Table of Contents
If you’re running a project-based business time tracking software should be one of the main tools in your toolbox. The software helps you optimize workload, allocate projects and tasks evenly, while increasing productivity, maintaining clients’ expectations and fairly tracking working hours (including overtime).
It’s a software that can make your project management a lot smoother, but also help you speed up the project process. However, the software can’t do this on its own, it gives you the data, and you must make decisions and changes which will allow you to progress. In this article, we’ll go through all four stages of a project, and see how time tracker fits into each one of them.
Stage 1: Project Initiation
Stage 1 of the project starts as soon as you receive a request for quote (RFQ) from the client. This request usually includes project details, and asks you to estimate how much time it will take you to complete it, as well as how much will you charge for it.
With software for time tracking projects you can provide the client with the most accurate project estimate. Just check past projects, find a similar one and check how much time it took you to complete it. Since the software tracks productive and unproductive activities, you can be certain that you can make this estimate.
Stage 2: Project Set Up
When the client accepts your conditions, it’s time to set up, or plan, your project. You can rely on the time tracker once again. You’ll create a new project within it, assign employees and give them tasks. You can also set proper due dates for every task that’s included in the project.
You’ll also see what your employees are working on currently, and how busy they are, so you can give this project to someone who actually has enough time to handle it. Some trackers will allow you set budget limits, and they’ll send you alerts before you go over it, how cool is that?
Stage 3: Project Execution
You’ve planned everything, so it’s time to get to work! Every employee will be able to see the list of their tasks, they just need to start/stop the timers as they switch between tasks. Once they’re done, they can change the task status.
In the meantime, while your team is crossing tasks from their to-do lists, you can monitor what’s happening on the project without interrupting them. Once you log into the dashboard, you can see which tasks are marked as complete, which are still in progress, etc. This way you can ensure you’re staying on schedule, and catch any potential issues beforehand.
Stage 4: Project Closing
When you send the final product to your client you can say that the project has come to an end, production wise. But there’s still work to be done. And I don’t mean in the sense that the client is requesting some changes.
You must now analyze the data your time tracking for projects software collected. It means reviewing whether any deadlines were missed, and investigating why; as well as looking out for what went well so you can give praise where it’s due.
Additionally, you can go to the tracker to check how much time it took you to complete the full project (if you charge by the hour), and create an invoice you’ll share with the client.
Project management is so much easier when you give it a bit of time tracking software. Now, you know how it can help you out in every stage of the project, and ultimately make your company more successful.