Few aspects of enterprise project management are as important, or as frustrating, as tracking the time employees and contractors spend on their work. Accurate time tracking is essential for determining budgets, estimating task durations, calculating project return on investment and many other key business processes.
Unfortunately, team members often view time tracking as an annoyance, and may try to simply enter their time as quickly as possible without regard for accuracy. As a further complication, many organizations rely on outdated, difficult-to-use time tracking tools that can introduce new problems into an already challenging situation. Chances are, your organization has encountered at least some of the employee time tracking issues described below.
Keeping Track of Non-Project Work
Most project managers and employee managers are primarily interested in the time their team members spend on productive work. Employee utilization, in most organizations, is determined by comparing the number of available hours to the number of hours billed to projects tasks. However, it is also important to understand what employees are doing with their non-project time. Using a catch-all description such as “Non-Billable” or “Other” for non-productive time can deprive a company of important information. Creating specific tasks for different categories of non-project time, such as travel time, paid time off and time spent on administrative tasks and general office duties, can provide insight into how much additional time employees could actually be spending on billable work.
Applying Time to the Correct Project and Task
Enterprise projects can be extremely complex, with hundreds of tasks and sub-tasks assigned to different groups of employees. When team members have to search for the correct work items to associate with their time, they not only lose time they could be spending on their assignments, they run the risk of accidentally selecting the wrong code. Clarizen’s time tracker functionality solves this problem, automatically associating work hours with the correct task. Clarizen also streamlines reporting and time approval, by populating the appropriate billing rates for each task and automatically assigning timesheets to the correct departments.
Getting Up-to-Date Time Tracking Information
As a project manager, you are expected to provide up-to-date information on your projects on a regular basis. Incorporating details on team hours and utilization into your status reports can be challenging for several reasons. Employees may not be entering their time as often as they are asked to, or, if they are, their work details may need to be corrected before the time entry is finalized. If you are using older time tracking software, you may not be able to access the most recent time entry records.
No matter what is preventing you from reporting in an accurate and timely basis, Clarizen can help. With a simple user interface, automatic time tracking features and real-time reporting capabilities, Clarizen takes the frustration and confusion out of project management time tracking.