Software market offers many time trackers for different industries and specific needs. Their interface and functionality may vary tremendously from basic time tracking tools to advanced accounting and absence management features. Let’s see how you and your team can make the foremost of your time tracking solution.
1. Communicate the Importance of time Tracking
- “My manager doesn’t trust me”
- “They want to micromanage me”
- “They are trying to find reasons to fire me”
When your relations with employees lack transparency and trust, they have a tendency to overthink, feel micromanaged and stressed.
To avoid this scenario, you would like to clearly communicate why managers need time tracking data and how employees benefit by tracking and managing team data for betterment of company.
For instance, you employ time tracking data to provide accurate bills and reports to your customers, evenly distribute the workload across the team, prevent overloads and be careful for burnout cases.
Employee benefits may include a good workload, accurate overtime payment, flexible schedules and therefore the opportunity to work from home.
2. Implement Healthy Time Tracking Tools & Practices
Business time trackers usually offer several ways of how employees can capture their hours. Solutions that don’t support activity tracking and other workplace surveillance practices.
Usually include timesheets and timers available as desktop software, web applications, browser extensions and mobile apps. Ensure that your team time tracker doesn’t violate employee privacy, provides flexible tools and encourages trust.
3. Develop Time Tracking Policy
To make time tracking data compelling and easy to process, you would like to bring structure into task naming, commenting, billable and non-billable time tracking. Document necessary guidelines, explain why it’s to be done this way, distribute this policy across your team and adopt the system as early as possible.
4. Capture Time immediately
If your team has never used a time tracker before, employees may feel immune to it, forget to log their time after they finish a task or maybe fill in their timesheets at the end of the week. Inaccurate time tracking costs companies thousands of dollars, with $50,000 per annum due to insufficient tracking of emails alone.
Encourage your team to trace their time on a daily basis and make it a habit just like checking emails. For even more accurate time logs, ask your team to start out their timers in the team time tracking app, browser extension or mobile app whenever they start a new task and press “stop” when they finish to save their data.
5. Use Time Log Comments
Sometimes tracking time against tasks isn’t enough, especially within the case of outsourcing companies and consultancies. For instance, legal professionals usually bill their clients in small increments of an hour, so their clients have to know the details of tasks such as “Communication” or “Research”.
If you would like this level of detail, search for time trackers that support time entry comments and encourage your team to use it. After your employees supplied their time logs with comments, they’re displayed in time tracking and billing reports, so you as a manager and your clients can enjoy detailed insight into accomplished activities.
6. Monitor Project Progress
To make your project progress visual, consider time trackers that display tasks within the Kanban board view. After you identify project development stages, you review tasks’ progress consistent with their status on the board. This visual presentation of task stages can motivate your team members to end their tasks and move them to the final stage, while you as a project manager can use this board to stay track of project progress, identify bottlenecks and eliminate them as early as possible.
7. Estimate Tasks
Accurate task estimates are critical for project success. For instance, underestimated tasks can stall the project’s progress thanks to the lack of resources including time, money and manpower. That’s why it’s important to stay a record of previous data to make better predictions for future projects.
If you manage your team consistent with the Scrum methodology, consider holding a task estimation meeting before you begin a new Sprint. Add these estimations to sometime tracking software to pull reports and compare estimated time against the actual time and plan next sprints with more accuracy.
8. Review Team Performance
Employee performance evaluation is a crucial management practice that provides project managers with insights about employee’s strengths and weaknesses in the workplace, and provides employees valuable feedback and identify points of growth.
In time tracking systems, you’ll review employee performance through different charts and reports. These usually include reports comparing estimated time against actual time, reports on how working hours are distributed across tasks and projects, and analytics on whether task deadlines are met.
9. Hold Regular Reviews & Meetings
After you gathered productivity insights from charts and reports, you’ll hold a feedback meeting at the end of the month, Sprint or project. As a project manager, you’ll give your team feedback on their performance and highlight opportunities for growth.
Another sort of meeting that adds value to your time tracking routine is task estimation meetings. If you manage an agile team, you ought to plan and estimate your next sprint and add this data to your time tracking system.
10. Manage Absences
Another thing that managers should confine mind is employee absences. Unfortunately, only a few time trackers support absence management features that may include absence records, automated paid day off balances calculations, reports on team members’ absences. Imagine if you and your team members could review employee availability and future absences during a single team calendar – that would improve team management and collaboration many times over.