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An Ultimate Guide To Time Tracking In Project Management Software

December 3, 2021
Project Management Task Management Time Tracking

When it comes to project management software, it is very necessary aspect to understand the importance of time tracking and how to handle work and projects and bring out excellent productivity. To track the amount of time every team member is doing and the work they are assigned is what time tracking is all about. Let us comprehend the basics of time tracking, its types, and how to exactly work on accurate project delivery. This is the ultimate guide to time tracking in Project management software.

Project time tracking measures the productivity of staff and team members. The effectiveness of the foresight metrics is defined by project estimates, agile velocity, and predicted sprint length. It can also be used to calculate invoices and thereby manage payroll accordingly. Let us understand the basics of time tracking, its importance in increasing productivity, and what you need to work on to get better results.

What Is Time Tracking In A Project?
what is time tracking

How often have we heard this statement? The phrase may sound cliche, but it is true that time management in a project comes with saving a lot of expenses. Be the work that you are getting billed for or any task that has to be paid in per hour. A Task Management System can help you be efficient. Keeping records of the time that the team spends on any particular project or task management system is as important as knowing your expenses.

As we have understood what is the basic definition of time tacking, let’s carry on further with the importance of time tracking in project management software.

The Importance Of Time Tracking In Project Management Software

When you start working on a project, the first foremost is to have a plan regarding the project. Once you are done with research, the initial task is to have a research team help you with the preparation of the plan. Start preparing a list of activities to help you to move forward towards a top-level plan. Start incorporating these plans into your projects. Now comes the part where you have to prepare and allocate the resources that define these activities through a task management system.

During the course of your project, modifications to the activities and resources can happen on a regular basis. Often, one employee could be working on more than one project and tracking of time spent on different activities is vital in many ways. 

When it comes to a project manager, it is important to know the hours an employee is putting on different activities. Over a period, the accurate reporting of time will help the project manager to understand the performance. Not only can you calculate the average time an employee takes to complete a particular type of activity but also calculate the productivity of the employee. This information will be extremely useful for the estimation for the next projects, especially when you have a similar kind of project at hand.

  • The time spent on activities will also come in handy when there is a need for prioritizing an activity or project over another. Moreover, the proper time entry in the task management system enables the project manager to see that the time is not exceeding the estimated time, and well in advance mitigate the risks.
  • Effective time tracking helps the resources keep track of their normal work time as well as the overtime they have to put in. Without additional steps, human resource personnel could check the overtime of the resource and compensate for that.  
  • Time tracking analysis resources can view their entered time in daily, weekly and monthly formats. At the end of the month, they can submit the time reports to the managers. Once the time report is submitted, the entered time will be locked so further changes are prevented.
  • Managers and administrators can go through the various reports and monitor the time for various purposes. The combination of effective project planning, resource allocation to activities, and tracking of time in Project Coordinator add a lot of value for organizations that are managing multiple projects and resources.
  • Tracking time helps team members drive up their productivity and get work done faster than they’d normally take. The objective is to find which tasks take time and how you can ensure that your team is operating efficiently. From a psychological angle, it keeps you on track to focus on important tasks.

Likewise, you’ll be able to see which members of your team are particularly fast at specific tasks and assign them to those tasks more often. As you have understood the importance of time tracking, try introducing it to your employees and team members in a simple way. 

How to introduce time tracking to your employees subtly.

What Are The Different Ways Of Time Tracking?

As we have already discussed the importance of time tracking in a project, you might be wondering where we exactly start this process? Time tracking comes in different types and you can carry on with the same as per your requirements. Once you are allotted a project, you can start by making a list of tasks to be taken into consideration. Make a property-oriented list to help you see what exactly needs to be done first. Thus, your activities are planned. See the resources required and move forward. 

The real task starts when you are to track the time for the projects or tasks located to particular teams or team members. This report tracks what we discussed earlier and will help you see the proper resource allocation and budget handling.

