form of classification for projects.

So those are four quick ways you can classify projects. You also have assembly lines which you see over on the left-hand side. How can you use these classifications or groupings of projects within Standard Time? The first way would be to use this tree on the left-hand side to filter the views on the right. You see tabs along the top, I’m looking at the project tasks tab, which shows all of the projects and tasks within Standard Time. I can use that tree on the left-hand side to filter this view. I could, for instance, open the clients section, click on a client. Now I’m looking at just the projects, which are these wide blue bands, or this particular client. Or go down to project portfolios, click on a portfolio, and I now see all the projects for that portfolio. Or go over to folders, click on a folder and I see the projects for that folder.

If you have assembly line set up you could click on assembly line and see all the projects that are running on that assembly line. So lots of different ways to categorize, visualize, group your projects. Another way might be to go to the view menu choose project, resource allocation, you see a few buttons at the top of this drop down that you can use to find all the project resource allocation for a certain folder. Or for a portfolio or for an assembly line. Or see all of the projects.

Another way would be to the view menu, choose project revenue, you have those same buttons that you can look at all the revenue for a folder, portfolio and so on. You have these groupings available within reports as well. If I open time log reports I can see reports by client or by portfolio. You could create custom reports that used folders, status or assembly lines as well. Lots of different ways to use those classifications to visualize, group and report on your manufacturing projects.

Manufacturing Resource Requirements Software

Every manufacturing project, work order, or job has resource requirements.And every successful manufacturing manager monitors them -- one way or another. That’s what makes Standard Time® a good choice for project scheduling. •Drag projects on your production schedule, and watch resource requirements update instantly • Find over-allocated and under-allocated conditions • Manage headcount Haven’t tried Standard Time in your manufacturing shop? Download today! www.stdtime.com/manufacturing

Manage Manufacturing Projects

Manage your manufacturing projects With Gantt charts, task links, resource allocation And Standard Time®

Work in Progress on Shop Floor

View work orders on a big screen Right on the shop floor With Standard Time®

Project Revenue From Work Orders

Work orders come through your manufacturing shop every week. And you schedule them for production with Standard Time® software. Nice! But did you know there’s a handy bar chart for future revenue? That’s right! Pull up a chart to see expected revenue for jobs you: • Won • Or lost • Or are still in progress Think of it as a sales funnel for manufacturing work orders. Check out Standard Time here: www.stdtime.com/manufacturing


Download a fully functional timesheet that will remain active for 30 days.
Company Name
Please enter your company name
Full Name
Please type your full name.
Invalid email address.
Number of Employees
How many employees will use this?