How (and Why) To Combine Project Management and Time Tracking
Let’s first review the utility of time tracking when it comes to project management. This class of software allows you to view your employee’s work, track time spent on individual tasks, set up individual time estimates, log time manually, and collect time tracking data across all your most important tasks.
This is crucial for businesses who used Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to track tasks and projects, under the impression that these are easier to use. For the best long-term results, combine project management and tracking to achieve the most effective way to carry a project from conception to execution.
Why You Should Use Time Tracking
Time tracking is great for managers and employees, and can help both parties work cohesively towards achieving their goals. Time tracking should not be viewed as a policing mechanism, but as a way to optimize operations and effectively compensate your team. Understanding the pros for everyone involved and conveying this effectively will lead to a happy family of productive workers.
Benefits for Managers
Use tracked time as data. Allow your managers to locate inefficiencies in your company’s tasks. This assists in planning how long things will take and allows you to collect historical data on how certain types of tasks are likely to unfold. The better you are able to predict the length of tasks and potential pitfalls, the more successful you will be.
Eliminate unnecessary costs. It’s all about the bottom line. Time tracking software makes it simple to identify where problems exist., Then all you have to do is eliminate these problems.
The ability to set realistic deadlines. Managers use software to set realistic deadlines and gain a concrete understanding of work responsibilities. This prevents over-exhaustion on your team and makes it less likely to miss important due dates.
Payroll management. Some time tracking tools allow for automatic invoices, and real-time data makes billing a breeze. No employee enjoys filling out time sheets, and no manager wants their budget used ineffectively. Time tracking ensures that an hour worked is an hour paid, and everyone is compensated fairly. For tracking tools that don’t feature automatic invoicing options, you can still seamlessly export this information into your invoicing platform. This streamlines the accounting process.
Task management. Tracking the time spent on tasks can be just as important as the way you manage those tasks. Knowing the length of a project or tasks contributes to the overall success of that project. This will help you effectively prioritize your projects and — especially if you have a limited team working on several projects or tasks at once.
Benefits for Employees
The benefits of time tracking extending beyond accounting aspects of project management and managerial benefits. Here are a few ways your project team members can benefit from time tracking:
Demonstrate contribution. Time tracking can help demonstrate the team members’ contribution and efforts towards a particular project.
Personal reference for better workflow. Employees can track their time to see how long they’ve spent on work-related tasks and personal tasks and use this as a personal reference. They can then use their logged time to help them better understand their performance. If they notice they’re lagging in certain areas, they can view their time tracking to see exactly how they’re utilizing it. This way, they’re able to re-evaluate and manage their own tasks, using this information to add even more value to the project.
Get proper help. It can also be used to help team members working on a project get the proper help that they need. For example, if the project manager notices that deadlines in a certain area are continually being missed despite the time that goes into it, that data can be used to let the project manager know that additional resources are needed.
Minimize distractions. With time tracking software in place, employees are held accountable for their actions, and therefore are inclined to work with better time management. Less distractions means there is a better chance of high quality work and that it’s getting done in a timely manner.
How To Combine Tracking with Project Management
There are many project management software options that either integrate with or offer an internal time tracking tool such as Asana and ClickUp. Asana integrates with time-tracking app Everhour. ClickUp, which offers Asana integration, offers a customizable platform for users looking for a solution that fits their projects. Several others like Trello offer a similar solution. Regardless of the project management software you use, syncing up with time tracking software within the platform should be simple and intuitive (and if not, you should probably choose a different software tool).
Great external apps exist that should be used in combination with your project management software if it lacks integrated time tracking. These include:
Each set of tools comes equipped with its own set of features, but generally, you can expect idle timeout, screenshot functions, reporting, offline time tracking, basic project management features, project management software integrations, and manual time adding or deleting. Together, these features help create a cohesive program with all the features in place to make managing your team tasks easier than ever.