Different Ways Of Time Tracking
Different Ways Of Time Tracking

What Are The Different Types Of Time Tracking?

On a general aspect, if you see time tracking as a tool, you can get a deeper understanding of your organization, employees, or even team members. This illustrates a way for you to act upon in the future. You shouldn’t confuse yourself when it comes to the basics of time tracking. There are two different types of time tracking. Personal time tracking and project time tracking. Look at the difference between these two, to understand the importance of both of these time tracking

type of task time tracking

Personal time tracking

Several software solutions will give you ease to the discovery of your time spent online on a particular task or a project.

You can keep a track of which websites and apps you are using most often, and how much? It will help you calculate the time spent on a particular task or a particular project.

The time is then categorized and presented in the form of invaluable insights. It will help you analyze an overall productivity score. Based on this score and analysis you can compare your workday from week to week. Analyze your reports, learn from experience and adapt your workflow accordingly.

Project time tracking

Here is an option that is more beneficial for larger organizations. You can start with time tracking directly on tasks. This is most often done where you have to combine project and resource management together.

They make it easier to manage all of your tasks across projects and the organization. It will provide you and your team with valuable insights to manage time better in the future.

UBS PMS can help you track time, personally and professionally. Here you employees can keep a track of tasks, projects and also keep track through the analysis of the same.

What To Do When You Follow Time Tracking?

Most of the time, when you take up a project, you can not ask why time tracking is essential. 

The most common practice starts with billing customers by hour for work performed. But even if there’s no hourly billing for your projects, time tracking still makes sense. Why you may ask?

Reviewing and analyzing your team’s performance and efficiency. Time tracking is the easiest and the most direct way to prepare a report that is accurate for performance appraisal.

Collected data on-time expenses within a team help you see the big picture. It brings in an understanding of productivity dynamics and figuring out what can and needs to be optimized.

Avoiding hidden project costs. Time tracking, when organized correctly, solves the common problem of unaccounted time expenses. Some of the examples may include the time spent reading emails or communicating with colleagues.

Having a reliable basis for planning and forecasting. Time tracking data for previous periods provide insights on how much time is required to perform specific tasks in the future.

And, last but not least when it comes to regular employees, time tracking data allows them to analyze their own productivity and performance. Moreover, this report can help you see what can be improved and optimized.

What Not To Do When You Follow Time Tracking?

Don’t spend too much time on tracking time. It destroys the very idea of work optimization. How to achieve that? Set up a clear procedure, use an intuitive tool that wouldn’t require too much time for onboarding, and provide your team with necessary instructions.

Don’t ignore the ways you can use the collected data for future improvements in the productivity of your team members. Otherwise, the entire process of time tracking will have no definite results.

Don’t forget to monitor how your team is keeping the track of time on a personal level. While checking it every day looks like micromanagement, a check once or a few times a week sounds reasonable. 

Remember that especially on the initial steps of implementing a new procedure, some employees might need guidance on how to structure their time expenses.

Don’t leave open the possibility to edit timesheets. This will prevent your team members from correcting their logged time. 

You can keep a direct approach towards previous weeks and months’ time logs, approve and lock timesheets for past periods. You don’t want time tracking data to be edited after your accounting department processes the payroll and issues invoices to your customers.

Why Use Time Tracking In Project Management Software?

For individual employees, or even project managers in a large organization, it is of great importance to keep a track of how much time is invested and where exactly is the time of an employee being put to use. When you are working on a particular project you may never be able to keep a track of what time you spent on research, analysis, or even a particular task.

Tell us how do you keep a track of the time when you spend hours browsing the web, looking through your inbox or when you are trying to find that one document in a pile of folders?

Benefits Of Time Tracking

Most of the time these are viewed as minor daily activities, but when accumulated you will see that these are probably some of the most time-consuming non-billable activities in your workweek. When it comes to businesses or companies, the numerous benefits of doing time tracking include the following key points:

benefits-of-time-tracking

How To Choose The Right Time Tracking Software?

