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Ultimate Guide: Timesheet Management Software.

January 31, 2024

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Timesheet Management Software – The key to accurate project resource and cost management!

One of the key components of cost management is the way companies manage human resources. Three important dimensions of resource cost management are:

  • Resource Utilization
  • Resource Productivity
  • Resource Efficiency

Without a robust Timesheet Management System, business leaders would find it extremely tedious and complex to manage resource cost unless they gather accurate inputs about their resource deployment and address two business aspects.

  • Cash outflow via resource management.
  • Cash inflow via client billing.

Your obvious question would be – “What should a top-class Timesheet Management Software have?”

Before getting trapped by ‘any’ time tracking software, it is critical that we double-click on the challenges that organizations face in employee timesheet management.

Timesheet management challenges

  • Ad hoc and Spreadsheet-based effort planning.
  • Poor resource allocation, productivity, and utilization.
  • Unable to consolidate timesheets at the business unit and organization levels.
  • Inadequate visibility into planned cash inflow and outflow.
  • Ineffective resource effort tracking.

Lost Opportunities due to sub-standard Employee Timesheet Software

  • Cost inefficiencies due to poor resource effort management.
  • Missed billing due to ad hoc effort tracking.
  • High negative impact to project cashflows.
  • Reduced project profitability.
  • Selecting ‘the’ Timesheet Management System

Selecting ‘the’ Timesheet Management System

With so many commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) Time Tracking Software available, how should project leaders go about understanding, evaluating, and finally selecting the ‘appropriate’ one?

High Configurability

Most COTS Employee Timesheets Software vendors tend to go with an approach of ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ and expect organizations to blindly accept and follow what the software does! Due thought is not given to the diversity of industries, products and services, organizational standards, processes, workflows, checklists, and decision-making protocols. With these limitations, every ‘change’ is treated as a ‘customization request’ that comes at an expensive price coupled by tough ongoing maintenance.

Your Timesheet Management Software must come with a high degree of configurability – to your organizational context.

Digitized Timesheet Management

For today’s business leaders and project managers, time is the biggest constraint, and they need to extract maximum value from every minute. In this background, your Timesheet Management Software must be designed as the foundation step towards digital transformation – with capabilities to digitize every aspect of the timesheet management process, templates, checklists, workflows, decision-points, escalations, alerts, notifications, and others. Without a digitized approach, leaders lose the overall momentum needed to drive the business to higher levels of growth and profitability.

Timesheet Categories

Project teams work on different aspects of the project. Depending on the nature of the projects, your Timesheet Management Software must allow creation of multiple categories such as proposals, design, development, support, testing, engineering, idea generation, process improvement, training, prototyping, and so on. Further, new categories should be easy to create. With such categories, business leaders could review the effort being expended on different aspects of a project and draw critical insights.

Effort Classification

Teams spend effort at different stages of the project, from proposals to project delivery. As a senior business professional, your Timesheet Management System must support data points associated with FTE (Full Time Equivalent) hours including:

  • FTE Hours – Holidays
  • FTE Hours – Planned Leave
  • FTE Hours – Standard Down-Time
  • FTE Hours – Available
  • FTE Hours – Assigned

Effort Tracking

Project managers must be able to track and analyse three critical dimensions of resource management – Utilization, Productivity, and Efficiency.

In this context, your Time Tracking Software must be capable of capturing:

  • Actual vs. Planned FTE Hours
  • Billable vs. Non-Billable FTE Hours
  • Straight vs. Overtime FTE Hours

Different project stakeholders need to review the project effort at diverse levels. In this background, your Timesheet Management Software must go granular by tracking effort at:

  • Task level
  • Work Package level
  • Financial Line-Item level
  • Project level

Additional Functionalities

Your Timesheet Management Software must offer additional capabilities such as –

  • Timekeepers – these are roles that are responsible for monitoring time spent on the project; they send notifications, and alerts based on parameters defined.
  • Multiple Approvers – there could be situations where certain effort may need multiple approvers (for example, the project manager and the functional manager or the project manager and the customer).
  • Overriding Booked Hours – there could be situations where the project manager may prefer to override booked hours. For example – the team member may have worked 2 hours overtime on a specific deliverable, but the project manager may decide to ‘override’ the extra two hours!

Analytics – Mobile – Social Collaboration

Business and project managers need insights for swift decision making. In today’s world, knowing what ‘has already happened’ is not as important as knowing ‘what would happen.’ The role of analytics-driven dashboards, alerts, and notifications does not need any over-emphasis. Further, today’s leaders need insights ‘on the go’, for which solutions need to be ‘Mobile’ with capabilities to collaborate virtually anywhere in this globe.

Your Timesheet Management Software must offer strong capabilities of analytics, mobile access, and social platform for virtual collaboration.

SMAC-Enabled

Systems Integration

Managing resource timesheets is one aspect of today’s businesses. In most cases, organizations would have multiple systems such as ERPs, CRMs, Accounting, HRMS, and others. In such a technology landscape, it is critical that data integrity is not compromised with data flowing from multiple and disparate systems.

Your Timesheet Management Software must seamlessly integrate with existing enterprise applications to drive ‘one version of truth.’

Seamless Systems Integration 

Business Impact where it Matters!

To summarize, a top-class Timesheet Management Software must deliver holistic business impact by –

  1. Offering complete visibility into resource effort management.
  2. Completely digitized timesheet management.
  3. Cost optimization via better resource utilization.
  4. Ensuring no missed effort tracking & client billing.
  5. Fostering ‘one version of timesheet truth.’
  6. Uncompromised project profitability and ROI.

TouchBase Timesheet Management Software is created with the strategic design principles of high configurability and holistic solution and is backed by capabilities to suit the requirements of modern-day professionals across diverse industries.

Shivani Kumar

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This article is provided by Shivani Kumar, Head – Marketing & Director of ProductDossier, a company having a flagship product ProductDossier PSA Software - An Integrated Project Management Software. ProductDossier PSA helps customer in achieving Business Automation & Excellence.

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