It is a clear advantage to know how much work time is being spent on different tasks and projects in a company. But how do you and your company best receive this information?
Are you considering investing in a time tracking system for your company? There might be many (good) reasons to do so. The best reason is that an overview of the employees’ time consumption distributed on tasks provide an overview of the finances. It is as simple as that.
But which system would you choose? If you find it confusing to get an overview of the systems, you are not alone: It’s a jungle out there. There are endless ways of tracking time and numerous solutions on the market. From the most simple to the more advanced systems. Here it is important to know that the biggest not necessarily is the best. The most important is that the system matches your needs.
Time tracking – 3 types
First, you need to get an overview. In general, the methods for time tracking can be divided into three categories, which we call the Excel sheet, Online stop watch and Online project management. See if you can recognise your company’s needs in one of the three methods:
1. The Excel sheet
The simplest, most basic time tracking, and the solution many companies start out with. The employees can enter their time consumption in a sheet with projects and subtasks and a tab for each week. Spreadsheets like these are usually more or less automated regarding flex, allowances and travel expenses. When the project is completed, the hours can be summed up.
Benefits: Simple and free.
Disadvantages: Inaccurate, only for time collection, no value estimation of hours, cannot be limited to other systems.
2. Online stop watch
For companies in development. In this type of electronic time tracking programmes, you can create projects and subtasks where the employees track their time while they are working. The stop watch runs until you stop it. You can pull reports on time consumption on projects and employees.
Benefits: Cheap and quite accurate.
Disadvantages: Only for time tracking and simple project management, no value estimation of hours, cannot be limited to other systems.
3. Online project management
For the modern project oriented company in the digital age. In this system, the employees’ electronic time tracking is linked to financial project management, e.g. value estimation on the time consumption and calendar and contract management. Here you can pull reports on an ongoing basis across all parameters, and in this way you have an overview of all aspects of a project: For estimation, planning, cost management, resource allocation, communication, quality assurance and reporting of key figures.
Benefits: Accurate, provides an overview of key figures, Euro and Cent on each single time tracking, documentation and analyses, integration to other systems, possibility to add modules, if needed.
Disadvantages: Charged, you need time to learn the system.
There are also financial systems with in-built time tracking. E.g. ERP systems, but here you need to be an accounts clerk to pull data out of the system. This is a shoot on the evolution’s genealogical tree for time tracking systems and belongs more to the financial species.
Want to know more?
Now you should have come a little closer to gain an overview of your time tracking opportunities. Do you want to dig deeper into your considerations before you decide which system to use?