A business – be it a small scale or large scale, is provided with multiple advantages. Like we discussed earlier there are various benefits to time tracking in a business management process. Gone are the days when companies were relying on a spreadsheet or paperwork to log in/log out time and manage payroll/leaves manually. The need for time tracking software for employees has also grown over the years, with more companies outsourcing work, offering flexible work schedules, and hiring remote employees. 

With that being said, companies need to know how their staff members are spending their time at work. Not tracking time can cost your company money. With that in mind, many businesses must start to invest in time tracking software for employees.
Right Time Tracking Software

Understand the above points in detail here:

Top 6 Key Points To Consider Before Choosing The Best Time Tracking Software

After you have finished going through your requirements in the company, here’s how you can shortlist the software that meets your requirements. Finding and choosing the right time tracking tool within your project management software from the vast options available to you is a real challenge. Look out for different products and compare the features. Determine the pros and con’s and you might have an answer to your problem.
vital factors to consider time tracking

Apart from the above-mentioned features, you can see that the most important aspect of choosing a product is Budget!

It is one of the most important factors that businesses consider when buying software. For instance, you may want to check out employee time tracking software for small and medium-sized companies like Trackable. Prices may differ from one software to another depending on the number of users it can accommodate and its features. The cheapest is not always the best as it may lack essential features, so look for a top tracker app that offers you the best value and gives you a higher return on investment.

To Wrap It Up!

The ability to have it tested before even purchasing it, makes Project management software, one of the best ways to handle project trials. You may sign up for free trials of all the software you have shortlisted. Remember, though, that not all trails are created equal. As soon as you have tried everything, rank every software depending on how well it meets your business needs. In case there isn’t a clear winner as there is a high chance that most of them will do well on some functionalities but not on others, be ready to do some trade-offs.

Finding the right tool for your business can be daunting, but all is worth it for the many benefits that come with it. Using the top tracker doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the perfect tool for your business. The best Project management software can improve productivity as it eliminates time-wasting activities that suit your specific workflow. The rest is spent on tracking day-to-day tasks and unnecessary distractions. With that, it’s essential to maximize the software and make sure it’s right for your needs to improve productivity and simplify employee monitoring

Conclusion

It’s important to consider quality and reliability when you are choosing employee time tracking software. If you go for the cheapest software you might save yourself some INRs per month, but what happens if the software crashes? Or if the GPS feature isn’t working and your employees aren’t able to log their time properly? Or there are bugs in the software?

When you are using cheap but buggy software, sometimes the savings are negated by the time it takes to fix the problems caused. 

If you find the right solution, you might even find that your employee time tracking software cost is offset by the savings the software offers you. Try UBS PMS for an apt time tracking feature. This will help you assign, monitor, and analyze the project.

FAQ:

How can tracking your time help you?

Since you already know the time you invest in a particular project, you will be motivated towards finishing your task faster. Lesser distraction may cross as you already have a target to achieve in a dedicated time frame.

What is a time tracking tool?

A time-tracking tool or a time tracking software is a tool used by managers and employees to record work hours. With detailed descriptions of logged-in hours, you can keep a track of billable hours, as well as the payroll operations, which can be managed easily.

Why is help time tracking important?

Be it personally or professionally, the key to undertrain how you spend your time will give you a productive and insightful workflow. Take a note of the priority tasks and you will have a report at the end of the day if your day was productive or not.

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Alpesh Vaghasiya

Alpesh Vaghasiya

The founder & CEO of Ultimate Business System Pvt. Ltd. (UBS), I'm on a mission to help small and medium-sized companies to grow to the next level of accomplishments. With a distinctive knowledge of authentic strategies and team-leading skills, my mission has always been to grow businesses digitally. The core mission of UBS is Connecting people, Optimizing the process, Enhancing performance.

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