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  • How to Get Started with Vertabase

    This how-to covers how you can set things up quickly to start adding user accounts, creating projects, adding tasks to projects, assigning resources to tasks, and submitting timesheets. If you are new to Vertabase, this introduction is very helpful toward getting an understanding of what needs to be configured in order to start using the system.

    Read the Summary below to take a quick look at set-up requirements. Read Set-up Requirements for a more detailed step-by-step explanation.

    Summary
    The set-up process essentially consists of the steps below.

    1. Before creating user accounts ensure you have:

    • the appropriate number of available licenses,
    • an access level linked to the appropriate license type, and
    • at least one office available in the Office menu.

    2. Before creating a project ensure you have:

    • at least one client available in the Client menu, and
    • at least one user account with the Manager field set to Yes.

    3. Before creating tasks ensure you have:

    • at least one project created (tasks only exist inside a project)

    4. Before assigning resources to tasks and submitting timesheets ensure you have:

    • at least one work type available in the Work Type menu.

    Set-up Requirements

    Set-up requirements for creating User Accounts

    Let’s start with what must be set up before you can create a user account. Three things must be in place: 1. you need to have an available license, 2. you must have an access level linked to the license type of that available license, and 3. you must have at least one office added to your Office menu.

    Verify that a License is available

    To confirm that you have an available license, click Admin in the main menu to access configuration options. Next click the Licenses option in the secondary menu. On the lower right of the page, you will see the total number of licenses that you have for each license type, and the number that you have available for new user accounts. You need to have licenses in the available column to create user accounts.

    Verify an Access Level with linked license type

    To confirm that you have an access level linked to the license type of the available license to be used with a new user account click Admin in the main menu to access configuration options. Next click the Access Levels option in the secondary menu. You will see the list of access levels you have, some of which were configured by default. If access levels already exist, you can click the access level name to verify the corresponding license type. Clicking the access level name takes you to the View Access Levels page where you will see the License Type field. If you have an access level that matches the license type for the licenses you purchased, you’re on your way towards setting up user accounts. If you need to create a new access level, click Add in the secondary menu. Contact Vertabase Support at support@vertabase.com if you need help with changing the license type of your new access level.

    Verify the Office menu

    The last thing that’s needed in order to set up a user account, is at least one office identified in the system. Click Admin in the main menu to access configuration options. Next click Company Settings in the secondary menu. Other secondary menu options will appear. If you have the permission to change options in the Offices menu, you will see an option labeled Offices. Click Offices to go to the page where you can add menu items to the list. This list will be available throughout Vertabase, and is used when creating user accounts. You must have at least one office identified in this list in order to create a user account. The Office field in the user account is a required field.

    To add an office simply type the office name into the Add New Office field. If you only have one office, you can enter the name of the company or the name of the city for your business. Entering the name and clicking Add will save the office. Click on the name itself if you need to edit it. You can edit the spelling and click Update Entry to save your changes. Once you have added at least one office to the list you’re ready to create new user accounts.

    Creating a User Account

    Click Users in the main menu, followed by clicking Add to create a user account. You will see the Office field there. Note that you must choose an office. You’ll see Please Choose One in the drop-down menu. The list of items available in the menu come from the Offices page in the Admin section.

    Set-up requirements for creating Projects

    Two things are needed to create a project: 1. you must have at least one client listed in the Clients menu, and 2. you must have at least one user identified as a Project Manager.

    Verify the Clients menu

    Click Admin in the main menu to access configuration options. Next click Clients in the secondary menu to see the page for managing the client list. These list items belong to a Clients menu that is used throughout Vertabase. You can think of a client as a company, organization, or the person that will be receiving the project deliverable. This person or group will somehow benefit from the work done on the project that is tracked in Vertabase. On the Clients page type the client name into the Add New Client field and click Add.

    The Create New Project page (found under Projects in the main menu) has a mandatory field labeled Client. The options available in this field are created on the Clients page in the Admin section and are displayed in a drop-down menu. You need to create at least one client for that menu in order to create a project.

