How Project Management With Time Tracking Supports More Successful Outcomes
Blog: Monday Project Management Blog
Successful project managers move beyond statistical analysis and flow charts and dig into critical details such as resource management and time reports. When you keep track of time — for yourself, your project as a whole, and each team member individually — you’re better able to set appropriate hourly rates for work, document billable hours to support invoices, and manage projects for more successful outcomes.
In this article, we’ll dig deeper into project management time tracking, including why it’s an absolute must for any project team and what tools you can use to do it. We’ll highlight how monday.com’s project management software helps you honor your team’s time while also gathering details about how you spend it, and we’ll even provide some links for some related templates that can help you set your projects up for success on monday.com.
Why is time tracking critical to project success?
Project time tracking is a critical task that sets you up with the information needed for deep insights into any project effort’s costs, profitability, and potential success. Here are just some of the reasons you must track task and project time:
- Cost: The hours spent on project work cost you or your company money. Keeping an eye on time trackers helps you understand where you are with project budgets. A real-time understanding of the time spent on each effort helps you adjust project budgets or other spending to meet budget goals.
- Billing: Capturing time entries for work performed on the project helps ensure invoicing is accurate and that you have documents to back up what you’re charging customers.
- Understanding time management and proactively managing your team: You likely have some idea of how much time projects and tasks should take; you can tell when someone may be struggling with a task or not attending to it with full focus. Project leaders can step in to provide oversight and coaching to help increase efficiencies.
Of course, before you can put those time-tracking insights into action, you must collect the data. Having the right project tools in place for good management of time tracking can enhance your overall success and cut down on manual efforts.
What tools help you track time for projects?
Consistently using the same tools to track how much time it takes to complete tasks assigned to each team member helps you build a data bank of time-tracking information. We’ve summarized some of the most popular tools for this purpose below.
Time-tracking sheets or spreadsheets
You can manually record projects requiring only one or two people or have fairly straightforward time-tracking requirements. You can print out time sheets where people can log minutes or hours spent on each task or use spreadsheets where team members can enter that information.
Time tracking software
Time tracking software automatically captures the time someone spends on a task.
An option such as Toggl lets team members “toggle” on and off time tracking, choosing a specific task or billable category to attribute time to. Businesses or project teams might also opt for integrated time tracking that uses mouse movements, keyboard strokes, and other cues to understand whether someone is working on a task and records the time spent.
Project management tools with built-in time tracking
Teams that need project management software for collaboration, document management, and other functions are often best served by solutions that also have time-tracking built in.
When time tracking is possible in your project management solution, teams don’t have to switch between screens or log in to multiple programs to track time — increasing compliance with tracking.
Luckily, we know a project management software option with convenient, customizable time tracking tools.
monday.com as a project management tool with time tracking
At monday.com, we understand time tracking can be critical for project success and business management, which is why we’ve built the option right into the foundational framework of our task management solutions — our boards.
You can add a time tracking column to any board you create to help your team easily capture time data when they work on tasks. They simply click on “play” to start a timer when they start work on a task. Team members can pause the timer and restart it anytime, ensuring they can capture accurate billable time when working on a task in work sessions across multiple days or even weeks.
You can easily toggle time tracking on monday.com to include details down to the second to dial into details on how long items take. Track time for tasks and subtasks, view logs to see all the time tracked for each task, and export time logs to Excel for more reporting and management options. You can also add the Time Tracking Widget to any dashboard you create to display information from the time tracking column for management or project teams.
Time tracking on monday.com works best when you’re managing your day-to-day and project work on our Work OS. That way, you have something to track there. Starting with templates to build out your workflow can help you use monday.com for project management.
You can find hundreds of customizable templates in our template center. We’ve pulled out a few project management favorites below to help you get started.
- Single Project Template: Start with this template if you want deep insights into a single project. Plan, implement, and run a project with a collaborative team that can all work in real-time from this template.
- DMAIC Template: Use this template to work through defining, managing, analyzing, implementing, and controlling a project. Teams that use continuous process improvement approaches or methodologies such as Six Sigma may find this template helpful.
- Project Charter Template: Keep everyone on the same page and ensure your project is well-defined with our Project Charter Template.
Once you get started with a project template, don’t forget to build in time tracking and monitoring functions for your team. We have a few more things to say about the importance of monitoring and time tracking in the FAQs.
How do you monitor project performance?
You monitor project performance through key performance indicators as well as adherence to schedules and budgets. For example, a project manager might use the percentage of tasks completed as a KPI, comparing that to the project schedule to determine if the project is on track. If the project schedule is eight weeks long and five weeks have passed, the project manager likely wants to see 50% or more of the project tasks completed.
How do you track time spent on tasks?
You can track time spent on tasks via manual or automatic methods. Teams may log their time on spreadsheets or written templates manually. Time trackers, which launch or end a timer when a team member clicks the option to do so, can be used to capture the time spent on certain work. In some cases, computers can automatically log the time team members are active on a certain task.
What are the four main purposes of monitoring?
- Better accountability. Monitoring ensures team members know they are accountable for certain tasks or performance metrics and provides oversight to ensure transparency in the process.
- Improved performance. Team members who know they’re accountable tend to perform at higher rates, and monitoring also ensures leadership can step in with coaching or resources as needed to help support high performance.
- Better decision-making capability. Monitoring all the tasks within a project ensures project managers and other leaders can make appropriate decisions about the project throughout its lifespan.
- Ensures organization. Monitoring keeps everyone informed about task and project progress to support ongoing communication and organization.
Make project time count on monday.com
Time is money — it may be a cliche, but when you’re paying team members, it’s also a fact. Manage project time well and make it all count by planning projects using the right tools and tracking time so you can capture 100% of your billable hours.
monday.com makes it easy to move seamlessly from collaborative planning to strong teamwork and detail management. Create custom boards that ensure no task is left behind and track time — down to the second if you need it — to stay on top of project schedules and accurate billing.
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