Why time tracking is important for you - and your organization

Blog post from Forecast

You’ve probably heard it before; remember your time tracking! Maybe you wonder why... This is equally important no matter your position, whether you’re an executive or a regular team member. Time tracking is key to understand how you spend your time, personally and businesswise. It is key to productivity, insight and workflow. When you know which tasks take up the most time, not necessarily the ones that need the most effort or bring the most gain, you can begin to reflect on whether that time is actually well spent;

  • Is the task important enough to take up that specific amount of time?
  • Would the time have been more effectively used and beneficial for another task?
  • Did the task work towards a broader goal? (e.g., the business mission)
  • Did the task work towards a personal or career goal?
  • What did the task actually change?

When you’ve got some of these questions covered; it’s time to consider whether something could be changed for the better, making it more efficient; could it be re-organized, does the software or hardware need an update, did you have to wait on somebody or something in order to proceed. What annoyed you in the process? Change it. These are all important questions to ask for both yourself and your team. Rank the tasks based on importance, and allocate your time accordingly.

Benefits of time tracking

  • Personal insights
  • Business insights
  • Productivity increase
  • Higher effectivity and efficiency
  • Quality improvements, due to streamlined workflow
  • Transparency
  • Cost efficient
  • Makes you able to reflect, and adapt accordingly.

The insights you get from time tracking can often be an eye-opener. How much time do you actually spend browsing the web, looking through your inbox or trying to find that one document in a pile of folders. There are many automated software solutions available, which at least makes the digital time tracking close to an effortless experience.

RescueTime is an option that works across your devices, and tracks both your personal and business life; which websites and apps do you use the most, and categorizes it to provide valuable insights, incl. an overall productivity score. Based on this score you can compare your workflow on different days. What did work, and what did not work? Another way to do time tracking directly on tasks, is to use a project management solution. These make it easier to manage all of your tasks across the project and organization to provide you and your team with valuable insights.

One option could be our solution, Forecast. Forecast makes time tracking simple and intelligent by using artificial intelligence to predict future time estimations. The time is reported directly on each task by each team member, and the software makes sure to include it in future calculations to improve the time estimations. Insights is automatically generated through dynamic real-time reporting, and presented in a visual manner directly in the system.

The time spent is a key measure of resources needed. It shows whether a specific department needs more resources, in terms of workforce or another input, and it gives you insights on who provides the most value for the team. This is all valuable information both for the team and the organization as a whole. Maybe one person does most of the work. Maybe something needs to be changed in order to bring everybody to the same level. Maybe some would be more interested in relocating to another team in another department. These are all insights brought to the table by your time tracking efforts.

As a team member, use the time tracking to work towards your personal and shared goals. As an executive, use the time tracking insights to provide you with an accurate overview of your team peak, performance, overall well-being and productivity, allowing you to manage resources and distribute tasks evenly.