Keeping Track of Time
Today’s business works on tighter margins and stricter deadlines than ever before, and if current trends continue, then things will only get tougher in the days and years to come.
Whether your business is a service provider or is more involved in fulfillment, time is a commodity; and it’s in shorter supply than ever before, so it has all the more important that you know how it’s being used.
The single most important way to manage time within your business is to adopt a strict regime of time tracking, so that you have accurate reporting of who is doing what, for whom, and for how long. This is particularly of relevance in the service sector, where billing is done by the hour, or even the minute. Failure to accurately track time means lost revenues; time really is money!
There are a variety of legal types of organizations, including corporations, governments, non-governmental organizations, political organizations, international organizations, armed forces, charities, not-for-profit corporations, partnerships, cooperatives, and educational institutions.
A hybrid organisation is a body that operates in both the public sector and the private sector simultaneously, fulfilling public duties and developing commercial market activities.
A voluntary association is an organisation consisting of volunteers. Such organisations may be able to operate without legal formalities, depending on jurisdiction, including informal clubs.
This organizational type assigns each worker two bosses in two different hierarchies. One hierarchy is “functional” and assures that each type of expert in the organisation is well-trained, and measured by a boss who is super-expert in the same field. The other direction is “executive” and tries to get projects completed using the experts. Projects might be organized by products, regions, customer types, or some other schema.
As an example, a company might have an individual with overall responsibility for products X and Y, and another individual with overall responsibility for engineering, quality control, etc. Therefore, subordinates responsible for quality control of project X will have two reporting lines.
For an organization that is more concerned with delivering projects, the aspect of time that is most demanding is that of the deadline. In order to manage any project, it is vital that you become an obsessive time tracker; constantly aware of what is being done, and how long it is taking. Only by accurate and constant time recording can you hope to get all the pieces of the puzzle to come together in the most efficient way possible, allowing you to deliver to your client in a timely manner without compromising your own bottom line.
For the service provider this will allow – indeed encourage – accurate time recording, in whatever increments you choose for billing, right down to a minute by minute log of what is being done and for whom, allowing your billing department to ensure the client pays for time spent on their work, and not a penny more, while at the same time cutting down on those stray ‘extra’ minutes that can all too easily creep into an employee’s working day but can’t be tracked or billed, and which can add up to being something that costs you dearly!
For the business that is more about fulfillment the proper time management software will cut down on the dead time while one person or department waits for another to complete its role. The proper software package will allow the project manager to accurately forecast when a handover should take place, thereby giving the whole team a chance to maximize productivity and minimize wasted time.
Simon Hopes is a renowned author and social media enthusiasm. Probably the best solution is to incorporate time management software, like TimeCamp into your working protocols.