Do you debate on whether your team should be tracking their time on projects? How often do you wonder if this is micro-managing? Let me tell you why time tracking can help.
Our team works heavily in Salesforce. Unfortunately, there isn’t a built-in object for tracking time, but luckily, they have the AppExchange to help you find the right tool for that. We currently use Inspire Planner for our project management. Inspire Planner has a time tracker built into the app, and it integrates so well with Salesforce.
Why is time tracking helpful to our team?
As consultants, we need to bill clients for hours spent on development and training. Each employee can enter hours worked for each of their tasks and projects. We can then pull reports, by Account, to give the client a total of how many hours have been accumulated over a specified time.
This helps us in quoting and scheduling future projects. We enter in an estimate of how much time we think the task will take or the planned effort. Then, when the task is complete and time actually spent, or actual effort, on the task is entered into the time tracker, we can evaluate the difference in hours and note if we need to adjust the planned effort to better quote and schedule future projects for our clients.
When the time tracker is used to the best of its capability, it allows the project planners and management to see which employees are available. We can see who has available time to pick up a new project or who can help a team member if they are over-scheduled in task hours. It also helps us identify areas where we can improve our processes. Workflows have helped us finetune the process to automate some features.
What if you don’t bill clients?
As a manager, you can get a bird’s-eye view of how many tasks are being completed and how long it is taking without having to ask the employee for a list of hours/projects/tasks worked for the week or day. You don’t need to bill clients in order to track time. Often when we are working on projects, we are simply getting a gauge for how long something will take in order to plan for future projects within our own company. Do we have the bandwidth to take on the next project, or should it be put off to when there is more time availability?
All in all, tracking time can seem cumbersome to those who have never done it. So why not make it less painful and add an app that has time tracking capabilities that integrate with your Salesforce instance? We aren’t trying to recreate the wheel over here, just simplifying the process as we go along.