A time tracking log is one of the most useful weapons in the hands of a project manager. Any manager who wants to handle and complete a project successfully should learn to keep a record of all the activities that took place. The log can be hourly, daily or monthly. It could even be weekly. With such records, you are likely to get your team – including yourself – to do more per hour, day, week or month. The log helps the entire team to achieve its goals.
The time tracking log is a useful resource. It informs you how you spend time.
The log could surprise you. It’s common for project managers to push themselves and their teams further because of the fear of not doing enough. The log could show that this is probably not the case. It could help you to reach a different conclusion from what you have always believed based on guesswork. The log takes a scientific approach. It is more reliable than any manual solution you may have created.
A log is a powerful tool for negotiations too. You have to negotiate or renegotiate any deal you entered into with one or more of your clients. That’s just the nature of running businesses. It’s unavoidable. How can you negotiate for improved rates without evidence to show how much time and manpower you have dedicated to the client’s project? The evidence is in the form of the information the log brings out so clearly for all to see. Prove you deserve the raise.
It’s also possible to use the time tracking log to ask for help. The clients are likely to be more receptive to your case if you can prove that your staff dedicates all their time to the project despite delivering it late. Clients would then respond positively to your request for more assistance in terms of personnel or finances. For this reason, learn to protect the log – and the data contained therein – as though your life depended on it.
The log is useful at providing accurate estimates. It’s important to furnish your clients with accurate information, especially where the time, workforce and money needed for the budget is concerned. The estimates should be based on work – of a similar nature – that you have done previously. Successful businesses have learned how to prepare estimates. They never come up with figures and amounts from the blues. Use the log as the basis of your estimates.
The log provides you with reliable historical data that you need for preparing estimates.
Timely delivery is of the essence when talking about projects. Clients who entrust their projects to you believe in your ability to deliver on time before deadlines elapse. The time tracking log enables you to come up with a great and accurate source you can use to inform your clients when to expect you to complete the project. Since you relied on the log to estimate the time, personnel and money the project needs, use it to set timelines.
Do you ever go over the budget? Most project managers face this problem. They find themselves surpassing the money clients set aside for the project. The reasons for this are quite diverse. Some of these reasons are preposterous nonetheless. They make you look unprofessional, especially when you never informed clients that the cost can change. Use the log, which is full of accurate data – to operate within the budget.
A well-kept time tracking log is great for running the team and project in a disciplined manner.
Use it to discipline yourselves financially, productively, in performance and the results.