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Tracking volunteer hours for multiple programs

QuidQuid Definitely not a bananaRegistered User regular
I'm interviewing for a position where I'd be charged with organizing and implementing a few different volunteer programs. One of the questions on the interview sheet is an idea of how to track hours individuals volunteer for these different programs. I'm almost positive that the current system they use is a combination of Excel and Outlook and I could come up with a workable system using that too but I am also positive that the current system probably ain't great and neither would mine be.

So I'm curious if anyone has experience on how to make something like this work more smoothly than tracking names and dates in a spreadsheet that will eventually need massive pruning after about six months. Currently the position oversees three different programs and it'd need to account for the hours of people in each of these, taking in to account that some people might volunteer for more than one and that there is a constant stream of people coming in to and leaving the area.

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    zagdrobzagdrob Registered User regular
    This is what Microsoft Project is designed for.

    Everyone in our department logs their hours weekly in Project Web App and the hours are reviewed / approved by their manager. We can pull reports of how many hours are spent on what projects / tasks. If you want, you can break projects down to be as granular as you want them to be - down to indivdual steps / tasks in a project with predefined amounts of time allocated, or you can track things generally.

    Using Project Web App is a pretty good way of spreading the work out to individual end users, but if people are coming and going regularly, you can leave it to the supervisors / managers to track which projects their people are assigned to. You can even have them submit time tracking to a central administrator who does all the logging / tracking and reports on metrics from their local instance of MS Project - probably not a bad idea if your firm isn't familiar with Sharepoint / PWA.

    If I were going in for an interview, I'd introduce a central administrator solution as an efficient stopgap measure, with a transition to Sharepoint / PWA for all project time tracking (and resource sharing, like version control for documents, etc) in the future if it's the route they want to go. People groan when Sharepoint comes up, but it beats the hell out of e-mailing files or using a network share, especially for version control or tracking.

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    PedroAsaniPedroAsani Brotherhood of the Squirrel [Prime]Registered User regular
    Big tip, don't give away the "How" for free. Be sure to cover the "What" as fully as you can, but leave the exact details of "How" for when you start getting paid.

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    Caelum MilitisCaelum Militis Registered User regular
    This doesn't strictly help you answer an interview question of "how to build X", but we use Volgistics here, which does pretty much exactly what you're looking to do. I'm not positive on pricing, but knowing our approximate budget here, it's probably fairly reasonable.

    We used to track via an assortment of hacked together solutions, and this program has been a massive timesaver.

    ~Unyielding resolve has no conquerer~
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    PedroAsani wrote: »
    Big tip, don't give away the "How" for free. Be sure to cover the "What" as fully as you can, but leave the exact details of "How" for when you start getting paid.
    It's not for money. This is just a position that people in my organization can work on on the side.

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