In this era of disruption, the focus of professional service organizations is to maximize productivity and minimize costs. Professional services are always looking for methods to cut down expenses and improve the overall profit margins. But with the continuously changing business models, market demands, and needs, organizations need to rethink how they operate. The 2020 Market Research Future study states that the US economy suffers a loss of 50 million hours in productivity or USD 7.4 billion daily due to untracked work activities.
To keep booming in today’s digital world, professional services organizations need to quickly adapt to processes and changes that will help them thrive. Traditional approaches will no longer fulfill the evolving needs of the modern world. Large organizations must invest in automated and intelligent technology that integrates well with your existing business processes, and allows you to accelerate your time to revenue process.
The future of business productivity is more efficient and accurate project time tracking. Getting a time-intelligent system for your organization is a strategic decision that you can make as a business leader. A time-intelligent system will help you get real-time insights into employee time data, which will enable you to quantify the work and time of your employees.
Large services organizations need to be more aware about the integral parts of their business operations across every vertical. However, it may not be as easy as it may sound as there are distinct moving parts in play – across all the projects, at any given point of time. From detailed task planning, resource scheduling, and progress monitoring to ensuring timely delivery, you need to monitor everything efficiently. And that’s where the use of a project time tracking platform becomes essential.
But the main question is – how will you know that you need an intelligent project time tracking platform right away?
6 Notable Signs That You Need a Project Time Tracking Platform Immediately
Large organizations across verticals are facing distinct challenges while managing multiple projects. For example, every project needs planning, scheduling, timesheet management, quality metrics management, and customer helpdesk management strategies. Managing such a vast portfolio of activities and tasks often results in project complexities. As this can potentially hamper an organization’s efficiency and performance, it becomes critical to track it. Project time tracking allows you to track how much time your team members spend on different tasks associated with a project. It also allows project managers and relevant stakeholders to keep a check on the progress of all projects.
Here are some of the most common warning signs that you should look out for.
1. Execution Paralysis
Organizations usually initiate any project with a well-defined plan and scope with a clear set of deadlines. However, the struggle begins at the execution stage. Project managers often find it challenging to track, manage, and assign different tasks with the most appropriate resources. Some of the most common challenges that project leaders face during the execution stage are:
- Tasks being unassigned
- Resources being underutilized, overutilized or unutilized
- Progress status report gets halted
- Lack of visibility into the overdue tasks
- Lack of clarity on task execution
These situations lead to a complete mess and can potentially hamper your organization’s productivity and performance. If you have witnessed any of these challenges or signs in your organization, then it’s high time you leveraged Replicon’s enterprise-grade project time tracking software.
An intelligent project time tracking software will allow you to regularly capture relevant time data during the project execution stage. All the resources assigned to a specific project can update information regarding task assignments, due dates, estimated hours required, and actual hours spent. This will help you with a granular view of what has been accomplished and what is pending at any stage of the project lifecycle.
2. Inefficient Utilization of Project Resources
Large organizations usually have distributed project resources spread across geographical realms and time zones. The day-to-day activities of these resources are managed and tracked using multiple tools and manual spreadsheets. As organizations don’t have a centralized mechanism, it leads to inefficient utilization and a lack of visibility into project resources.
Another challenge associated with resource utilization is forecasting the detailed requirement of resources for a given set of projects. Project leaders need accurate, up-to-date data to better forecast future requirements and make appropriate hiring decisions. Managing a large resource pool manually through spreadsheets will not give you real-time insights into the availability and utilization of resources. And when your project managers spend their valuable time on traditional spreadsheets, you may tend to lose substantial revenue opportunities. Inefficient utilization of resources impacts a project’s profitability.
Therefore, it becomes critical to leverage real-time reporting and analytics to ensure optimal utilization of resources. Organizations must unify their fragmented resource utilization systems into a centralized project time tracking ecosystem. A centralized project time tracking system allows you to manage your resources more efficiently.
Project time tracking also provides you with real-time data regarding timesheets, invoicing, resource availability, project priority, and forecasting. It acts as a trusted, single source of truth for all vital data needed for efficient resource management and optimal resource utilization. A cloud-based project time tracking system also leverages the power of analytics to analyze historical project data. Business leaders can make good use of these analytics-driven insights to make more informed decisions, maximize resource utilization, systematize project-specific tasks, access relevant information, and help you empower your employees for increased productivity.
3. Ineffective Budgeting and Misestimation
Organizations that manage and execute multiple projects simultaneously often fail to get insights into their revenues and costs. Their time and expense data are often spread across multiple systems and sheets, which makes the data inconsistent, incomplete, and unreliable. Project managers cannot use that data to formulate effective opinions regarding project expenses, costs, and revenues. As a result, most large organizations face the challenges of revenue leakages and reduced profit margins.
You need to manage the time and expenses associated with a project efficiently to accomplish the project objectives successfully. Organizations must timely analyze how a project is performing as compared to the allocated budget and the original bid. A configurable project time tracking software will be helpful for organizations in such a scenario.
