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Timesheets are a pain. Whether you’re a worker-bee who hates filling them out, or a manager who hates having to track down the people who haven’t filled them out – unless correctly managed, timesheets end up being time-consuming. The ideal would be to have work automatically recorded when it happens. When shopping for a time tracking app in the Atlassian Marketplace (note that I am with the team behind Clockwork) you can minimize time wasted filling out and chasing down timesheets by looking for an app that records work when it happens, and short of that, makes it easy to prompt user to update their timesheets.
The best way to ensure that timesheets are up to date is to capture time worked when it happens. Features like automatic time tracking that starts the clock when an issue with an assignee is transitioned to an “active” status (usually an in-progress status category) and stops the clock when the issue becomes unassigned or is transitioned to an “inactive” status, make live time tracking effortless. The user doesn’t have to do anything. Their time is tracked automatically, ensuring that the data needed – for payroll, reports, planning – is always available.
An alternative to automatic time tracking is to start and stop a timer on an issue. Apps which allow a user to start and stop a timer on an issue are easy to use (one click when they start working on an issue and one click when they stop) and produce a worklog with the user, issue and time fields already populated. You may want more than just those three pieces of data, so look for an app that allows you to capture additional attributes as well.
Both of those solutions mean that your timesheets stay up to date without extra effort from users - which is terrific. (You’d probably rather have your team spend their time working than filling out timesheets). But live time tracking doesn’t work for everyone. Some people, and some teams, prefer the more hands-on approach of creating worklogs. You can encourage time tracking adoption by allowing users to use their preferred time tracking method. So, how do you make sure the people who prefer to create worklogs manually keep their time tracking up to date?
You can relieve your managers of the tedious work of figuring who has and who hasn’t completed their timesheet by selecting an app that makes it easy to compare the hours someone has logged to the hours that were expected for that day or week.
Once the users have been identified, bonus points if the app makes it easy to notify them that their timesheets are due.
It’s a pretty sure bet that you hired your managers for a whole array of talents and that chasing down timesheets wasn’t one of them. Relieving your managers and your team members of these mundane tasks by using a time tracking app that allows for automatic time tracking, timers on issues, and easy reminders is a no brainer.