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Project Time Tracking: Make the Most of the Moment

Project Time Tracking: Make the Most of the Moment

UPDATEDJul 21, 2022

Most aspects of project tracking are fairly intuitive. Frequent progress reports, task completion, and various milestones all provide valuable insight about the state of a project and its estimated completion. A less intuitive aspect is project time tracking. Many of us are familiar with recording hours worked in the form of clocking in or out. While this does track time spent at work, it doesn’t provide information about how these hours are spent.

Project time tracking allows us to track time spent on individual projects, tasks, and any other assignments. We can then analyze and evaluate this data to improve project efficiency and resource allocation. This data can be implemented in four common ways.

1. Budget Your Time

Just like a monetary budget, projects have a time budget. A project’s time budget is determined by comparing how many team members are on the project and the project’s deadline. For example, if a project was due in 3 days, you couldn’t expect a team of two to perform 144 hours of work on the project and have it finished by the deadline. A more responsible option would be to either add team members to contribute time or to extend the deadline.

Project time tracking allows project managers to estimate and monitor a project’s time budget. By evaluating tracked time, managers can see if projects are ahead of or behind schedule. Additionally, project time tracking gives insight into what projects need to be adjusted and what departments are in the best position to assist with the project time deficit.

2. Reassign in Real Time

Reviewing a project after completion is integral to future project success. By looking back and identifying mistakes and obstacles (as well as the situations that triggered or preceded them) allows us to avoid repeating these errors in the future. Ideally, we would be able to catch these issues as or before they happened, but it simply isn’t possible to anticipate every challenge.

Project time tracking can be implemented to give project managers better insight into the project as it happens rather than after the fact. When managers can see how time is being spent on a day-to-day basis, they can make adjustments in the moment to course correct and improve efficiency. By using project time tracking, managers can see what tasks need more manpower as well as what tasks are well ahead of schedule and can reassign team members as needed.

3. Quantify Project Effort

It can be difficult to quantify project effort. Project success or failure is a common method of measuring project effort, but this doesn’t allow for any nuance. Adding additional quantifiers, like project time tracking, is an excellent way to provide a more comprehensive look at project effort.

Project time tracking gives project managers a better understanding of how much time is typically spent on successful and unsuccessful projects. Likewise, if any of this work is being performed on behalf of a client, managers can report this metric to demonstrate that the client and their project is not only valued, but actively being worked on. These updates can help improve client relationships for greater satisfaction and a better chance at return projects.

4. Make Future Estimates

Being able to accurately estimate the amount of time needed to complete a project is a critical skill for project managers and planners. Timelines need to be as complete and efficient as possible, but they also need to include margin for error, so the project deadline can still be met if something goes wrong. As a result, previous project data like time tracking is invaluable for project planners.

Past project time tracking data can be used as a reference point for similar future projects. These time insights can be used to create more precise project timelines and assign tasks as efficiently as possible. Reviewing this past data helps to reveal the source of previous issues and how they can be accounted for in the next project. For example, if one task took twice as long as initially estimated, project planners can build this time into the next project timeline.

Every Second Counts

Professional services businesses can make the most of every day by implementing project time tracking software to record and analyze project progression, but it’s what you do with the insights time tracking brings that can truly change your company. Kantata operations management software maximizes efficiency with full project perspective and robust collaboration tools. Get in touch with us to learn more.

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