• To track or not to track, that is the question.
• On one hand, you have no data to show exactly where all your time is going. On the other hand, you don’t want to micromanage your staff.
• Join us as we discuss both sides of this age-old argument: is time tracking really worth it?
To track or not to track, that is the question.
On the one hand, you could well be over-servicing your clients, and there’s no data to show exactly where all that time is going.
On the other hand, you don’t want to micromanage your staff, and constantly having to chase everyone to fill in timesheets is taking up too much of your time.
So, what’s the answer?
When finance manager Luci Perry started at digital agency Freestyle, there were no time sheets in sight.
“It was driving negative behaviour,” she says. “The leadership team were constantly questioning the figures that they were getting.”
“But people also didn’t want to put in their honest numbers, because if we’ve estimated that a job takes eight hours, they don’t want to say that it’s actually taken them 10 – it makes them look like they’re taking too long,” says Luci.
In the end, there was so much questioning going on that the process wasn’t effective, so they got rid.
Similarly, when Glen Duncan joined 383 as operations director, time tracking wasn’t even on the agenda – but he knew immediately the value it would bring to the company.
“There were a couple of major projects that were clearly going wildly off track,” he says. “I spoke to the project manager and asked him, ‘Where are we in terms of the timeline of this project, and where are we financially?’. And he couldn’t answer either of those questions.”
“That was quite a worry, because if you haven’t got a grip of where you’re at, you’re also at the beck and call of clients as well,” he says.
So, Glen introduced his own margin-monitoring system to help the studio understand the base cost of their efforts – and it runs completely on time sheeting.
“Now we can understand the base cost of our time, and the impact that has on our projects and revenue,” says Glen. “Numbers give you context, right? So, time sheeting is the key to understanding financial performance.”
Join us as Luci, Glen and others discuss both sides of this age-old argument: is time tracking really worth it?