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TimeTiger FAQ

Pricing, Upgrades and Support

To Do window Earned Value Methodology Administration Microsoft Project integration Role-Based Security Reporting Tracking Non-Labour Costs

Can TimeTiger 2 import my existing TimeTiger 1.8 database?

Yes, TimeTiger 2 seamlessly imports both Microsoft Access and SQL Server TimeTiger databases in TimeTiger 1.8 format. If you have an older version of TimeTiger, you should upgrade to TimeTiger 1.8 (at no charge).

TimeTiger 2 On-Premises can import your TimeTiger 1.8 data in the Setup and Configuration options. For TimeTiger 2 Online deployments, where Indigo hosts your TimeTiger application and database, please arrange for us to import your existing TimeTiger 1.8 database by contacting Technical Support.

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Does TimeTiger 2 support languages other than English?

TimeTiger currently allows users to log in using French or English (once the French language has been activated through the Setup & Configuration console). We are planning to include other language support in the coming months.

TimeTiger supports individual language selection by user. One user can log in using English while another can connect to the same database in French. We are investigating support for other languages as well, and our decisions in this area will be driven by customer demand. If your language isn't included in TimeTiger, let us know.

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How can I get the TimeTiger 2 Login page to pop-up automatically when I log into Windows?

These instructions apply to Windows XP but can be easily adapted to work with other versions of Windows. Please let us know if you need some help.

  1. Click the Windows Start menu.
  2. Click All Programs, then right-click on Startup. Click Open.
  3. In the Startup folder, choose File, New, Shortcut...
  4. When asked for the location of the item, type http://(yourserver)/(yourapplication)/login.htm
    (if you're not sure about the URL, you can get it from the browser's address bar when logging into TimeTiger)
  5. Click Next, then type "TimeTiger Login" as the name of the Shortcut.
  6. Click Finish.

Restart Windows to confirm that the login window pops up for you.

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How do TimeTiger 2 support and upgrades work?

As a TimeTiger customer you will continue to receive world-class support services at an exceptional value. Maintain a current annual support subscription with us and receive unlimited telephone and e-mail support as well as all updates to TimeTiger at no charge.

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How much does it cost to upgrade to TimeTiger 2? What if I want to switch back to version 1.8?

The complete set of upgrade/downgrade options is detailed in the following table.

From To Details
TimeTiger 1.8 TimeTiger 2 Online Your upgrade is free. Your existing TimeTiger 1.8 Support Subscription, if any, is converted into an equivalent number of months of no charge TimeTiger 2 Online hosting. If you do not have an existing support subscription, you may still be eligible for up to 6 months of free service.
TimeTiger 1.8 TimeTiger 2 On-Premises Your upgrade is free. Your existing TimeTiger 1.8 Support Subscription, if any, is converted into an equivalent number of months of TimeTiger 2 Support Subscription. If you do not have a current Support Subscription, you will need to purchase one in order to be eligible for support and future upgrades and patches.
TimeTiger 2 Online TimeTiger 2 On-Premises Your upgrade is free, but you must purchase a 12 month TimeTiger Support Subscription prior to your upgrade. If you have any months of pre-paid hosting remaining, they will be converted to an equivalent number of months of TimeTiger 2 Support Subscription and count towards the 12 month requirement.

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I have installed TimeTiger 2 On-Premises and can get to the Login page, but clicking the Login button just returns me to the same Login page.

If the server on which you have installed TimeTiger has an underscore ("_") in its name and you are attempting to use Internet Explorer to log into TimeTiger, you will need to change the server name. In 2005 Microsoft released a security patch to Internet Explorer that prevents session information from being stored when the server name includes an underscore. TimeTiger depends on storing session state in order to process logins. A temporary workaround is to use the machine's direct IP address rather than its name when connecting to it (e.g. http://192.168.1.1/setup rather than http://my_server/setup).

