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Why do business teams need to track time in Jira?

business_teams_time_tracking.png

 

Teams that do billable work like Service-Desk, Development, or Project Management teams have no choice but to log time to share reports with external parties like customers and stakeholders. But what about the supporting teams? Teams like Human Resources, Legal, Marketing or Finance who are ancillary teams in tech businesses. They almost never track time. How do you know if their time was used efficiently?

Tracking time carries the stigma of being a tool for 'micromanagement' however, tracking time promotes productivity, autonomy, and efficiency for all teams. 

 According to Accelo, daily time tracking can decrease productivity leaks by 80%.

As the article ' Time tracking for Agile Software Teams' states

Agile has two main components: 

Time 

Work 

Almost three-quarters (71%) of organizations report using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always. (Source: Project Management Institute). 

Even though business team hours aren't billable, they have a big impact on the bottom line of the organization. Their work, actions, and time matter to the company. Here are some examples of how business teams help :

  • Marketing: Your marketing team is responsible for engaging with your audience and help you in selling your services or products. They enable your sales team with quality leads to close deals. 
  • Human Resources: Employees are the backbone of a business. From the interview stage until the exit interview, the HR team works relentlessly on getting the best employees. For the best employees to stay, the HR team also plans activities and creates the right environment. They make sure that all teams reach their full potential. 
  • Finance: They're the people who handle money in the business. They make sure all transactions are recorded, expenses are paid, and keep tabs on the business revenue. They report on company finances so that business decisions can be made, and goals for teams can be set. 

Depending on the size of your organisation, you might have other business teams like Design, Legal, Admin, Customer Success. Today, we're going to share with you four reasons time tracking is critical to business success with specific examples of how you can benefit from implementing it. 

Realise the hidden costs incurred by your business teams

Service teams and business teams work hand-in-hand. Both are dependent on each other. Where service teams handle the deliverables to your clients, your business team takes care of the admin side of things, which is equally important.

When we have a request for consultation come through, our project delivery lead takes the time to understand the needs and passes on the request to the solution architect. After understanding the customer's requirements, the project delivery leads engages with the sales admin who sends through a quote for approval. The sales admin follows up with those quotes, makes changes to the quote and often has to re-engage with customers.

All this time is spent even before the company is making any money. But we don't know how much. Once the project is accepted, the admin teams make sure the monthly reports for the projects are being sent out and invoices are being paid. There is a lot of time being spent pre- and post-project with no direct relation to the 'core project work'. However, the cost of it all needs to be worked into the pricing. 

Assuming that your service team is the ideal team and records every minute accurately, how about your business teams? How do you know how much time they are spending on sending, revising, and confirming quotes? Are the pre-sales work and admin overheads worked into your per hour rate? Does overcharging your customers or undercharging them affect your bottom line?

With time tracking there is no room for guesstimation. Automatic time tracking gives you accurate information that enables you to make these business decisions. 

Promotes transparency across the business

In tech companies, business teams can feel underappreciated and lost (sad). However, with time tracking, the management can review how much time business teams spend to support the technical team members and business as a whole to do well. An accurate representation of the amount of work being done in a time frame enables managers to decipher the contribution of business teams. 

For example, marketing teams tend to do a lot of work in the background before they use the promotional material. Writing a blog requires content research, keyword search, statistical data to back up claims, writing the content, and editing it. Marketeers also work on creative assets, promotional strategy and customer journey. Accurate time logs offer the individual contributor, the team, and stakeholders an insight into productivity levels and showcases the work put in to release campaigns. It enables the team to plan campaigns, using data from previous campaigns. Time tracking can also help with marketing budgets. The team manager would know how and when they can use their resources, how long it would take for a campaign to be released, and plan the marketing efforts accurately. All of this planning hinges on one simple input — accurate time logs. 

ROI on business activites

Using resources efficiently can make or break a business. However, how does one find out where is the time being spent? and how does it affect business profit? Time logs enable team leaders to make that call. The more accurate those timesheets are, more accurate would the allocation of resources be.

For example, if the marketing team takes 3 weeks to prepare for a product launch, work can be planned accordingly. Along with this, when businesses calculate the return on investment. If a video recording took 2 hours per week, and only 2 people clicked to buy the app, it isn't worth spending time on the video. It helps managers correlate time spent with money earned. 

Boosts autonomy 

Contrary to popular belief, time tracking isn't a controlling mechanism instead it focuses on self-realisation. As an employee, you find out how you are spending your time during your workday, and that can be an eye-opener for most people. You learn to prioritise and manage time effectively making the team more productive. 

For example, your accountant might think it takes only 10 minutes per customer to do all the invoicing, however, after filling their timesheets they realised it takes them 30 minutes per customer. You might also realise, that invoicing for some customers takes longer than others. This enables you to find the problem and troubleshoot through the bottleneck. It also helps employees place realistic deadlines, resulting in improved efficiencies. 

Accurate time logs take away the problem of hunches. Decisions are sound and based on a scientific approach. Employees whose hours are billable have to track their time because the untracked amount affects business revenue directly. However, the loss of revenue because your business teams aren't logging time might not be obvious but certainly has consequences in the long run. You want accurate time records to allocate the organisation's resources without having the psychological burden of gathering it.

We had our own struggles with manually tracking time and using solutions where you had to start/stop a time tracker or time trackers that worked on issue transitions. We quickly realised that most users forgot to use the time tracker or left an issue under a specific status for a long time. We needed something automatic, instant and accurate. We developed a solution  — EasyTime, an app that automatically logs time as you go through your Jira issues. No need to change statuses, workflows or use the timer. Time tracking is easy and works well with various timesheet reporting apps like Tempo, Clockwork and Worklog. EasyTime is your first step to accurate timesheets. 

The whole idea of the app is to 'Be Lazy. The Machine Does It Better. — #everykeystrokematters'. Make every keystroke automatically count with EasyTime. 

 

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