Thursday, February 25, 2010

HEAT: Time Tracking Methods

A client asked: Is there a way, within HEAT, to track time spent on tickets and make as many time entries per ticket as needed.

A good place to start would be the Journal tab. This has a one-to-many relationship to the Call ID and has no limitation in terms on entries. Using the Journal tab and some custom fields, you can now 1) record your time in a Journal entry (together with a description of the work performed and; 2) devise a method to roll up the time in all Journal entries for each ticket.

The rolled up time could be displayed on the ticket form or in an external report (e.g. Crystal Reports). This decision should be based on how the time spent total will be used. Ultimately, however, a time total recorded on the ticket form could also be reported on (for all tickets) in a Crystal Report. If, however, only a Crystal Report is used to record the total time by ticket, then when a need for the ticket to contain the time total arises (e.g. use by the Managers Console) the process would need to be revised or reworked.

So, it appears that totaling the time entered in the Journal entries on a HEAT form would be the best approach (with reporting methods created after the form changes are made). Below are the steps to create a total time spent field that pulls from all Journal entries for a ticket.

First, depending on your version and setup of HEAT, you may already have a custom field on the Journal tab. It is called TotalJournalTime and is a Number field type. If you do not have this field, create an edit set and add the field to the Journal table and form.

Next, add a field to your form (e.g. Call Log) to hold the total time for the Journal. Name this TotalJournalTime and then create an autotask to total the entries in the Journals for that ticket. The autotask should use the Update Call action and run the Sum Journals function. Specifically, insert this function in the CallLog TotalJournalTime field - {|@Functions.@SumJournals|(TotalJournalTime)}

The autotask can be connected to a command button or to a business rule to execute the calculation. Which method is used would depend on the need for the calculation and if it is later included in a Crystal Report. In this case, the Business Rule method may be better to ensure that the calculation is performed on a regular basis.