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My organization does not want to deploy web servers and/or applications. Is there any way to use TimeTiger 2 as a purely client/server solution like TimeTiger 1?

Your organization may actually have a specific restriction that can be overcome with TimeTiger 2. For example:

If you do not want to license a web application server like Microsoft IIS: TimeTiger 2 does not require any web server software. It is its own self-contained and highly optimized web application server, and does not use Microsoft IIS or any other web server.

If you are concerned about outside connections into your private TimeTiger 2 data: Even though the TimeTiger 2 system relies on web protocols (HTTP and/or HTTPS) for data transmission, you can always place it inside a corporate firewall to ensure the safety of the information and keep out any connections from outside of your organization. In this way it acts like an intranet application and would not be susceptible to threats outside of your corporate network.

If you are concerned about the security of information flowing between the client browser and the TimeTiger server: TimeTiger fully supports 128-bit SSL encryption and can be configured to be extremely well protected, even when set up to allow incoming connections from the Internet.

We don't want to host our own database or server: Consider implementing TimeTiger 2 Online. This is our hosted solution, where we manage your configuration and database and all you need is a browser to connect from anywhere in the world. This is the easiest way to avoid having to deploy and manage the system yourself.

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What is the difference between TimeTiger 1.8 and TimeTiger 2?

TimeTiger 2 is a 100% web based solution with additional emphasis on project tracking and project management functionality. All features in TimeTiger 2 are accessed using a standard web browser whereas in TimeTiger 1.8 only time logging can be done over the web with a web browser (using TimeTiger/Web). TimeTiger 2 is available in an Online or On-Premises solution (hosted by Indigo or installed on your own servers). For more information about TimeTiger 2, see the TimeTiger 2 Tour.

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What is the difference between TimeTiger 2 Online and TimeTiger 2 On-Premises?

TimeTiger 2 Online is a hosted service where we manage your TimeTiger software and database at our hosting facility. Your users securely access our servers through a web-browser from anywhere in the world. We take care of your hardware and data requirements.

TimeTiger 2 On-Premises is the same TimeTiger server software that you install at your own offices. Users can still access TimeTiger from a web-browser, but now they must connect to your servers. You take responsibility for your hardware and data requirements.

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What precautions do you take to keep my TimeTiger 2 Online data safe?

We use a multi-layered approach to security and data integrity that includes:

  1. High-security, high-availability hosting facilities.
  2. State-of-the-art servers with fault-tolerant storage.
  3. A comprehensive data backup program.
  4. Fully-patched and constantly monitored operating system and database software.
  5. Well configured and tested firewall.
  6. Virus scanning and intrusion prevention tools.
  7. Secure web data transport protocols.

If you have specific security concerns you would like to discuss, please contact Technical Support.

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I have a shortcut to log into TimeTiger on my desktop but every time I double-click it TimeTiger replaces the page I was looking at in Internet Explorer.

By default, Windows and Internet Explorer will open a shortcut you double-click in an existing browser window if one is available. Some users prefer that a new window be opened instead. To make this change, go to Internet Explorer, Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, and uncheck Reuse windows for launching shortcuts. Now, Internet Explorer will create new window each time you log into TimeTiger.

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My To Do window does not remember its position, or is on my Windows task bar but will not appear on my desktop even when I click on it.

When you log into TimeTiger, close your To Do window entirely (you can right-click it from the Windows task bar and choose Close), then in the TimeTiger Explorer Tools menu choose Move To Do window on screen. After you do that once you shouldn't have to do it again in the future.

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A Task on my Project has started and its % complete > 0. Why is its Schedule Performance Index (SPI) equal to zero?

This situation occurs when today's date is before the scheduled start date of the task. Since Planned Value (PV) is zero in this case and the formula SPI = EV / PV makes it impossible to calculate SPI, TimeTiger reports SPI as zero. SPI will continue to be reported as zero until after the scheduled start date (i.e. when PV > 0).