    If you are a project manager or administrator you might see an Add New link beside the Client field on the Create New Project page. This link allows you to add another client name to the list without returning to the Admin section of the system.

    Verify the Project Manager menu

    Another requirement for creating a project is identifying the project manager. This is done using the Manager drop-down menu on the Create New Project page. The names that appear in this menu come from the names of user accounts. If you wish to have a user name appear in the menu you need to edit the corresponding user account. To edit the account, click Users in the main menu. You will see a Search page with fields that can be used to find specific users. As a short cut, click the All link to the right of the alphabet links to display all user accounts. Click the name of the account you wish to edit to see the View User page. Next, click Edit in the secondary menu to see the status of the Manager field. This field must be set to Yes for this user’s name to appear in the Manager drop-down menu on the Create New Project page. If it is set to No and you wish to change it, simply click the Yes button (while on the Edit User page), then click Save Changes at the lower right side of the page. This field can also be edited on the Add a New User page if you are creating a new user account.

    Set-up requirements for creating Tasks

    Create a Project

    Tasks exist inside of a project. A project must be created in order to create tasks. Once a project is created, you can access the schedule page where tasks can be added. You can use an existing project or create a new one to manage tasks.

    To create a new project, use the Create New Project page and enter information for the following manadatory fields:

    • Project Name,
    • Client,
    • Manager,
    • Start Date, and
    • Delivery Date.

    Click Submit New Project to save the project. The Project View page will be displayed. You can think of the project as a shell containing schedule information.

    Create Tasks

    Once a project exists, its schedule page can be used to manage its tasks. Click Schedules and Budgets in the secondary menu. The Schedule View page will be displayed where you will see Add Tasks in the secondary menu. Clicking Add Tasks will display a prompt asking for the number of tasks to be added. You can enter the number desired, and click OK. The page will refresh to show the corresponding number of blank rows, where each row represents a task.

    Creating a task involes completing the following mandatory fields:

    • Task Description,
    • Start Date, and
    • Due Date.

    Next, click Submit New Tasks to save your tasks to the project. You might receive a prompt to send an email notification that new tasks were created. After deciding whether or not the notification should be sent, the page will refresh to display the Schedule View page.

    Set-up requirements for assigning Resources

    With tasks in your schedule you can now assign resources to them. Before doing so at least one Work Type menu option must exist.

    Verify the Work Type menu

    To verify the list of Work Types, click Admin in the main menu, click Company Settings in the secondary menu, and then click Work Types in the secondary menu. If there is at least one work type in the list, you will be able to assign resources to tasks. If there are no work types in the list, you can add one. Enter the name of the new work type into the Add New Work Type field and click the Add button.

    You can optionally provide a Work Type Rate. This represents a pay rate or a billing rate in currency (e.g. US dollars) per hour. This rate is multiplied by estimated hours assigned to resources who are assigned to tasks to calculate the estimated labor cost for tasks. It is multiplied by the actual hours submitted in the timesheets to calculate the actual labor cost for tasks. The estimated and actual labor costs can be seen using the Budget View of the Schedule View page.

    Assigning a Resource

    Return to the Schedule View page of your project (e.g. click Projects in the main menu, search for your project, then click the Schedule link next to Quick Links). Looking at the Schedule View page, you will see a column with an icon of a person in the heading. This is the user assignments column. Click the Set link for the desired task in this column (if the task already has resources assigned to it, you will see the number of assigned resources rather than a Set link). This will display the Assign Members to Task pop-up window. This pop-up window is used to assign resources to tasks. Simply click the checkbox in the Assign column for the resources you wish to assign to the task.

    When assigning resources, you will notice that a work type can be selected. The options available in the Work Type drop-down menu are configured on the Work Types page under Admin > Company Settings. The Work Type is a mandatory field when assigning a resource to a task.

