Time tracking is not a sexy topic. It may seem like a boring, administrative necessary evil. But what if the benefits went way beyond the obvious accurate-billing-of-clients? What if better reporting on time tracking could lead to better delegation, higher project success rates, and boosted morale for your team? As it happens — it can.
70% of businesses have reported at least one project failure in the last year. The main reasons projects are reported to fail include a lack of clear goals, scope creep, and the way that these things lead to the team falling off of the project timeline. Even if projects don’t fail, you may find that you’re under-billing clients because these issues cause projects to take more than the estimated time allotted. With clear and accurate time tracking, you can catch these issues early and take them to your client to propose an increased budget or reducing project scope. This will also help you more accurately estimate project time in the future. The more you understand how long certain project tasks take, the less likely it is that you’ll lose money to failed projects or under-billing in the future.
With this in mind, CROOW has some exciting enhancements coming to time tracking in April that will make it even easier to use. How easy? Here’s our step-by-step guide for time tracking success in CROOW!
Time Tracking 101
Time Entries have the following fields:
- Time Duration (in hours & minutes)
- Can be billable or non-billable
- May be associated with a: To-Do, Approval, Request, Project and/or Workspace.
Timer Mode & Manual Entry Mode are two of the ways that time may be added.
- Timer Mode: This mode allows users to start and stop a timer through the app to create a Time Entry. Simply press start, and let the timer record your entry until you stop it.
- Manual Entry Mode: allows you to easily enter a specific time as a Time Entry. This is best used after a specific activity has concluded. These may be entered as Xh Xm.
Track Time From a To-Do
To enter time on a To-Do, open the to-do detail from your Dashboard, Workspace, Project, or anywhere else in the app.
- Under the “Time Tracking” headline on the right side of the to-do, click the play button to start the timer.
- Once you press play, there will be a blue bar at the bottom of the screen that will follow you around until you press the stop button (middle of the bar).
- Open the time entries by clicking the dropdown arrow next to the amount of time logged.
- Click on the “New Time Log” button to add a new row.
- Fill in the new Time Entry. Note: time format should be Xh Xm.
- Click the create button to add entry.
Track & Manage On Time Tracking List View
Access the time tracking dashboard from “Reporting” > “Time Tracking”. This page is an easy way to add time across any of your To-Do’s or to add to an Approval, Request, Project, and/or Workspace.
List View (Timer Mode):
- Press the timer play button to start the timer
- Enter the entry description in the input field
- The clipboard icon will attach the entry to a To-Do you pick
- The pencil icon allows you to attach the entry to a Workspace or Project.
List View (Manual Mode):
- Enter in the hours & minutes in the bold 00:00 area
- Add the entry to a To-Do, Workspace, or Project as in Timer mode
Note: You may edit entries within the list.
From a team management perspective, understanding each individual team member’s workload AND work pattern is critical to successful delegation. There are the obvious delegation considerations — who has the most bandwidth right now to tackle a particular task? But in addition, you should consider who is the most skilled at a task, and how long it would take them to accomplish. Employees who are assigned the work they feel they do best have shown a 25% increase in morale, so you’ll not only enjoy higher quality outcomes faster, but your employees will be happier, too.
With this in mind, CROOW is introducing time tracking reporting in April. Managers will be able to look at their team’s workload on any given day or week, and at a glance understand who is being stretched thin and who might have more bandwidth. This will go beyond simply reporting how many to-do’s someone has, though. You’ll see an estimate of how long each to-do will take the employee so you can have a true sense of availability. As you continue to track these tasks over time, you’ll understand who might have an easier time completing a particular type of task. This, coupled with regular conversations with your employees, will guide you to assign work most appropriately.
The benefits of time tracking are vast, but they can ultimately be summed up in the results of a more efficiently run business. Embracing a time tracking routine is a simple way to improve time and project management. And with CROOW, it’s easier than ever before.