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Where does the time go? Why time tracking works

8 April 2020

How has your week been? Have you been counting down the days, hours, minutes until you can break into the Easter egg stash? Phew - not just me then!

As a service-based business, my team and I have to keep an eye on the clock more than others. But even if you don’t charge for your time there are other reasons why you might want to consider time tracking in your organisation.


🕐 Keep an eye on your capacity

When you ask your team to log their time, it can be met with hesitation. “Does this mean you are checking up on me?”. I'm not suggesting you use time tracking to tackle your team over their toilet breaks. Communicate this clearly to them. Explain that it means you can monitor capacity and make sure, as a team, there are enough hours in a day. Consistent late nights that could go quietly unnoticed (and be breeding resentment) can be clocked and dealt with quickly and without confrontation.


🕑 Quote with confidence

Your timesheet is a goldmine of information that you can use for quoting for your next project. I could spin off on a tangent here about value-based pricing, but let’s save that for another time. When I get asked to quote, I head straight to our time records for similar jobs, so I can be sure that we’re charging a fair amount for the work that goes into delivering an outcome.


🕒 Make your invoicing easy

This doesn’t need too much of an explanation really. Clear records mean less time at the end of the week/month/project spent figuring out what needs billing. If you are claiming R&D tax credits for product or service development, timesheets equal quick and accurate claims.


🕓 Increase transparency with your clients

If you are a service-based business you can’t always treat your clients to an exciting unboxing moment or a big reveal. Sometimes this means they aren’t sure where their money is going. Offering an honest account of a project is a great way of building trust in a longer-term arrangement.


🕔 Have a heads up on scope creep

I love a project brief and a scope of work, but things can change along the way for all sorts of reasons. In project management, we call this “creep”. Monitoring tasks and time spent so far can give you an early warning of creep. This evidence makes it easier to manage expectations of stakeholders, and get things back on track ASAP.


🕕 Pinpoint time and money-saving opportunities

If you don’t have enough time in the day, you might be thinking about spending money on new systems, automated processes, additional hires or outsourcing. Knowing how much time your team is spending on non-billable tasks can help you identify where your investment will have the most impact.


I use a nifty platform called Toggl to log my time, and ask all my in-house and project associates to do the same. It has a choice of free and paid tiers, so if you think you’d benefit from keeping track of your time I’d recommend starting with Toggl. If you’d like to a quick chat to get you started you can book a free of charge 15-minute call with me.