Information and Technology Services (ITS) strives to ensure that the university receives the greatest value in exchange for its investment in information technology services. Effort tracking is one way ITS communicates the value of its services to the CFO, Provost, President and Board of Regents, among many others. Quantifying the cost (via effort) to provide information technology services helps demonstrate the number of staff required to run operations and services and assists in communicating what work level is available on all projects requested by its various constituents. Effort tracking provides ITS not only with data that can be used to estimate future work, but also a more objective way for supervisors and staff to discuss work level.
As part of this effort tracking process, ITS organizes effort into four general categories:
- A project is a temporary work effort undertaken to create, enhance, maintain, or retire a product, service, or result. It is greater than 80 hours of effort, has a start and an end that is formalized by the completion of the project's objective or when the project is terminated (objective not met or business needs have changed). Examples of a project include: new service creation, infrastructure or application upgrade, effecting a change in the structure or staffing of an organization, developing or acquiring a new application, decommissioning an information system, developing and/or implementing a new business process, etc.
- Minor Enhancements
- Minor enhancements include functional enhancements to current code that takes less than 80 hours of effort, and resource planning and scheduling purposes which are captured and tracked individually.
- Production Support & Operations (PSO)
- Production support and operations includes all activities that are required to keep the current systems and services running and fulfilled. Examples include: Incident and Problem management, application and systems maintenance management, batch processing, etc.
- Standard Activities
- Standard activities include off time and administrative work such as professional development, and performance management.
- Tracking time in Planview
- ITS uses a project portfolio management software application called Planview for enterprise portfolio management, project management, resource capacity management, and effort tracking. Review the Planview Documentation for instructions for tracking time or, if you are a supervisor, approving time.
- How to access Planview
- To access Planview, Log in or use the link on the Backstage homepage. Log in using your uniqname and UMICH password.
- Determining which tasks to use
- For definitions and a list of all the standard production support tasks to which you can charge time, refer to the current fiscal year activity tree. Determine which tasks to charge time to by contacting the project manager or your supervisor. Project tasks will vary depending on the needs of the project. If you need assistance with effort tracking, see your supervisor.
- How ITS uses time tracking data
- ITS uses time tracking data to report how much time it devotes to project and production support activities. ITS sets goals and tracks trends. Leadership reviews reports to help manage U-M IT Governance Committees and Domains in terms of how to prioritize the effort we expend to campus.
The goal of ITS is to maximize capacity project work as this allows ITS to provide its customers with the new features, systems, and services they need.