5 Time Tracking Myths Debunked
Hello! You’re probably here because you don’t track time on your projects. I’d like to convince you that you should.
I get why you don’t – I really do. For a long time, I resisted timesheets too. They took too long to fill in and weren’t accurate enough to use for any serious management information.
We used spreadsheets. We don’t do it that way any longer.
Time tracking is all grown up, and it’s a totally different game today. Here are 5 of the most common myths about tracking time. It’s time (did you see what I did there?) to shake off those limiting beliefs and embrace digital time clocks!
Honestly, it’s worth it. This first myth will tell you why.
Myth #1: Time Tracking Adds No Value
I hear this myth the most, so let’s address it first. Time tracking for time tracking’s sake adds no value. That’s the same as anything else you do that delivers no benefit and is just an administrative overhead – any process can fall into this category. And you strip those out pretty quickly, right?
There is immense value in time tracking, if you know what you are looking for.
First, tracking time on projects records how much effort was spent on particular tasks. LiquidPlanner has intelligent scheduling, and the data feeds into that. The more data you feed the engine, the more accurate your schedule becomes. The better your schedule, the easier it is for you to plan upcoming tasks, anticipate future problems, and help steer your project over the finish line.
Second, tracking time gives you accurate management and status reports. Automating reporting takes a whole extra task off your plate. And off your team’s plate too. They’ll no longer need to complete timesheets and report their hours to you. Because you’ll already know.
Third, you get to find out how much time work takes. This is gold! You can plan better. You can put together more accurate proposals for new clients. You can schedule your recruitment based on upcoming work and be able to justify to senior management why you need the extra hands. And you can be confident when you tell clients when their job will finish.
Truth: If you set it up for success, you’ll get a ton of valuable data out of your time tracking system.
Myth #2: Time Tracking Leads to Employee Burnout
You think your team is going to work more hours because they are tracking their hours?
That might happen for a week. Then they’ll realise that you aren’t measuring them on hours worked, or expecting them to do more. Modern businesses judge by results and help employees be productive while maintaining a work/life balance.
Share the data from the timesheets with the team so they can see what they are being used for and how helpful the data is for their future estimates. You need to help them move beyond thinking timesheets are a tool to beat them with. See Myth #1 for all the good stuff you get from time tracking.
Truth: The benefits far outweigh any frustrations the team might have at the beginning.
Myth #3: Time Tracking Is Only Ever a Guess Because People “Forget” To Do It
Nope. Putting off your timesheet is an excuse that might have worked a few years back. But tech moves on.
LiquidPlanner makes it easy to report your time because time tracking is built in right across the app. It’s just there in front of you.
Start the timer when you start work on a particular item and update your timesheet in real time. The system will also prompt you to add time as you add each task.
No more excuses. You don’t have to guess. You just have to click and start tracking in real time.
Truth: You can track activity in real time if you make the system simple to use.
Myth #4: Time Tracking Is All About Micromanagement
While I know there must be micromanagers out there, I haven’t come across them in the nimble organizations that make a success of their industry. They don’t last. And if your boss is great in all other respects, having timesheets isn’t going to suddenly make her a micromanager.
I guarantee that your normally-sensible line manager is not going to pour over your timesheets like they’re the latest J. K. Rowling novel. He might get over excited at first with all the lovely rich data that’s coming out of them, but very soon you’ll all come to expect that level of management information to help you make the best decisions.
Truth: Managers are looking for trends and big picture data, not how you spent your last hour on Friday afternoon.
Myth #5: Time Tracking Takes Too Much Time
Well, it might, if you ask people to keep spreadsheets of their hours and then you have to collate the team’s timesheets manually each month. Ain’t no one got time for that!
But that’s old-style thinking. Cloud-based tools offer fast, slick solutions to tracking time, all of which take you minutes per week.
The Timesheet tab on the LiquidPlanner workspace lets you see a list of all your work sorted by weeks. Everything is there: your top priorities for the day, last week’s tasks, and what you’ve got planned for the future. It’s simple to add time to the tasks in this view, or add the hours as you work on the tasks if you prefer. You have options. Pick the one that works best for you or mix and match depending on how you are working that day.
Truth: You can complete your timesheets quickly if you use the right tools.
Time tracking’s all grown up. It’s frictionless. The hurdles and hoops are gone and the benefits are huge. What’s still holding you back from gaining a better view of how your business makes and spends money?