Successfully managing a project from inception through completion requires considerable skills and expertise. One of the most important areas of concern for managers is time tracking. Not only is this essential for budgeting and payroll considerations, but for overall task progress and scheduling as well. If you’re struggling with time tracking and management, here are some simple tips to make things easier on you.
Use Web-Based Software
The digital revolution has altered pretty much every industry on the planet. That holds true for project mangers and their teams as well. If you need to ensure that you’re tracking time accurately for everyone on the team throughout the duration of the project, then web-based software can help immensely. Options like FreshBooks give you the ability to track time by project type for every single team member. In addition, because it’s web-based, it can be accessed from any Internet connected device. Team members just need to log in, start the timer and then choose the appropriate task when logging their hours.
Immediacy Is Vital
There’s a temptation to put off tracking time until later. Whether you’re in a rush because you have to make a meeting with stakeholders or you’re bogged down with the minutia of the task at hand, it just seems simpler to push tracking your time until you’ve got some breathing space. Don’t do it. Don’t give in. Track your time while you’re in the middle of the task, or you risk not being able to accurately record the time spent when you do finally get around to recording it.
Accountability Is Essential
When you bring software into the equation, you need to ensure that your team members are fully accountable. Most software relies on your team being honest, upfront and accountable during their recording. For instance, it’s up to the team member to ensure that the correct task is being used for their time, and that their time is recorded accurately (nothing more than starting and stopping the timer correctly). If your team isn’t dedicated to integrity and accountability, there is room for dishonesty here, which will have a detrimental effect on your project as a whole.
Integrated Time Tracking Apps
Another tip is to make things as simple and easy on your team as possible. Tracking time through a smartphone app is exactly that, and you’ll find that there are several time tracking apps available on multiple platforms so everyone on the team can use the same app, regardless of their personal preference when it comes to mobile technology. Web apps are also nice to have access to, particularly if your team will be at their specific workstations during task completion rather than out and about.
Make Sure Tools Simplify
As a note, when buying any software (web, desktop or mobile app), it’s important to ensure that it actually does make things simpler, rather than adding complexity. Simplification, streamlining and ease of use are the hallmarks you should look for in any software solution for time tracking.