This is a continuation of an earlier blog post ”How to be best prepared before a business software purchase"(in Danish) and lists many of the questions you should ask yourself to find out the minimum requirements that you'll need for a new system.
There are many other questions than the one that I’ve listed – the possibilities are endless – but I’ve of course had inspiration from the processes that TimeLog supports.
I hope that the information below can be an inspiration to help you find the extra questions that you’ll need answered. If there are questions that you feel are missing from the list, you’re very welcome to share them with us via the comment box.
- What would you like to have improved in relation to your current method of time registration?
- Will you register all of your time (internally and externally), or just project time (external)?
- Do you need to enter comments for your time registrations?
- Do your employees do many different things over the course of the day, or do they concentrate their work on one project for many hours at a time?
- Do your employees need to be able to register time via mobile phones?
- Do your employees use Outlook frequently, and do they need to be able to register time from Outlook?
- How do you manage flex?
- Does everyone have access to the internet?
- Do you need an approval process for reporting of hours?
- How would you like to register absences?
- Do you need to manage vacation/holiday time?
- Would you like to be able to support payroll calculations for your payroll system?
- Do you need to register purchases/ expenses?
- Do you need to register travel expense accounts?
- Do you need to register allowances?
- Do you need to register mileage?
- Should these entries be invoiced to customers, and would you like to be able to add a profit to this?
- Do you need an approval flow for employees' expense registrations?
- Do you need to be able to separate expenses on a company credit card/ invoice and personal employee expenses?
- Which contract type do you use (time spent, fixed-price, voucher agreement, retainers, other)?
- Do you ever use different contract types on the same project?
- Do you have different costs per employee?
- Do you have different hourly rates per employee?
- Do you have customer-specific hourly rates?
- Do you use different hourly rates for the same project?
- For fixed-price projects, are you interested in seeing the value calculation from an average hourly rate, or how much you could have sold the project for on time spent?
- How do you budget your projects today?
- Do you budget in both hours and value?
- Do your employees have a personal budget for their work?
- Do you budget on a task level, or only on an overall project level?
- Can the value/hours on your project budget and project contract differ
- Do you budget your projects in different currencies?
- How many task levels do you use in your most complex projects?
- Would you like to allocate specific resources for your projects, or should everyone be able to see all projects?
- Would you like to be able to calculate work in progress?
- Do you need an overview of how stressed your employees’ workload is?
- Is it important to know appreciation and depreciations on project invoices?
- Would you like to have a Gantt chart on a project level?
- Do you work with milestones on your projects?
- Do you work with the ETC principle (estimated time to complete)?
- Do you invoice customers per project, or together on one invoice?
- Do some of your customers have different mailing and billing addresses?
- Would your customers like a detailed invoice, or a very simple invoice?
- Do you invoice in different currencies?
- Do you need several invoice templates?
- Do you ever use upgrading and downgrading on invoices?
- Do you need to be able to make registrations non-billable?
- Do you have a special workflow for approving invoicing and billing potential?
- Do you send invoices to the public sector?
- Do you have an overview of planned payments ahead of time?
- Which key figures do you work with today?
- Would you like to cover level of completion per project/customer/employee?
- Would you like to be able to see employees' billing rate and external %?
- Would you like to see an analysis of what you’ve used your resources on?
- On which customers have you used the most of your time, and which have been the most profitable?
- In which business areas have you used the most of your time, and what has created the most value?
- On which projects have you used the most of your time, and which have been the most profitable?
- Which employee reports do you use?
- Would you like to compare your projects' performance regardless of the project's size?
- Would you like to be able to divide the system into departments, on several levels?
- Do you have international employees, or offices abroad that require that you have a system in several languages?
- Do you use bonuses in your organization – if yes, which key performance indexes are used to calculate bonuses?
- Do you need integration to other systems?
- Do you need to export your data into Excel, Word, PDF, XML or .txt?
- Do you currently have a CRM system, or would you like to have the sales department be able to manage their pipeline in the system?
- Would you like to be able to segment your customer database with your own criteria?
- Do you support your customers today using a help desk-system?
- Would you like to share information with your customers via an extranet?
- Do you need document management, or could you use a link to customer/project folders on your server?