Time Tracking Benefits for Remote Teams

Time Tracking Benefits for Remote Teams

Businesses are being run by remote teams due to the Covid-19 outbreak today. And all such organizations whose billing is dependent on time sheets, time tracking is a must.

Consulting firms, professional services, marketing and digital agencies all get paid for exchange of skilled labour time.

Accurate time tracking is crucial for organizations to build trust and bill their clients with confidence.

Time tracking is a great way to

  • generate reports of your team’s efforts
  • monitor task progress
  • assess if your team is aligned with the customer deadlines
  • increase visibility of your billable works
  • understand your team’s utilization and productivity rates

Read on to see, how project, delivery & resource managers can collaborate with their team to maintain productivity and profitability of their projects with optimum time management practices.

Identify repetitive Project Tasks

Every project has quite some degree of repetitive tasks. As a project manager, you must assess how many of such tasks are considered billable. Next, estimate them as accurately as possible.

Rely on historical project data if you have been doing some time tracking already.

If not, then NOW is a good time to start tracking time spend on all such repetitive tasks.

Benefits:

  • You are well set for accurate estimation for such tasks.
  • You know, what degree of repetitive tasks will be involved in your projects.
  • Overall project estimation tends to be more accurate as you keep on completing projects.
  • You can identify less expensive resources who can take up these tasks.

Track efforts across ALL Tasks

Now this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. To some this might seem like going overboard. But that’s not true.

Understand full well that projects entail a lot of activities and we cannot bill our clients for all of them.

Then there is all sorts of rework either due to quality, expectations or requirements mismatch.

If you do not have robust time tracking measures in place, you will never know if and when you will complete the project. Also, will the project be profitable or not.

Hence, when you start tracking time across all activities, you come to know what is wrong with your current execution flow.

Benefits:

  • Better categorize project activities.
  • Teams have more clarity on how their time is spent.
  • Managers can assess the quality of effort spent.
  • Identify and plug the revenue holes.
  • Teams are more aware of how competent they are.

Demonstrate value of time tracking to the team

Nobody likes filling time sheets. Unless of course you run behind them with a stick!

In large corporations, there are specific teams within the HR/Payroll departments that do a lot of chasing across the enterprise to get the time-cards filled on time for payroll & invoice processing.

So, you see how difficult it becomes when the teams do not buy in to adopting your time tracking practices.

There is a significant administrative overhead (read: effort and additional revenue on your company) just to get the teams to do time tracking.

So what can be done to make this attitude shift?

  • Help the teams understand tracking time is in their best interest.
  • Build trust and confidence that this is no snooping tactics or big brother stuff.
  • Make them see value of their own work and performance.

When teams start tracking time they can see how they fared w.r.t the original task estimates.

Resources get to compete with themselves and improve over their past performance. And there is enough motivation when this happens to continue to improve their productivity.

Benefits:

  • Teams can now identify and curtail work from home distractions.
  • Performance anomalies are easily highlighted and preventive actions can be initiated.
  • Planned vs Actual hours indicate each resource’s productivity.
  • Task assignments can be done effectively keeping in mind the team’s strengths.

Set realistic estimates and deadlines

One cannot stress enough on setting up the right deadlines. All projects end up with high powered sprints to the finish line causing lot of resource burnout, sub-quality outputs and some delay in meeting the absolute deadline.

There are 1000s of things that aren’t controlled by the manager or the remote teams. It can be personal concerns, change of scope, customer priority or unforeseen work from home issues.

Either ways teams are stretched out way too thin since they are at home all the time and nowhere to go.

Hence, stuffing too many tasks into a resource’s day will not move the project faster.

You will end up stressing and distracting the team member.

When there is too much to do in just so many hours, corners will be cut, steps would be omitted, processes would be bypassed and the outcomes would be less than desirable.

This is where resource allocation and utilization reports come to picture.

When you know how your resources are allocated and who are available you can plan tasks without overloading your resources.

Most importantly, you can assign critical tasks to more experienced resources and the low hanging fruits to low cost resources.

This leads to getting work done faster, with quality and supports the profitability projections too.

Benefits:

  • Allocate tasks based on resource and skill availability.
  • Transparent expectations management with the customer.
  • Play to the team’s strengths.
  • Improve profitability margins.

Quick time tracking tips and benefits with Orangescrum

Orangescrum offers comprehensive time and resource management capabilities that have proven helpful for remote teams across the globe.

Remote collaboration is easier with regular time tracking as you can see real time task updates on task assignments and allocations.

Hence, teams can work internally to plan their day and work week to ensure timely completion.

Let’s see how Orangescrum time tracking works.

  • Automated timer within tasks.
  • Time entry and time sheets for team members who like to do once a day or week.
  • Hour spent by tasks, resource, project and task types for granular view of task progress.
  • Quick identification of billable vs non-billable hours.
  • Task type vs task count vs spent hours to identify bottlenecks.
  • Assess and eliminate non-value add or non-necessary project activities.
  • Detailed resource utilization, allocation and availability reports.

Wrapping up!

Having a centralized remote collaboration platform is a must for your work from home teams.

Task tracking and project management tools like Orangescrum helps the remote teams to stay focused and on top of their work. It also helps them deal with distractions and assess their own performance.

Knowing what’s on one’s plate, how far is he behind schedule and what is needed to catch up acts as a great motivator to up the game.

Moreover, the value of one’s contributions are clear and hence, remote employees are willing to stay on top of their deliverables.

At the same time, the remote workers have to maintain a steady work life balance as social interactions have reduced. And ending up with work all their waking hours may not augur well for their mental and physical health.

Thus practicing robust time management tips would allow them to carve out time for creative pursuits, learn and upgrade to new skills and improve their own productivity.

When you get more work done faster you make time to do things you love. This in itself is a great incentive for team members to stick to their timelines and deliver with quality the first time around.

If you are a manager and a remote team worker, how productive have you been? Have your billable increased? Are the profit margins better or worse when compared to the good old normal work scenario?

Now, if you do not have prompt and concrete answers to the above, Start Time Tracking today!

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