Managing time efficiently is essential in project management. The timesheet is an essential tool to measure the time spent on each task of the project. It offers better visibility on the workload of each member of the project team, on the costs and therefore on the profitability of the project. Here is a brief summary of the benefits of using the project management time sheet:
- Identify the time required to complete the various tasks of the project.
- To know the workload of the members of the project team and thus be able to distribute the tasks according to availabilities.
- Establish the actual cost of your project.
- Compare planned efforts with actual efforts.
- Anticipate delays.
- Increase your team’s concentration and productivity.
- Be able to invoice your customers or establish the payrolls of your employees.
7 – Important Uses of Times Sheets in Project
However, the timesheet can be applied to other aspects of your project. Here are seven surprising uses.
- Discover Experts in some Disciplines
By following and analyzing the time each employee has on a task, you will realize that some team members work more quickly and efficiently on certain tasks than on others. Let’s take a simple example: Martine is gifted with numbers, Jean has an eye for small details and Michel has excellent relational qualities that make him highly valued by suppliers.
You could entrust the accounting of the project to Martine, propose the management of customer and supplier relations to Michel and entrust Jean with the drafting and proofreading of all project documents.
- Define Training Needs
If the timesheet can be used to identify collaborators who have particular skills in some areas, it also allows you to see those that have gaps because they take longer than expected to complete a task. To solve the problem, you can offer them appropriate training to help them develop the skills they need to perform their tasks. Investing in team training is a great way to value it. This proves that this collaborator has value and plays an important role in your team. You just want to make it even more proficient on some activities.
- Identify Collaborators who do not belong on the team
The timesheet also allows you to detect the incompetence or ill will of a team member. Poor choice in recruitment or collaborator who does not wish to get involved, the timesheet provides concrete evidence of the non-fulfillment of the work requested, thus the loss of money on the project. You will be able to justify the need to separate from this person with your supervisor and human resources.
- Check the Consistency of your Schedule
The Timesheet helps you know if your planning is consistent, and whether the time allotted to each task is adequate and appropriate. You can also see if your team takes more or less time than expected to complete a task. This allows you to readjust your schedule according to the observed deviations.
- Measuring the Effectiveness of your team
Using the timesheet, you can create work standards. This allows you to identify the basic time required to complete a recurring task.
To determine the effectiveness of your team, compare the time worked for the task with the standard time required. This only applies to repetitive tasks or tasks that you will find from one project to another.
Note that an employee may be late on a task due to various external factors (supplier delay, breakdown, logistical problem, etc.). This impacts the accomplishment of the task, but not the effectiveness of the collaborator. A person’s effectiveness can only be measured against tasks that are entirely dedicated to him or her and within his / her field of competence.
- Improve your work Processes
Each significant time difference observed between the standard time and the actual time, or the planned time and the actual time on a task must be analyzed. If a task has taken much less time than originally planned, you should know why because there is bound to be a good practice to identify, which you can reuse later. On the contrary, if an activity took much longer than expected, your work will be to detect with the collaborator (s) concerned the cause of this discrepancy and put in place to correct it immediately. This can disrupt your project schedule and cause delays.
At the end of the project, take the time to fully analyze the different observed deviations and put in place solutions to prevent them from recurring. This is called continuous improvement.
- Know the Availability of your Employees
Timesheets carefully completed by your team allow you to easily detect the availability of each. An employee who has completed an activity faster than originally scheduled will be available. You can use his or her skills to manage a team member’s overwork or catch up on other tasks.
In addition to its classic use of recording time spent on each task, the timesheet has many more surprising uses, but nevertheless very useful to effectively manage your projects. This is the only indicator to measure the performance of your team, but also to see its weaknesses (training needs or collaborators not involved).