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How can I track the schedule performance of my Projects and Tasks without having to enter and manage costs or cost rates?

For some projects schedule performance is important while budget performance is not applicable. For example, a group of salaried employees working to a firm completion date on a single project may be very interested in how they are doing against their timelines, but cost of time spent may not be as important.

To track schedule performance in TimeTiger without tracking costs assign each project team member an hourly cost rate of $1. This will make the cost of any Task equivalent to the number of hours worked on it. Then, on the Properties page of each Task, after you have entered the Estimated Start and End dates, enter your estimate for the number of hours it will take to complete the Task into both the 'Estimated Work' and 'Estimated Cost' fields. You will now get accurate schedule forecasts in the TimeTiger Snapshot View and other TimeTiger Earned Value reports.

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How is Estimated Cost at Completion determined for Projects and Tasks?

The PMI standard provides a number of formulas for calculating Estimated Cost at Completion (EAC). TimeTiger uses the simplest and most common of these formulas for EAC:

EAC = BAC / CPI

where:

BAC - budgeted cost at completion (project budget)
CPI - cost performance index

If CPI = 0, TimeTiger reports or displays Estimated Cost at Completion as zero.

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How is Forecasted Completion Date determined for Projects and Tasks?

For summary level tasks and the overall project, if the estimated end date is in the future:

FCD = actual start date + (SD / SPI)

where:

FCD - Forecasted Completion Date
SD - Schedule Duration (estimated end date - estimated start date)
SPI - Schedule Performance Index

For summary level tasks and the overall project, if the estimated end date is in the past:

FCD = estimated end date + [(today - estimated end date) / SPI]

where:

FCD - forecasted completion date
SPI - schedule performance index

For individual tasks at the lowest level of the project:

FCD = current date + (1 - EV / BAC) * SD

where:

EV - current earned value
BAC - budgeted cost at completion (project budget)
SD - schedule duration for the project (estimated end date - estimated start date)

The formula for individual tasks is based on determining the date at which current Earned Value (EV) was supposed to have been achieved. For example, if current EV = 100,000, this date occurs when Planned Value (PV) is 100,000. The date t at which EV was supposed to have been achieved is determined by the following formula:

t = (EV / BAC) x SD

If this date is in the past then the sub-task is delayed. The delay (current date - t) is simply added to the scheduled end date to arrive at the final formula for FCD.

In all cases above, if SPI = 0, FCD is not calculated and the TimeTiger snapshot will display N/A.

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What are SPI and CPI and how are they calculated?

SPI, or Schedule Performance Index, is an indication of a project's status against its schedule. It is equivalent to the ratio of EV to PV (ie: SPI = EV / PV). CPI, or Cost Performance Index, is an indication of a project's status against its budget. It is equivalent to the ratio of EV to AC (ie: CPI = EV / AC).

A SPI of 1 indicates the project is progressing exactly according to its schedule and a CPI of 1 indicates the project is consuming resources exactly according to its plan. A value less than 1 for either index indicates unfavourable performance and a value greater than 1 indicates favourable performance.

For example, if CPI = 1.4, the project can be expected to finish under budget (favourable). If SPI = 0.7, the project can be expected to finish behind schedule (unfavourable).

TimeTiger will report CPI as zero when AC = 0 and it will report SPI as zero when PV = 0.

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What is Earned Value?

Earned Value is a powerful approach to measuring your project's health that is made simple by the tools provided in TimeTiger. Earned Value methods produce a few easy to understand metrics that can show you, at a glance, how your project is performing and how it is likely to finish. TimeTiger's implementation of the Earned Value Methodology is based on the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Practice Standard For Earned Value Management and PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

The Earned Value Management Practice Standard is composed of three basic elements:

  • Planned Value (PV) - the value of project work that is supposed to have been performed to date.
  • Actual Cost (AC) - the actual resources used to perform the project work to date.
  • Earned Value (EV) - the value of project work performed to date expressed in terms of the budget assigned to that work.

