While managing a project I usually encounter a tricky issue of how to track the productivity of the resources in the project. Doing stand-up calls and daily status helps to some extent but they fail in scenarios where the resource didn’t give his full time into the project and at the end of day his tasks are not completed. This in turn affects the project’s timeline which to a PM’s seniors and to the client reflects the incompetence of a PM in delivering a project in stipulated time and budget. This for any PM is a very grave situation to handle as in this PM is not totally at fault but has to bear the brunt of non-productiveness on a resource’s part.
With recent developments in the industry, I have encountered various time tracking tools which have helped me resolve some of such issues. What these tools are supposed to help with is to track the resource time that they have actually spent on a particular project. This essentially means that at the end of day/week/month, the PM should be able to see the hours spent by each resource in the project at the click of a button. It allows you to do session tracking of the resources, meaning it records the activities of the resources, that they have been carrying out in a day’s work. Now with this tool I found it easy to do following:
- Monitor the resources daily work log.
- Client with their logins, can also see the logs which are the screenshots of resource desktop taken at frequent intervals.
- Sort out any billing related ambiguity that arises with the client wherein the client might argue about the actual work done.
- Getting resources commitment to doing the project in time by giving his productive hours into it.
- Meeting the deadlines and identifying if any task is requiring more time than estimated.
- Automating the work done and billing process wherein whatever amount of work is done by resource the same is accumulated and invoiced to client.
I think tools like these are essential in today’s project development where we execute projects in Agile under tight Sprint plans. With these tools, the impact is that everyone in the team gives their most into the project for timely development and delivery. Moreover it gives freedom to PM from micro managing the resources in the project related with their input to the project. As these tools are cloud based, the client can also anytime check the hour logs that the team is spending on the project.
So when the PM says that the team has encountered an issue which has taken a substantial amount of team’s time to resolve, there is evidence to prove that indeed this was the case and hence the project dates can be moved. With time tracking tools it’s also easier to cater to the cases where a feature might have been under/overestimated. Since the actual hours are getting recorded for a feature, this gives a live picture of its development, which in turn helps the PM, in affirmation with client, plan the project deadlines or completion. So it is always beneficial for the PM to post projects online and monitor all the stats sitting at one place onl