Have you ever completed a project for your Client and wondered how much time it actually took your team to get it done? I am sure the answer is yes.
Tracking real time spent on your projects is not only important when you are paying your resources per hour or billing your Client per time spent on it, but it’s also great for keeping track of your overall productivity levels. With a time tracking option you can also see how close you are to your project estimates and use this knowledge next time you are preparing a quote for another project, as well as forecast more accurate project timelines.
What are time-reports?
Time reports allow you to track the time spent on a specific task against the time that was initially assigned to a certain team member. It used to be a very manual process, but now most of the teams turned to digital solutions that help them manage their time.
It is certainly the best, when time-reporting is as easy as confirming or updating an already existing work schedule that was initially planned by the manager. In farmerswife users can see all their completed tasks and go through all their past bookings to update the time.
How does time-reporting work?
Rather than logging in how long your team members worked for the day, they should report on each individual booking and project they have completed. Time-reporting helps you get a greater understanding of what your teams are spending their time on and how much time certain bookings or tasks are taking to complete.
In case some tasks are taking way longer than expected you can ask your team members to explain the discrepancies (for example by leaving a note on time report) to adjust the time next time you schedule a similar task. On the other hand - if they are using less time to complete tasks you can use that time to get other things done or maybe even move up some deadlines.
What are the reasons to track your time?
- Easily bill your Clients
If you are billing your clients by the time spent on the project, time reporting is essential. You don’t want to guess how much time it took you to complete certain jobs. Some tools (like farmerswife) allow you not only to turn billable hours into invoices but also decide what goes to your invoice and keep track of your planned (booked time), used time (time-reported time) and invoiced time.
- Quickly generate payrolls
If you work with many freelancers or hire contractors your payroll may be different each month. Using time tracking allows you to quickly generate all needed reports with the time spent on different tasks across the selected time period. In farmerswife you can generate user, object or financial reports with simply one click to get the numbers for week, month, year or any other time period.
- Pull out any reports you need
If upon sending an invoice to your Client you are asked to generate the report of time spent on the project to justify some costs, time tracking tool can be really handy here as all needed information will be registered in the system. This can also be useful when you work on projects that could be audited - having a tool that keeps all the data will definitely save a lot of your time and nerves if you are asked for detailed information on projects you’ve been working on.
- Make more accurate estimates and forecasts
Once you’ve been using tracking option for some time already, you will be able to refer to some of your old projects and easily see how much time exactly it took you to complete similar projects in the past. What is more - you will also be able to tell if the project was profitable for you or not.
The more projects you complete the more data you will be able to analyse for more accurate predictions, estimates and planning.
- Improve your pricing and make sure your projects are profitable
When you are setting the price you need to consider how much work will go into the project. If your estimates are not accurate your projects might bring very little profit. With a time tracking option you will know how much all the past projects cost and learn from that experience. You will definitely have a better starting point when you estimate your next projects.
- Manage your team in a better way
Time tracking is very useful when it comes to managing your teams. You can easily see how much time is spent on certain projects and tasks and if the individuals or teams are working over or under their capacity. Knowing exactly how much time is spent on particular tasks / jobs / projects, project managers can create more realistic schedules for the teams. They can refer back to some past projects and make sure the workloads are manageable.
- Improve the workflows
People are very often surprised when they look at the time sheets and see how much time is spent on non-billable tasks: meetings or internal processes that are taking way too long. With a time tracking tool you can get hard data on your productivity and start working on improving the workflows. Time tracking can also empower each individual to look at how they organise the day and make some little improvements that can have an impact on the efficiency in the long run.
How to implement time tracking using farmerswife?
Hopefully by now you know what benefits you can get by using a time tracking tool. farmerswife’s time reporting feature makes it very easy to compare the data of the scheduled and used time not only across various projects, but also per each individual resource.
Here is how that works:
- Enable the time reporting option in farmerswife.
- Prepare a clear schedule for the users by adding project bookings to their calendars.
- Make sure your users log time regularly, possibly right after certain booking is completed.
They can do it either via Web Client, Mobile Web Client or IOS app.
Before this becomes the habit for all your users, farmerswife Server can automatically send email reminders for over-due time reports to everyone.
- Use User Reports to compare booked time vs used time for every user or Financial Reports to see progress on each project or across multiple projects.
Tracking real time spent on the project against your budget is definitely crucial to make sure you are not running over your budget!
- Once you’ve been using time - reporting for some time, refer back to old projects and start creating more accurate estimates and timelines.
- Log all unplanned tasks with ad-hoc timereports to be able to track all unexpected jobs your resources had to work on!
Combining resource scheduling with scheduling and time-tracking in one tool is the easiest way to capture time spent on various tasks and projects. Having access to real time flow data is a really powerful tool to manage your projects and teams in the best possible way. Why not get started now? Request your free demo with one of our project managers to find out more about farmerswife and see how to implement it across your team!
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