Kerry, as you can see you have a lot going on here. All of that is difficult to fully explain in a forum response, but I’ll try to provide some ideas that hopefully can provide some direction.
1. Using timesheets with integration to project schedules is a complex process. Make sure that you are getting the value for the effort (team members, PMs, Admins). I’m not saying don’t use it, but there are alternatives depending on your goals.
2. You mentioned that PMs update % Complete, which doesn’t match when using timesheets. You have two functions that update actual work, resulting in inaccurate actual work. One function is overwriting the other.
3. When using timesheets with the goal of accurate actual hours in the schedule, you need to set the “Only allow task updates via Tasks and Timesheets” setting in “Task Settings and Display”. This prevents PMs from modifying actual work in the schedule. PMs marking tasks with % Complete is what’s causing the future actual hours issue.
4. Use baselines to pre-define hour estimates. Then use team member updatess and Project to adjust progress.
5. Best practice is to have PMs update time to the schedule, make any adjustments, then “Reschedule uncompleted work to start after:” setting (Project tab, Update Project). This sets up the timesheet for the next week.
6. Task type and effort driven settings are important when using timesheets. Suggest keeping the default Fixed Units and not Effort Driven (you will get others that disagree, but trust me this works).
That’s a high level of what I’m seeing and some changes that will help provide a standard process and prevent the errors you are getting. Good luck, and feel free to ping me if you want additional support (LinkedIn works).