    The Work Type represents the type of work, or type of project related activity that the resource will be assigned to do on a particular task. For example, project management, programming, and editing could be work types. While assigning a resource you have the option of entering Estimated Hours in the Assign Members to Task pop-up window. Estimated Hours is not a required field.

    Set-up requirements for submitting Timesheets

    Enable Timesheets

    The Timesheets feature has to be enabled to use it. To enable Timesheets click Admin in the main menu. You will see that you are in the System Settings tab and on the Main Settings page. Scroll down to the last section of this page where you will see a heading labeled Timesheets. There you will see the option Use Timesheets. Set this option to Yes, then click the Save Changes button to the bottom right of the page to save your change.

    There are several other options related to configuring the Timesheets feature. See the video Setting up Timesheet Periods and Reminders for more information.

    Verify Access Levels

    Vertabase users will only be able to submit timesheets if their access level grants them the permission to do so. Click Admin in the main menu, then click Access Levels in the secondary menu. You will see the list of access levels that have already been created. An access level represents a user group. A single access level can affect the system rights of several users.

    Click the name of the access level that you wish to verify. This brings you to the View Access Levels page where you can see the details of its configuration. Under the Description field, you will see a row of text links. Click the Timesheets link to jump to the Timesheets section of the View Access Levels page. Verify that the option Add Timesheets to assigned projects is enabled for this access level. If it is enabled, users affected by this access level will be able to submit timesheets for their projects. If it is not enabled and you wish to enable it, click Edit in the secondary menu. If you need help to edit the access level, contact Vertabase Support at support@vertabase.com. For more information on access levels, see the video Using Access Levels.

    Verify User Accounts

    Each user account can be configured to have Timesheets enabled or disabled. This allows you to have Timesheets enabled system-wide, but disabled for the one or two users who do not need to use it. If you need to have your Vertabase users submit timesheets, their user accounts must have timesheets enabled.

    To verify the user account, click Users in the main menu. You will see a Search page with fields that can be used to find specific users. As a short cut, click the All link to the right of the alphabet links to display all user accounts. Click the name of the account you wish to verify to see the View User page. Next, click Edit in the secondary menu to see the status of the Use Timesheets option. This option must be set to Yes to allow this user to see and use the Timesheets feature. If it is set to No and you wish to change it, simply click the Yes button, then click Save Changes at the lower right side of the page.

    Verify the Work Type menu

    The Work Type field is a mandatory part of a timesheet entry. At least one work type option must exist to permit submission of timesheets. Please read the section Verify the Work Type menu under Set up requirements for assigning resources above for details on adding options to this menu.

    Submitting Timesheets

    A resource can indicate the actual number of hours spent on a task using the Timesheets feature. If you want to submit timesheets click Timesheets in the main menu. You will see the Assigned Projects page by default. This page allows you to submit time on projects and tasks to which you have been assigned. Other projects and tasks will not be visible. If you see the Company Projects option in the secondary menu you can click it to submit time on any project and any task.

    While on the Assigned Projects or Company Projects page, you can submit actual time worked by first selecting the Client, selecting the Project, then optionally selecting the Task, then selecting the Work Type. The Work Type is required. At least one option must exist in the Work Type drop-down menu before timesheets can be submitted.

    If you decide to select a Task for the timesheet entry, the Work Type field will automatically change to reflect the work type that was assigned to you when you were assigned to the task. If you were not assigned to the selected task, the work type displayed is simply the first menu option in alphabetical order. You can, however, change the work type to another option if the time submitted reflects a different type of work. For example, although project management may have been the assigned work type on the task, you may have done something different that perhaps wasn’t expected. You can change the option of the Work Type field to reflect more accurate tracking of how your time was actually spent.

    To complete the timesheet entry select a Work Date that is within the time period identified as the Current Timesheet Period. You will see the Current Timesheet Period below the blank timesheet rows. Next, enter the time as hours in the Hours field. Fractions of hours can be entered by using decimals. The Description field can be used to describe exactly what was done in the time submitted. Finally, click Save Changes to save your timesheet entries.


    Related video: Getting Started with Vertabase