Time reporting fun

17. February 2007 12:54 by jpena in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Establishing a time reporting system within an organization can be a very challenging task, but it presents important advantages once the system is in place.  Let’s face some hard facts about time reporting:

  • Time reporting is necessary: if you don’t know how much time the team is spending on each task, you’ll hardly know if the original effort estimates for the tasks were correct.  Also, time reporting allows you to keep historical data that will be helpful in estimating future projects and optimizing your processes.
  • Time reporting is overhead: of course time reporting is not part of the main tasks that your team members are supposed to execute.  Because of this, your time reporting system must be fast, friendly and easy to use.  If a team member spends more than five minutes reporting his/her hours, then something’s wrong with the system.  Also, if a project manager or team leader has to spend hours chasing team members that haven’t reported their hours on time, then there is definitely a problem.
  • Time reporting is cultural: nobody really likes time reporting when it is first introduced.  If there is no plan to communicate the advantages of time reporting to team members, they will probably be reluctant to report their hours in a periodic and timely manner.  Basically, you have to sell everybody the idea that time reporting is important and key to the project’s success.  Organizations that have succeeded at creating a time reporting culture now possess extensive historical data and knowledge about their own processes.