Project time tracking software can enable an organization to track employee time and bill clients accurately. By tracking employees’ billing hours accurately, you can gain insight into how employees are spending their time on billable hours. Real-time tracking of employees also helps you analyze the time taken for each client. Project managers and business leaders can use these analyses to ensure accurate budgeting and drive profitability.
Project time tracking also allows project managers to gain complete real-time visibility into resource utilization and project profitability metrics. By tracking and analyzing time-related data, organizations can better manage project invoicing, cash flows, pipeline requirements, and project profitability. Some project time tracking tools are also empowered with AI capabilities, allowing organizations to maximize billable time.
4. Difficulty in Managing Customer Expectations
The rapid digital innovation and fundamental change in the services economy have redefined customer expectations of late. In the age of stiff competition and fixed bid projects, professional services organizations need to meet rising customer expectations efficiently. Organizations must rethink how to track and manage resources in a more promising manner to deliver projects on time and within budget. If your organization struggles to meet customer expectations, then you must start tracking project time and metrics using an intelligent platform.
A unified project time tracking platform can allow you to track employee and project time. Many organizations have already started using such software to capture 100% of project time and identify critical areas that need immediate attention. Organizations can efficiently get clear visibility into the tasks performed for any specific client using such time tracking software. The real-time visibility helps project managers plan and prioritize all project-specific tasks, which ultimately helps in managing customer expectations ably. Business leaders and project managers can use these real-time data to make customer-centric strategies that guarantee enhanced revenue streams. Choose a project time tracking platform that is future-ready.
5. Incoherent Data Flow Across Multiple Systems
Large organizations use different systems to manage distinct project tasks. If your project time tracking platform does not integrate well with all the tools and applications, it will lead to incoherent data flow across these systems, ultimately hampering project deliverables. Incoherent data flow is a strong indication that your organization must choose a project time tracking platform with excellent integrative capabilities.
Choose a cloud-based project time tracking software that can help you sync your project and time-related data across your tech ecosystem, legacy systems, and modern applications for project management, accounting, HRMS, CRM, and ERP. Seamless data flow will not only foster impeccable communication across multiple systems but will also empower you with a single source of truth for time-related data across your enterprise. Therefore, global organizations must aim to unify their patchy technical infrastructure by choosing an easy-to-integrate, cloud-ready time intelligence platform.
6. The Risk of Non-compliance
A minor flaw in managing your day-to-day functions around workforce, teams, and projects can expose you to the risk of non-compliance. Most large services organizations use a fragmented organizational structure, leading to a lack of visibility into employees’ billable project hours and business processes that fail to comply with various regulations. As organizations embrace the hybrid working model, current point solutions and excel-driven applications cannot scale and meet complex business needs. Therefore, it has become more crucial for organizations to embrace tools and technologies that are compliant.
Project time tracking platforms unify disparate tools and applications and provide you with a holistic compliance and data governance approach. It will allow your organization to standardize data silos and garner real-time insights. The real-time insights ensure inefficient decision-making and pave the way for absolute compliance.
Begin Your Technology-led Business Transformation Journey Now
It makes complete business sense to utilize a project time tracking platform in case you witness any of the abovementioned signs in your organization. However, building a system from scratch comes with an inherent set of risks and costs. Large services organizations need to estimate, compare and forecast the benefits and the impact of building home-grown software. Here are a few of the factors that you should consider before choosing to build your software:
- When you build your own time tracking software, you primarily focus on current business requirements. You would need to add more features in the future with emerging business needs. This exercise would consume a significant amount of time, money, and human resources. This means adding new features would be an additional cost.
- Home-grown software also needs constant monitoring and timely maintenance. Organizations need a dedicated team to manage it. Establishing such a team would expose organizations to extra expenses.
- The cost of developing software is usually twice or thrice the initial estimates.
If you choose to develop and maintain a home-grown time intelligence platform, it can take your focus away from core competencies and priorities. On the flip side, selecting an enterprise-ready, cloud-based, modern, mobile solution – such as Replicon – will allow you to concentrate on your business priorities. With Replicon, you will gain:
- Configurable timesheet with custom and pre-built validation rules
- Push notifications and alerts to prompt users to capture accurate project time without delays
- Mobile app to allow employees to submit time entries from anywhere, anytime
- Real-time visibility into project progress and estimated time to complete the remaining work
- Accurate project time tracking, powered by intelligent workflows to accelerate profitability and reduce overheads
- Access to dashboards to visualize project time tracking, resource workload and availability, team performance, and more
- Pre-built connectors and integration services to connect with current CRM, HR, project management, accounting, ERP, and more systems.
We have helped large consulting and IT services organizations transform their disparate, manual systems into intelligent enterprise assets. Learn more about how we can help you transform and thrive in this hybrid digital workplace.