If you’re making a meatloaf, do you know what ingredients you need to buy at the store, how much they cost, and how long it will take you to make? Project management works the same way. A team member can give you their best guess as to how long it will take them to complete XYZ. He/she can also give you a guesstimate of the percentage complete, and you can draw a rough estimation from that. But if you could get accurate information, based on the time your team member reports against the task, wouldn’t it be better? You would know that it takes exactly 40 hours for your team member to complete XYZ. Not only that, you can use this information to build a better schedule for the next project, and budget the hours and costs more precisely with a lower percentage of error due to the increased accuracy of the data set.
From managers to individual contributors, employees of many organizations have negative reactions when the topic of time tracking is brought up. Some of the negative responses tend to be: “We would rather have our workers spend time doing real work than filling out timesheets,” OR “If I track my time mostly against administrative instead of against a project, then they will lay me off ,” OR “I don’t want my boss to know that level of detail about what I’m doing every hour; it’s like having him breathing over my shoulder” … etc. Some benefits that should help convince you, your boss, and your company to secure “buy-in” to use time tracking with project management, include seeing improvements in:
- resource allocation, so that employees are not overworked;
- budgeting and spending, in relation to project costing and billing services;
- future planning and quoting with new projects;
- making business decisions and corrections, such as when to cut down the number of features versus adding costs;
- estimating time to market if you are in the business of making products;
- tracking revenue versus expenses; and
- time management, and what the time is spent on for everyone.
Where can you find the tools that would help you and your organization track your time and projects in order to achieve these benefits? There are many great applications out there, but if you’re using SharePoint for team collaboration, Bamboo offers Project Management Central for project management and Time Tracking and Management for time tracking. The two work together seamlessly to efficiently provide information to your organization in real time. Both are also available together in the Project Management Suite. In terms of project management, high level features for time tracking in this release include the ability to:
- Allow users to track against valid tasks from multiple projects and cost codes;
- Allow management to approve/disapprove timesheets via the approval process:
- Allow users to track/set internal rate/cost versus billable rate/cost to the client separately:
- Allow users to set granularity with cost, such as cost for all users, based on the roles or for specific individuals based on his/her skills/title;
- Set rules for setting hours and overtime:
- Canned reports based on resources, projects or departments with options to export to Excel or save to list:
- Flexible timesheet outputs to list:
- Report actual work and actual cost back to the projects so project managers can track real costs and real work versus estimates:
If you’re on SharePoint 2010 and you want to see if PM Central and Time Tracking and Management are right for you, please contact our Sales team or try them out together for free in our sandbox. You can also sign up to attend our free webinar to see them in action.
Read the complete series surrounding the dual releases of PM Central 3.5 and Time Tracking and Management 1.5:
- Project Management Central R3.5 for SharePoint 2010 is Now Available!
- Time Tracking and Management R1.5 for SharePoint 2010 is Now Available!
- User’s Guide to Bamboo’s Microsoft Project Add-in for Project Management Central R3.5 for SharePoint 2010
- Automatically Creating a Project Site with PM Central R3.5 … It’s Like Having Your Own “Easy Button”!
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