Every project consists of various smaller tasks. For a successful project, it is essential to have all the tasks completed in an organized and planned manner. One major problem experienced by team members in any project is that they cannot get a clear picture of the status and progress of the task, and they always struggle with time management. The only solution to these problems is to have a top-level plan.
Here, time tracking in Project Management Software comes to your rescue. It would be best if you made an effort to use your time wisely. The clock is constantly ticking and you need to stay on top of your game to prevent unnecessary problems. You need to make a to-do list of all the tasks and then allocate resources appropriately to these activities. Due to the limited availability of some resources, a single resource may likely be working on more than one project. Therefore, time tracking in Project Management Software for these activities is vital in many ways.
Time is extremely precious, and you cannot afford to waste it. As a project manager, you need to be aware of the time duration the resource is putting on different activities. Here are a few major advantages of time tracking in Project Management Software.
1. It is extremely helpful in getting a better understanding of the time taken by the resource to complete a task. Such estimations are beneficial for future projects, especially if it consists of similar tasks.
2. Time tracking helps you prioritize tasks or projects, depending on your requirements. Some tasks are urgent, important, and non-essential. You want your project team to focus on important tasks and take care of urgent problems. However, some of them are the most urgent. Therefore, time tracking helps you deal with these tasks appropriately.
3. Keeping track of time ensures following a schedule. You can easily find out which tasks are incomplete and thus take the necessary steps to mitigate the risks. You will save yourself from the trouble of standing between chaotic situations.
4. Time tracking also allows the human resources to keep a record of their normal work time as well as the overtime duration. Without additional steps, human resource personal could check the overtime of the resource and compensate for that.
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Five Reasons to Use Time Tracking in Project Management Software
1. Better Decision Making and Goal Achievement
In each project, you have to make many decisions every single day. Time tracking in Project Management Software helps you get a better understanding of all the resources around you and thus aids in making decisions.
For instance, if travel time for the employees is constantly high on a project, looking out for other alternatives may prove to be beneficial. It encourages you to find out ways, which significantly reduce the time spent by your brilliant minds on the road. It will ensure proactive use of their energy, time, and effort. Moreover, you get an opportunity to find out the issues in your project. You can see which tasks are lagging and make necessary modifications accordingly. It significantly improves the achievement of your project goals. Thus, you will be able to meet all the deadlines in time.
2. It Aids Resource Allocation
There are many resources associated with every project. You must understand that not all the resources can be available constantly, be it human resources or other tools and equipment. The team members will go on holiday and take leaves, whereas the tools may get broken or damaged. You must consider these aspects, as well.
Enterprise Project Management (EPM) tools help to record what people are working on and what projects are in the portfolio. It will provide a better understanding of which resource you would need for upcoming projects. Once you are aware of that, you can allocate all the resources accordingly without struggling. It also ensures that the resources are not being over-burdened.
Proper time estimation prevents resource overloading since it may lead to frustration in the employees and sub-optimal performance. Moreover, you can even try resource modeling. It helps you get an idea about what would happen if you transferred someone from one project to the other.
3. Better Communication
One key aspect of any successful project is good communication among all the team members. A project is not one man’s game. It is a combined effort and thus requires proper coordination. Here is where the timesheets come to rescue. People generally grumble about timesheets, but the information they provide makes a great discussion point.
The timesheets let you know what people are working on if they do not have the right lines against which to book their time. Under-the-radar projects are harder to hide.
Timesheets are an excellent way to increase communication between the team members. Since all the tasks are interdependent, the team members will have to communicate with each other. Moreover, it is also a means to share valuable feedback.
4. Accurate Forecasts and fewer Time Drains
Time tracking helps you understand the progress of your project very well. It is easy for a project manager to see how much work is still pending. Based on this information, you can accurately predict if the project will be completed successfully within the due date or not.
Moreover, you can easily look out for unnecessary tasks where you are losing time. Time drains happen when proper project management is not there. To use your time wisely, you must resort to time tracking.
5. Estimates Are More Meaningful
As well as looking forward to forecasting purposes, timesheets also let you look back. You can reflect upon your past projects and improve future tasks. You will be able to make more organized schedules and plans based on your previous experiences. Your estimates for future projects will be more meaningful since you will have an idea from similar earlier projects.
Moreover, you can even have a better estimate of your budget. For instance, you have a $5,000 budget for a project, and probably it would take 100 hours to complete. From your previous project, you are aware that your employee took around 50 hours in a particular task while you thought it could take him/her 40 hours to complete. In such a situation, you can adjust your total budget to fix estimates that are comparatively closer to reality.
Overall, time tracking is essential for the successful completion of any project. The team members have a proper schedule to stick to, which helps keep things organized. The project manager does not have to struggle with organizing activities constantly. If you use your time wisely and track it constantly, your project completion shall take place very smoothly, and you wouldn’t have to worry about missing any deadlines. All your customers will go home happy, which will ultimately improve your relationship with the client for all your future projects. Therefore, time tracking in any project is an excellent means to use each second productively.