These elements can be used to calculate performance measures such as SPI and CPI as well as forecast cost at completion and project duration.

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Why does TimeTiger calculate Forecasted Completion Date (FCD) differently depending upon whether a Task is at the lowest level of the Project or at a summary level?

The FCD formula used at summary levels is accurate when Schedule Performance Index (SPI) is based on a collection of tasks. This approach is less accurate at the individual task level because % complete is no longer blended from a collection of tasks weighted by estimated work. If work stops, for example, on an individual task soon after it was started, SPI for the task will decline very rapidly as time passes because the formula for SPI assumes that work is actually continuing. (Note that this assumption is reasonable for a summary task because it is unlikely that all of its sub-tasks will have stopped.) A low SPI produces a very late FCD that will be out of proportion in the case of a work stoppage on a single task.

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Why is Forecasted Completion Date earlier for my Project than it is for some of the Tasks in my Project?

This may occur when there are more than one level of tasks below the project level because the formula for summary tasks is subject to wide fluctuations in SPI at lower summary levels. These fluctuations tend to get averaged out at the project level.

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Why is the Estimated Cost at Completion for a project (or upper-level task) different than the sum of the Estimated Cost of Completion of all sub-tasks?

The EAC for a project is equal to the value determined by the formula rather than the sum of the EACs among the child tasks. In most cases, these figures are different because of fluctuations among the tasks that are smoothed out when the formula is applied at the summary level.

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An item called (uncategorized time) has appeared in my TimeTiger database. I did not create this item. Why has it appeared and is it okay to delete it?

When you first create a sub-item whose parent item contains time logs an additional sub-item called (uncategorized time) will also be created. For example, if you have time logs within a task called Marketing, the first time you create a sub-task within Marketing (eg: Brochure Design), another sub-task called (uncategorized time) will also be created within Marketing. All time logs that were in Marketing prior to the creation of Brochure Design will automatically be moved to the sub-task (uncategorized time). You may then wish to do one of the following:

  1. Move the logs from (uncategorized time) to other sub-items.
  2. Keep the logs where they are but rename (uncategorized time) to something more meaningful.
  3. If you no longer want the time logs in the system, delete (uncategorized time).
  4. Keep the time logs in the (uncategorized time) sub-item.

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How can I repair/compact my TimeTiger database in Microsoft Access 2000 format?

Regularly compacting and repairing your Microsoft Access database is a best-practice that helps keep your database error-free and efficient. Because a TimeTiger database in Microsoft Access format can grow to hundreds of megabytes in size, it is even more imporant to compact and repair it at least once a month and (preferably) twice a month for larger databases. Databases stored in Microsoft SQL Server or other formats do not need to be compacted and repaired.

To repair and compact your TimeTiger database:

  1. Ask all your users to exit TimeTiger and back up your TimeTiger database.
  2. Log into the machine on which the the TimeTiger database file (.mdb) resides as an Adminstrator.
  3. Go to the Windows Start Menu, Control Panel, Adminstrative Tools, Data Sources (ODBC).
  4. Choose the System DSN tab and click Add...
  5. Choose Microsoft Access Driver... and click Finish.
  6. For Data Source name, type TimeTiger Database or some other descriptive text. You can leave Description blank.
  7. In the Database section, click Select... and point Windows to your TimeTiger database file (with a .mdb extension).
  8. Click Repair... and choose the same file name. This will repair the database.
  9. Click Compact... and, for both From Database and To Database, choose the same file name. Choose Version 4.x. Click OK. This will compact the database.
  10. Click OK to save your ODBC entry for the next time you compact and repair your TimeTiger database.

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How often is my TimeTiger 2 Online data backed up?

