It’s not uncommon to underestimate the potential of time tracking tools, especially if you never tried them so far. In order to realize their potential, you must use them in the right way, and measure relevant factors. In other words, simply knowing the approximate time it takes to complete a certain project is barely scratching the surface of the time tracking utility.
The goal of this article is to demonstrate how a time tracking tool can be used during project management, and to reveal the benefits of the proper use of such a tools. So, here are five very good reasons why you need a time tracking feature in your project management software.
Better control over future project
When your team is tackling a brand new project, there is no reference to help you estimate how long it will take for the project to be completed. By using time tracking software, you have a golden opportunity to create such a reference and put it to good use in the future.
Moreover, you can even use it to find out how long it will take to complete a new project that your team is working on for the very first time. If you distribute the workload evenly, and basically divide project into phases, you can measure how long it takes for the first stage to be completed. Once you know that, you will simply multiply it with the number of phases left, granted that indeed the workload is evenly distributed and that each phase has same level of demand.
In other words, there is no guarantee the estimate will be one hundred percent accurate, but it will still give you a good perspective, and the results will definitely be a valuable input.
More accurate pricing system
Probably the number one reason for you to use time tracking tools is the ability to create an accurate pricing system that reflects the value of your work. After the extensive use of the time tracking tool, you will have good insights into the type of projects your team is compatible with and can complete for a shorter period of time. It gives you a direction in which you can develop and new goals to pursue as a company, as you can either generate more revenue by acquiring those projects, or you can be more formidable when compared to the competition, since the production cost for those projects will be lower, thus giving you a major competitive edge in the field.
Increase the efficiency of your workforce
Even though time tracking tools do not instantly make someone into a better employee, it cannot be denied that when we know that our time is measured, we tend to make an effort to perform better. There is a good chance your employees will strive to do better knowing their time is measured, and basically try to beat their old records. With this kind of system in place, everyone can have a clear overview of how they are progressing.
Another way to boost efficiency is by using the analytics obtained from the tool for better management. You can clearly measure individual efforts and progress with these tools and that kind of feedback will come in handy. You can see who is a better choice for a specific type of project, and distribute the workload in such a fashion so that you maximize the productive capacity of your team.
Understand workforce limitations
In addition to maximizing the efficiency of your workforce, you will also gain an insight into their limits. It’s not going to be too big of an issue if someone has to put in extra hours at the office, however, those actions tend to have a backlash if they keep occurring.
Finding out the optimal workload on a daily basis is extremely important, because it prevents workers from experiencing overburns. If your workers take more than they can handle for a week or two, their productivity is bound to drop after a certain amount of time, and it can also result in lack of motivation and in higher job dissatisfaction rates.
With a time tracking tool, you get to know if you’ll require an extra workforce, or if your current team can tackle more projects. This will help you maintain a positive attitude in the office, and keep your employees motivated. Of course, it is reasonable to increase the amount of work done within a day, but through increased expertise; this way, you can gain an increase in either quantity or quality without extra time, and your employees won’t feel exhausted.
Project scope creep management
Finally, you can ensure your projects are delivered on time and without any unpleasant surprises. One of the things that separates good project managers from exceptional project managers is the ability to manage scope creep. With all of the benefits we have mentioned so far, your project managers will have everything they need in order to manage project scope creeps.
They can calculate how much it will take for a project to be completed and add a few extra days to the deadline just in case the end product needs to be polished. Moreover, they can distribute the tasks in such a way so that daily efforts can be maintained and there will be no drop in productivity. Also, tasks will be delegated so that everyone gets a task they are comfortable with. And finally, your project will have accurate value so no one will feel underpaid.
Now that you know just how beneficial time tracking can be, it is safe to say that you should give it a try and test things out on your own.
David Miller is a technical writer currently associated with ProProfs Project. He enjoys writing about emerging project management products and its latest trends. He lives in Detroit, Michigan with his wife. In his spare time, David loves exploring the city, listening to Metal music and riding.