I spent the weekend diving into SD 4.5, adding all the unused fields onto forms, and trying to understand time more. I beleive the consultant that setup our system with APM has kinda started us off on the entirely wrong foot!!!! Let me explain.
It appears that all we have been using for time fields on Work Order's and Service Calls are the following (I will use non-APM terminology): -RegistrationDate (APM's Creation date) -Deadline (APM's Target Date) -Actual Finish (APM's Completion Date)
We have NEVER used the following!?!: -Planned Start (APM's Outage Start) -Planned Finish (APM's Outage End) -Planned Duration (APM's Outage Duration) -Acutal Start
But my task is to better improve and make our timing pardigm more functional and more robust. My first task will be to begin using Acutal Finish, since there is a request for such a datetime field. My second task, which may come first, is to start using Planned Start/Finish.
But my really worrying find is that we are not using any of the built in Planned Start/Finish logic. For example, I learned this weekend that the Planned Start/Finish dates of a Change are the top and bottom boundaries of time for the WO's related to the Change. Meaning, that there is an automated popup that will show if you put the WO's planned start/finish outside of the overall Change's Planned/Start Finish.
This type of built in functionality we have never have used! We need to start understading what is there and start using it.
Also I found the "Applied Caldendar" option in our one global WO templates, and it was set to "Opening Hours of Assigned Workgroup" instead of General Settings! Doh! So I fixed that so our WO clocks are working correctly (24x7 for now, we are not using the SLM module yet at all, dummy services for now).
Questions for the SD posse:
1. What does the "Time Dependencies" checkbox do on the System Panel->General Settings? I couldn't find reference to it anywhere in any PDF.
2. How do *YOU* use Planned/Start Finish in Work Orders and Changes? Calls? What importance does it hold in comparison to Acutal Start/Finish, Deadline? Which governs which? I guess I am trying to figure out if you guys begin with Planned/Start Finish on your forms, and let those values govern the others datetime fields via UI/DB rules. For example, off the top of my head, if we should start using Planned Start/Finish, and then in which a UI rule would set Planned Finish = Deadline, or maybe not use deadline at all.
My fear is that for 1.5 years we have used a bastardized APM date/time workflow, not using planned start/finish logic, and that we are gonig to have to unlearn what we have learned and redo our entire "time" workflow by incorporating planned start/finish and all the automated calculations that come with it (durations).
3. Is there a way to allow the Planned Start/Finish dates of a WO's be "pushed" to the Change dates in someway? In other words, what kind of interop do you have between your Change and WO datetime fields?
4. Please post screen shots of your WO forms, Change forms, and Call forms, so that I can see how you are using all the darn datetime fields!!!
10 points galore for this thread. For the most part I want to focus on Change and Work Order time fields. I know Service Calls are a whole different ball game.
1. Time dependencies is a setting that if checked, it ensures that in predecessor/successor relations (changes in a project or work orders in a change) who predecessor must be closed before successor is started there are no time overlaps between predecessor end date and successor start date.
I find it best to use a combination of planned sart and finish for registering a Call/WO/CR and using actual start and finish at the close out stage. In this case "Outage" start and finish could be used and just renamed back to planned start and finish and any APM integrations modified to work from the renamed planned start and finish. This will allow the planning functionality (popup you mention) to come into play. You can set deadline with a rule and make it read only.