We expect you to demand the very best in data backup and fault tolerance for your hosted TimeTiger 2 Online database. Our backup process for your database is as follows:

  • The server on which your database resides is located in a secure, tier-1 hosting facility.
  • The server is equipped with fault tolerant (RAID) storage.
  • A daily snapshot of your database is taken and stored for each of the past 7 days.
  • A monthly snapshot of your database is taken offsite and stored for at least 1 year.
  • At any time you can request a snapshot of your database to be shipped (via trackable courier) to you on CD. A US$50 service charge applies.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the complete safety and security of your data, please contact us.

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What is the advantage of using TimeTiger with Microsoft Project?

TimeTiger enables team members to painlessly track their time spent on projects by clicking on the items they are working on. Time worked can be analyzed and viewed to better plan and manage projects and improve productivity.

For example, an instantly available snapshot displays status and predicts project outcome (cost at completion and completion date) based on the Project Management Institute's Earned Value standard. Developing issues can be identified early with drill down tools that let you analyze performance trends.

TimeTiger also integrates with MS Project providing full bi-directional synchronization. Resources assigned in MS Project will see their To Do list automatically appear on their computer screen so they can start logging time immediately with no setup.

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What version of Microsoft Project does TimeTiger work with?

Microsoft Project 2003 Professional (and later) are supported. Microsoft Project server and older versions of Microsoft Project are not compatible with TimeTiger.

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I just upgraded my TimeTiger (from version 2.0.155 or earlier) to the latest TimeTiger build and now my users can't create top-level items like Clients or Categories.

If you use TimeTiger's powerful Role-Based Security features (to control who can see and do what with the system) you will want to take advantage of the improvements we made to TimeTiger 2.0.156 and later.

In prior versions of TimeTiger assigning a User to any Client in a role that allowed creating sub-items (like Projects) gave them permissions to create top-level Clients as well. That is no longer the case. Now you can assign users to individual Clients (which will allow them to create Projects), but in order for them to create top-level Clients they must be assigned to the actual Clients node in the TimeTiger Explorer. So, you can assign users to all Clients (giving them permissions to create new Clients) or to an individual Client (which gives them permissions to create sub-Clients and Projects but not top-level Clients).

Role-Based security is flexible, powerful, and easy to manage once it is set up but it does take a liitle getting used to at first. If you have any questions about security in TimeTiger please contact us.

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The time totals at the bottom of reports don't add up exactly to the values in the actual columns.

TimeTiger tracks each time log entry down to the nearest second (that's 1/3600 of an hour) but on reports it rounds values to 1/10 of an hour by default. This rounding is done separately for each report cell and for the subtotal and total cells, so it is possible that the subtotals and totals won't match the total of the (already rounded) cells above them. The subtotal and total is accurate as it appears on the report. If you would like to see more accuracy in your reports, simply change the reporting resolution to 1/100 of an hour in TimeTiger Explorer, Tools, Options.

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When I print my TimeTiger report it is too wide for a single printed page.

You have a couple of options. First, try changing the Page Setup in Internet Explorer to Landscape (rather than Portrait) orientation. Unfortunately this is a setting you must make yourself as TimeTiger cannot directly affect the page orientation in Internet Explorer or other browsers. If the report is still too wide, take advantage of TimeTiger's one-click Export to Microsoft Excel (simply click on the Excel button in the browser's toolbar) and use Excel's many formatting and page setup options to get your report to look exactly the way you want.

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When I try to run a custom report TimeTiger tells me This report would not contain any data.

You may be receiving this message for any of the following reasons.

  1. Date range of the report. You may be selecting a date range that does not contain any data based on the other field selections you have made in the report design. Try changing the date range to All to see if any data appears.
  2. Insufficient permissions. You may not be assigned in a role that allows you to see the items or time logs that would appear on the report. Ask a TimeTiger System Admin user (or another user with broader access to the system) to try running the same report to see if data appears for them.
  3. Report design. You may have inadvertently designed the report so that it is impossible that actual data would ever appear. For example, if you limit the report to specific Clients and also limit it to specific Projects, but none of the Projects you select actually belong to any of the Clients you select, the report will always be empty. To check if this is a problem, try creating a new report and add one field at a time from the original report, running the report at each step, to see if you can identify which field (and criteria) causes the report to filter out all the data.

