Everybody on your team should have an essential role to play in the completion of your project. By tracking time through different categories you can see if you are duplicating efforts or if an employee that should be set to difficult tasks is being under utilized.
It is important to obtain perspective of how your project is faring. By tracking the time closely and combining time spent on specific tasks you will be able to drill your overview down to a detailed project and sub project view.
Evaluating your planned versus actual project time will allow you to stay aware of specific tasks and milestones and adjust your planned completion dates. It cannot be stated enough that fluidity is key in project management and adjusting time based on where it is being spent the most is key to staying fluid.
Keeping the categorized time on a spreadsheet or other time management software allows a visual reminder of where your project stands and who is spending their time where. This allows you, as the project manager, to know what your staff is or isn’t doing on a continual basis.
You can take this information from the gathered data and prepare in-depth informational and analytical reports, allowing you to focus on project schedule changes and the reasons for time adjustments. If you set up your categories properly, you will be able to filter the data and pinpoint only the areas you are concerned with. Allowing for a central view of issues in your project will enable you to see how specific matters were handled and will allow for insight on future projects.
Establishing where time is being lost will allow you to make project changes, reassign tasks as needed, and notify your team of potential pitfalls to your schedule. If you are using software that can manage the data on your team’s time cards effectively, you will be able to view quick snapshots and save essential time across the entire project as well as in specific areas.
Categorizing time is achieved by taking a good look at your project and your team, and breaking down your project into many important sub-projects and tasks. Teach your team to take the time to filter their time into your categories and encourage them to track their time accurately for best results.
If you do not have the time or ability to learn one of the free time management programs on the internet you must, at the very least, create a timecard. Simply take a notebook that costs approximately $1.00 at your nearest convenience store, write your employees name on the cover. Inside the first page write out directions to your employee to journal tasks completed throughout the day and approximate the time it took to complete the task. Collect the notebook at the end of the week and tally the time used throughout the day.
This also serves as a good source for communication between you and your staff. If there is a specific task that is taking longer than it should or your employee is encountering a problem with one of their assignments you can easily track that through your new time log.
However you decide to track time, remember that time management is one of the easiest ways to analyze your company's performance and certainly the least expensive. With the online free software available now there is no reason for you to not be automated, either.