• Time Tracking

    Why should I track time in project management?


    10 min read

Tracking time on projects allows you to keep track of how much time is being spent on individual tasks and projects as a whole.

The visibility of this time data allows you to monitor and assess the accuracy of your project estimates, the effectiveness of your employees and the profitability of your business.

Time tracking is essential for freelancers or businesses that provide professional services, where time is exchanged in return for services provided by you or your employees. Keeping a close eye on how much time you are spending on tasks can help increase utilisation, boost productivity and increase the profitability of your business.

How does time tracking in project management software work?

Your project management software should allow you and your team to easily log time to tasks on a daily basis, so that project time reports always stay accurate. Once time is logged on the project management software, the software system should instantly update all project reports in real time. This functionality will give you an up to date and accurate overview of how your projects are performing and allow you to take action to keep things on track and avoid project run away.

Some project management software systems, offer tools like automatic timers. These types of time tracking tools allow users to start a timer when they begin working on a task and then stop it when they finish.

The downside of this approach is that employees need to remember to stop and start the time when they take breaks or jump onto a different task. However if they forget to do this, it will lead to inaccurate time recordings that will have a negative effect on your project costs.

The other more common approach is to allow employees to input their time manually on the task and record it to their timesheet. This approach is the most common, however it is also relying on the user logging their time accurately.

Unfortunately there is no fool proof way to track and record time as your employees aren’t machines.

However we can make the process of time tracking easier for employees. Dozillo has integrated time logging directly within task cards, so that your employees workflow isn’t interrupted and they don’t need to navigate away from what they are doing to log time. This makes it super easy for your employees to log their time as they work and you can get time reports in real time throughout the day. Giving you a much more accurate picture of how your projects are progressing.

How to keep track of time on projects

You should choose project management software that can allow you to track and monitor time worked in a variety of ways

By task - In today's workplace there is no time for micromanagement. When choosing a time tracking solution you want one that allows you to set time budgets on tasks. This is important for two reasons.

One it allows you to accurately plan projects and schedule tasks based on your employees available work capacity.

Two it helps your employees know how long they have to work on a task and empowers them to manage their own time and workload.

By project - Tracking time at a project level gives you a complete overview of how projects are performing. Allowing you to assess the project, budget spend, progress rate and performance of your team. This level of time tracking will alert you to potential issues ahead of time so that you can take action and avoid things getting out of control.This is especially critical for fixed price contracts or projects that have penalty clauses for late delivery.

By employee - Tracking time at an employee level will let you monitor the productivity of your team and their current workload so you can assess what capacity they have for new work in the future.

Benefits of time tracking

As a project manager, two of the biggest challenges you’ll face is monitoring progress and tracking budget costs.

To do this you need complete transparency into how your employees are spending their time, so that you aren’t caught out by unforeseen setback or time overruns that have a direct impact on your project budget and plans.

This is why time tracking apps have become vital tools for many businesses, as they provide company leaders with insight, and allows them to make data driven decisions to keep projects on track and deliver them on time and within budget.

To track time effectively, your time tracking app should be integrated right into your project management software. This reduces your workload as you’ll only have one application to manage and you never need to worry about transferring data or synchronizing the two seperate systems.

By tracking time, it will allow you to monitor your projects progress in real time, so you can make data driven decisions. You can also use this data to help you make informed decisions when planning and costing projects for the future.

Time tracking will also help you identify potential issues with your team, so you can investigate further and get them the help and support they need to do their job better.

Time tracking data can also be used to analyse and highlight bottlenecks and inefficiencies in your own company's processes. You can get insights into how much time tasks take compared to your original estimates, how much time your employees spend in meetings and identify potential problem clients that eat up more of your employees time compared to others.

When time tracking is used effectively, it can play a powerful part in motivating your employees. Time tracking should never be seen as a tool to track your employees. Time tracking primary purpose is to track project performance. If tasks or projects come in over budget, time tracking will help you analyse that, to understand what when wrong so you can avoid making the same mistakes again.

Time tracking also empowers your employees to be their own boss by allowing them to manage their own time.

Dozillo makes it easy for you and your employees to plan, schedule, track and manage your work so that projects are delivered on budget, on time, every time.

Try dozillo today. It’s free to get started.