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Why is the Edit with Microsoft Excel option no longer available since I switched to Internet Explorer 7?

By default Internet Explorer 7 does not include the Edit toolbar button that you use to open your TimeTiger report directly from within Microsoft Excel. To add the Edit button, follow these steps:

  1. In Internet Explorer, right-click anywhere in the toolbar and choose Customize Command Bar, Add or Remove Commands.
  2. Under Available toolbar buttons, choose Edit and click Add. Click Close.
  3. Confirm that the Edit button appears on your toolbar (it looks like a small pencil). It may have been added to the very end of the toolbar and may not actually be visible on your screen. If that is the case, right-click on the toolbar, uncheck Lock the Toolbars, then slide the left border of the toolbar to the left until all buttons are visible.
  4. When viewing a TimeTiger report, click the dropdown beside the Edit button. Click Edit with Microsoft Office Excel. Your report will open in Excel.

Note that you must use the dropdown beside the Edit button. Simply clicking the Edit button will open your report in the default HTML editor defined in Internet Explorer, Tools, Internet Options, Programs, HTML Editor. By default this is likely to be Microsoft Word or FrontPage.

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My projects have fixed costs (e.g. purchased equipment, print distribution) that are not dependent on time tracked labour but vary by project. How can I keep track of these costs in TimeTiger?

Create the following items:

  • a User Group for fixed costs (e.g. 'Materials')
  • a User within this group for each cost type (e.g. 'Hardware', 'Printing', 'Equipment Rentals', etc.)

Assign a cost rate per hour of $1 to each of the Users created above. For each Project that has fixed costs, create a Task for it (e.g. 'Materials'). When you are ready to record the purchase of fixed cost items simply input the dollar value in the hours column on the Log time page.

For example, if you incur a printing cost of $6000 for Job 1, log 6000 hours for the user 'Printing' on the date the expense was incurred and allocate it to Project 'Job 1' and Task 'Materials'. Printing costs will now be included in reports that calculate project costs. To avoid distortions in Earned Value calulations do not enter Estimated cost, Estimated start date or Estimated end date on the Properties page of a Task that has been created to process fixed costs. A future version of TimeTiger will treat fixed costs (costs not dependent on labour hours) as separate and distinct from time tracked labour.

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My projects have non-labour costs that vary by usage (e.g. equipment rentals per hour, printing costs per impression, distribution costs per mailing, etc.) How can I keep track of these costs in TimeTiger?

Create the following items:

  • a User Group for non-labour usage costs (e.g. 'Materials Usage')
  • a User within this group for each cost type (e.g. 'Printing', 'Distribution', 'Equipment Rentals', etc.)

Determine the cost per unit for each of the users created above (e.g. $50 per hour, $500 per impression or $5 per mailing, etc.). Assign this cost per unit as the cost rate per hour for the user. For each Project that has non-labour usage costs, create a Task for it (e.g. Materials Usage'). When you are ready to record the consumption or purchase of non-labour usage items, simply input the number of units consumed or purchased in the hours column on the Log time page.

For example, if you consume 500 envelops for your mailing on Job 1, log 500 hours for the user 'Distribution' on the date the envelops were consumed and allocate the entry to Project 'Job 1' and Task 'Materials Usage'. Distribution costs will now be included in reports that calculate project costs.

To avoid distortions in Earned Value calulations do not enter Estimated cost, Estimated start date or Estimated end date on the Properties page of a Task that has been created to process non-labour usage costs. A future version of TimeTiger will treat non-labour usage costs as separate and distinct from time-tracked labour.

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