The right project time tracking software can address a variety of business pain points. But is it the best choice for your remote work team? This epic article is aimed at helping you determine whether project time management software is worth YOUR investment. What are the essential functions and features? Can it help you address some of your most crucial pain points? What are some of the perks it can bring to your profit margin? I’ll answer all these questions and more so that you can avoid buyer’s regret and create a strong business case for project time management tools. First off, let’s review some of the essential functions every software buyer should consider.
Here’s What You’ll Find In This Ultimate Guide…
1. What Is Project Time Management Software?: 6 Essential Functions
The most important decision-making factor is whether time tracking apps fill a need within your organization. Ultimately, it must be able to streamline work practices and boost team performance to warrant the investment. What are the primary functions and how does it fit into your business strategy? How does it differ from other software that you already own? So, let’s quickly recap the main roles that time tracking software play for telecommuting teams.
Monitor Project Tasks
One of the most crucial functions of project time tracking software is to track tasks and evaluate team workflow. For instance, you can see how long it took to perform each task and/or milestone, as well as upcoming assignments and which team members are involved in the project. This allows you to identify areas for improvement, such as tasks that take longer than expected. Then you can follow up to pinpoint the cause and offer your employees additional support/resources.
Track Employee Work Hours
Every time tracking system should include some form of attendance tracking. That way, you can see how often employees clock in, break frequency, and weekly work hours. For example, why did this staffer work overtime this week? Was it approved? Did it directly contribute to the project and your profit margin? A tie-in function is to monitor weekly or daily capacity for every employee.
Simplify Client Billing
Clients expect accurate invoices that they can pay promptly, without having to dispute charges or sign up for yet another payment site. Thus, another core function of project time tracking software is client billing. Some tools even feature payment integrations that allow you to pair it with trusted gateways, like PayPal. At the least, your new system should automatically generate invoices based on billable hours.
Manage Internal Resources
One of the main reasons why organizations invest in time tracking apps is to stretch available resources. They know who is working on what and for how long, as well as how much of that time is productive versus ideal. Thus, you’re able to manage human resources more effectively and improve ROI. You also avoid employee burnout because everybody knows their weekly capacity and has better oversight of the project tasks.
Evaluate Project Expenses
Many time tracking tools include expense trackers to help you stick to your budget, and your clients’, for that matter. You can see how much you allocate to each project and the amount clients have approved for every milestone. Not to mention, all of the additional expenses and overtime involved. For instance, maybe you need to adjust your fees to increase your profit margin.
Prioritize Project Profitability
Focus on projects that contribute to your bottom line versus those that only have a small impact on your profits. While every client is important, some contribute to your long-term success more than others. Project time tracking apps help you identify large-scale projects that bring in more revenue so that you can manage resources wisely. As an example, assign more team members to hit the deadline.
2. Popular Project Hours Tracker Business Use Cases
How do other organizations implement project time tracker software to achieve long-term success? While every business can benefit from these systems, there are a few popular use cases. For example, it doesn’t just help with in-house project organization. You can also use it to plan client projects and stick to their budgets. If your organization deals with any of the following, then time tracking apps should be on your radar.
Client Project Planning
You need to juggle multiple projects and keep track of billable hours. Or, maybe you’re working on large-scale projects that involve several milestones and team members. Time tracking apps with PM features let you plan ahead and improve client relations. Let’s say that you have 10 projects scheduled for this month. Time tracking apps allow you to see which employees are working on each project, in addition to the total budget, weekly hour capacity, and upcoming payment milestones.
Time tracking software is also ideal for product launches that don’t necessarily involve clients or billable hours. You can assign employees to handle different aspects of the task, from research and development to focus groups. This app gives you the chance to map everything out in advance so that you can budget accordingly as well. For instance, allocate this much to R&D and testing, then another chunk of your budget to the promotion and the launch event.
Another behind-the-scenes task that’s custom-tailored for time tracking tools is marketing. You can outline all the steps in your marketing campaign, associated tasks, and spending caps. The system helps you stick to your schedule so that you can deploy your strategy when the time is right. For example, host your webinar or publish another content marketing article a week before your site goes live.
Employee Performance Reviews
While project time tracking software typically doesn’t have personnel tracking features, you can use the data for performance evaluations since the app tracks work hours, breaks, time off, and so on. As an example, the employee has five absences this quarter and they’ve used up all their vacation time. During the performance review, you can discuss the issue with them and determine if there are any hidden challenges. Maybe they feel stressed because of their heavy workload or they’re dealing with a health problem that you need to account for when setting their weekly work capacity.
Many time management systems feature a team workflow panel where employees can see all the steps involved. For instance, their current task is due by this day so that their co-worker can wrap up the next stage of the project. This also allows you to identify overlap, like tasks that three of your team members work on every day even though it’s really a one-person job.
Pricing And Estimates
You need to provide accurate estimates so that clients know how much funding is required. Just as you need to be able to price your product competitively while still making a good profit. Time tracking systems centralize information from past projects, which makes it easier to price your services and generate client estimates. For example, you know how much time it took to complete similar tasks and all the additional expenses involved.
Remote Sales Teams
Your remote sales team can use the tool to track client meetings, create invoices, and record billable hours. Many systems even feature attendance tools so they can request days off and set their own weekly capacity. For instance, this sales staffer can only work five hours on Wednesday because they have personal obligations. Or, they’ve already set aside three hours for paperwork and product knowledge training.
Who’s in charge of backend programming and testing? How long does it take to modify the existing UI? Many software development companies use time tracking software to outline the process and avoid launch delays. You can also track related expenses and see if employees have room in their schedule to complete last-minute debugging tasks.
3. Should You Invest In Hour Keeping Software For Your Team?
That’s the million-dollar question, right? So, how do you determine if now’s the right time to purchase time tracking systems for your remote teams? After all, there’s only so much funding available, and every software purchase requires a thorough needs analysis. Here are some insider secrets to help you decide if project time trackers earn a spot in your current budget. You can also download our exclusive Go to Source