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3 Reasons Resource Tracking Timesheets are Essential for Project Management

December 13, 2017 | By Sean Pales

Many projects get delayed because project managers lack insight into the true availability of their resources, or how long it takes them to complete tasks. By using a resource tracking tool such as a timesheet, you can access more accurate insights into how much time a specific kind of project or task would require.

Let’s look at why resource tracking timesheets can support your organization’s project management.

Good project management is fundamentally about working out the most efficient way to utilize tasks, resources and time. It’s therefore surprising that almost no major project management system includes timesheets for resource tracking. Project resource tracking timesheets can help businesses save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, according to the main content of this Harvard Business Review article, so it’s highly valuable to be able to link timesheets with your project tasks.

What is resource tracking?

Resource tracking involves monitoring the work that individual resources complete over the course of a project. This content can help you gain a more accurate idea of how to allocate resources during the planning stage.

By filling in timesheets, resources provide you with accurate data on how much time they really spend carrying out the tasks they have been allocated.

3 reasons you need resource tracking timesheets

There are many benefits to combining resource tracking timesheets with your PPM software or resource management tool. By including digital forms which employees fill in and are directly loaded into your tool, you can match up timesheets with your original plans:

Improve project pricing

Are you charging too much or too little for your projects and your resources’ time? All too often, project managers are left to make rough estimates about how much of an individual resource’s time it will take to complete a task. Instead, they are left to make broad estimates. That can be very inefficient.

Resource tracking example: Ashwin is an engineer who has been assigned a series of calculations to complete as part of a broader project. The resource manager, who does not know Ashwin personally, estimates that the task will take him one day, at his company’s day rate of $1,000. In reality, however, Ashwin needs four days to complete these calculations.

Every day, he fills in his timesheet with the work he’s done which is recorded centrally. In future, this task history will help the resource manager estimate more accurately how long a project will take and how much it will really cost.

Decide which projects are more valuable

By using resource tracking in your projects, you can gain a better idea of the kinds of projects which are most valuable to the business – and, conversely, which projects are taking too much time or providing too little value. By including a resource tracker in your project management software, you can monitor which projects are taking up too much of your employees’ time, and adjust your processes to make things more efficient and worth your time.

Resource tracking example: Sheila, your CEO, asks you to provide a report on which kinds of projects are making most – and least – profit for the business. Without timesheets for resource tracking, you’d only be able to give high level numbers, such as revenue and time spent. However, by using timesheets for resource tracking, you can drill much deeper into the numbers and develop a better picture of how expensive and time-consuming certain kinds of projects are in terms of resources. This will help Sheila understand where value really comes from.

Improve accountability and transparency

A third advantage of resource tracking with timesheets is that you gain improved transparency and accountability with your resource management. Time tracking can help you reward employees who produce the best standard of work, and highlight individuals who are not pulling their weight so you can help them improve. Introducing resource tracking requires taking a sensible approach, educating your employees on why they need to fill in timesheets so they become partners in making tracking work.

Resource tracking example: George is a resource manager at a software development firm. He assigns tasks to individual resources. However, one employee always seems to take longer to complete their work. Timesheets can help George understand why – has that person received adequate training, are there internal (or even external) factors affecting their workload or is it because they are working on multiple projects at the same time? Answering these questions will help George gauge his team’s workload health and find solutions to issues they are facing.

Introducing timesheets for Tempus Resource

Tempus Resource is the world’s most advanced resource management tool. It provides a huge range of features for resource and project managers to allocate and track work to employees across multiple projects, and offers connections with your other project management tools.

We are excited to announce that Tempus Resource has introduced a revolutionary timesheets feature for resource tracking, which helps you bridge the gap between your planning and the realities of how long your employees take to complete tasks.

To learn more about our resource tracking timesheets in project management, contact us.

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