Accuracy of time sheets:- Who does not know the dictionary “time is money”? One of the main goals of time sheets is to avoid losing you. Several American studies have shown that companies in the service sector lose $ 50,000 a year in revenue because of the inaccuracy of their employees’ time sheets. If employees do not correctly capture their hours worked, it is impossible to invoice those hours to the customer, and thus the company to be paid.
Even if you do not charge your time, time sheets allow you to identify the time required to complete the various tasks of the project and to anticipate potential delays. In short, this tool allows you to accurately track the progress of your project and the performance of your team. This is why it is essential that this tool be filled with accuracy.
The Consequences of Inaccurate timesheets
As a project manager, you know that it is important to accurately and assiduously fill in your timesheet. Most members of your team also know, however, there are always collaborators who do not. This can have several consequences for the smooth running of the project, such as:
- Loss of income;
- The inability to know whether the tasks are being carried out in a timely manner;
- The impossibility of knowing the workload of your collaborators, and thus to better distribute it to be more efficient;
- The inability to know if your project is profitable because the working hours of your collaborators are not captured correctly;
- A lack of data on which to base planning and evaluate future projects;
Different Causes of Inaccuracy in Time Sheets
It is true that today it is difficult to grasp precisely the time spent on each task during a working day, because it is rare to work only on one task throughout the day. Then, because you are constantly solicited, either by email or by telephone. Answering a call or email takes only a few seconds to minutes, but no one grabs that time in his timesheet. Same thing with meetings: many collaborators do not understand the time spent in a meeting. Yet this is an important part of your work.
Another reason is that the timesheet is considered an extra task. Indeed, it is not part of the tasks of the project and is not integrated into the planning. Your employees often think about it after the fact, usually on Friday evenings, just before leaving for the weekend, or they completely forget to fill it. In such cases, it is difficult to remember precisely how much time they spent on their tasks. The information entered is often inaccurate.
What about hours that are not directly related to the project but still contribute to its realization? For example, to have lunch with all his team, trains a newcomer, take a coffee break with his manager, or organize the next Christmas party. Of course, these tasks do not directly advance the project, but they help keep the team motivated and make the company work properly, which makes them essential. However, it is difficult to capture the hours spent on these activities in the timesheets.
Each actor of the project must complete his time sheet
It is essential that each person working on the project complete his / her time sheet as this can determine the success or failure of the project.
Indeed, the time sheets allow in particular to:
- Manage the project budget by following the allocation of resources;
- Ensure that deadlines are met;
- Measuring the performance of the team;
- Compare the planned efforts with the efforts made.
You must follow your project in real time so that you can act as quickly as possible and make decisions when problems arise. This is why every member of your team must complete his / her daily time sheet and rigorously.
How to have Accurate time sheets?
At first, you must explain to your team why it is essential that each of them fill out their time sheet accurately. Then set the level of accuracy you expect: half-day, hour, quarter-hour, etc.
Next, use online time management software or project management software that automatically incorporates timesheets into its functionality. There is a wealth of software available that makes the input of hours easy and intuitive. Some applications even allow you to run a stopwatch that counts your hours while you work.
As a project leader, it is essential that you analyze the timesheet reports of your team members. In this way, you detect potential problems; anticipate delays and spot overworked and more available collaborators. Finally, you show your collaborators that the timesheets are useful and that they do not fill them for nothing.
For more precision, link your time sheets directly to the schedule of your project. The project management software automatically completes the different tasks assigned to each employee in their timesheet. At the end of the day, the members of the team have only to enter the hours spent on the activities of the day. The advantage? Your schedule automatically updates according to the hours entered. So you know what tasks are likely to take longer, and those that progress faster than expected. Then, fix the problems and make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the project meets the deadlines.
To increase the accuracy of your team’s time sheets, follow these 4 steps:
- Explain to your team the usefulness of timesheets.
- Use intuitive software to easily capture hours worked;
- Analyze the data collected;
- Make decisions based on data analysis.
The use of project management software such as Planzone greatly facilitates the use of timesheets and project tracking.