Online Project Time Management Software
Online software for project management and timekeeping is perfect if you have clients working from home or have multiple offices in several parts of the state or country. Instead of needing to go to one centralized location in a building to punch in and out, they can instead go to one location online to complete this task. This is a very flexible way for project management even outside normal office-based parameters.
It’s crucial to know what employees and teams of workers are doing. Having the tools to ensure all tasks are being carried out as instructed is invaluable to the bottom line of your company, whatever the nature of your business.
To keep track of employee hours worked and time spent on particular projects, many businesses and offices have opted for traditional approaches to project management and time tracking. Workers would manually punch in and out for their shift in a central location with paper punch cards, and paper-based systems were used to account for time.
Over time, software companies created programs that could be physically installed on computers within the office to fulfill this function. This method, too, is starting to lose favor.
While these systems are more than fit for the purpose, they lack in some crucial areas.
If your business is using remote workers, teleworkers, or freelancers, tracking work done is becoming increasingly taxing—if you restrict yourself to traditional tools. For obvious reasons, these off-site workers cannot punch in and out at a centralized physical location.
The old paper-based and simple computer-based methods of timekeeping were easy to take advantage of, costing business owners a great deal of money and just as much lost time. It was pretty simple to dishonestly claim time worked and get paid more, but those days of buddy punching have drawn to a close.
In today’s more fluid working landscape, there are many pioneering options to help you manage projects of all natures while also keeping track of the time spent on those projects.
Today we’ll look at online project and time management software solutions, helping you determine which ones are best for you and the needs of your business, whatever the size and scope of work.
Before that, though, what is project management software anyway?
Project Management Software – What Is It And Why Do We Need It?
There is much more to ensure your team is on track than merely keeping tabs of the hours they are working.
It’s imperative you have a way to stay on top of the projects being worked as well as to see how time is allocated. One effective way to do that is with the use of project management tools. Here are a few things these tools can offer you:
1) Deadline Management
Using project management software can help you give clear-cut timelines for projects your team is working on.
It doesn’t matter if the project is as simple as making sure the supply room is stocked or as complex as meeting client deadlines in a timely fashion, it’s vital that your team can see what is expected of them in order to meet these timelines.
Using software designed for this purpose can help motivate your team and keep them on-task. You’ll also be able to see if a specific employee is holding things up, and you should be able to show clients what is going on with the project in real time.
Scheduling can be a real headache, especially since no two people seem to work at the same pace.
With traditional models, it can be tough for you to determine how your team is using their time and if they are using it effectively. When you utilize online project and time management software, you get a better picture of how each person is spending their working hours and better account for their scheduling.
The bottom line is you’ll get a clearer picture of your employee and workload ratio, and you’ll easily be able to determine if you need more staff or work.
3) Team Engagement
You can keep the whole team better engaged when using project management software.
Since you can add members of your internal team as well as clients, everyone can see what’s going on and everyone is likely to be better incentivized to get things done in a timely fashion. No one wants to be known as the guy holding things up, and when external clients can also see how a project is unfolding, your team is likely to become much more efficient.
Few projects are accomplished by a single person.
When you have large projects requiring teams of workers, you need to be sure they have a place to collaborate on tasks. Having a project management tool at their disposal can help your team to communicate effectively, and delegate tasks amongst themselves as well as provide a collective space to store files and documents.
5) Estimates and Projections
Using online software for project and time management can help you give better estimates and quotes to clients when required.
You’ll be able to see exactly how long it takes your team to complete certain tasks, and you’ll have a much better idea of how much you need to quote for these tasks. This allows your managers to plan accordingly
Selecting An Effective Punch Clock & Timesheet System To Record Employee Hours and Track Project Time
One flexible approach to timekeeping and project management is to use online software.
For this type of project and time management software, your team needs to log into a specific website in order to keep track of their time working on various projects. They can check here to see how well they’re performing.
There are many benefits to using online software versus software installed directly onto your office computers.
There are many things you should take into consideration when looking for the best online project and time management software for your business. The last thing you want to do is waste money on products that won’t work well for your team, so be patient and do plenty of research before launching in.
No matter which online software you choose to purchase, most contain the same central features.
Many have a way for your employees to keep track of total time worked in addition to the time spent on specific projects. You can often assign different categories of time tracking as well, such as time spent per user, time spent per task or time spent per project. The degree of personalization you need should inform your choice.
When employees are working as teams rather than individually, using online software allows you to have a way to centralize how the project is being done. Instead of relying on each team member to keep track of what they are doing, you can filter the software to group users together for tracking purposes.
You can often use the software to generate reports to help your business or even your clients gain a better understanding of how projects are coming along.
Things To Consider When Purchasing An Online Project And Time Management Software
- The number of employees that can use the system will vary among software providers, and the cost tends to increase according to the number of users.
Decide if you need each employee to be able to clock in and out and manage projects, or if you can restrict access to certain users. You know your workers and what will make the most sense for your company. Decide accordingly.
- Flexibility varies significantly among the available online software choices. Some tools allow for many customization options whereas others give you bare bones with few options.
Generally, the more detailed and customizable the software, the heftier the price tag. Take a look at what your company and your teams need in order to effectively do their jobs and decide how much customization you need in your project management software. You might be able to save a few bucks by choosing software with fewer bells and whistles.
- Some programs can work well with other programs your business may already use for payroll or other tasks. It can save you time and money (and many an administrative headache!) if your apps play nicely together.
Be sure to check on the integrative capabilities before committing to purchase. Some programs don’t integrate as well as others and could wind up as an expensive mistake.
- Costs vary wildly. Only you know how much you can comfortably afford, so you should start your buying decision by settling on a fixed budget.
There are also many options when it comes to subscription billing. You can find programs that bill monthly, quarterly, and even yearly for the use of their online project and time management software.
It can be stressful to choose new ways for your business to operate efficiently, but finding the best way to manage projects and time is something you should not overlook.