Any senior manager, in the private sector, public sector or in the third sector, needs to be concerned with the manner in which their organisation manages to deploy resources efficiently and effectively. Each is concerned with the productivity of the team and their ability to create value for the different stakeholder groups. Large or small organisations face this challenge. As organisations grow, the complexity of the challenge increases as additional layers of decision makers are involved.
Consequently as organisations grow in scale of operation, complexity of deliverables, regional deployment etc, managers find it more difficult to understand and gauge the contribution of individual employees on specific projects or assignments. This is particularly relevant now, as teleworking options are increasingly being considered by organisations in response to employee preferences to work from the safety of their own homes. Not having access to reliable, accurate and timely information related to the tasks and activities of employees, be they office-based or home-based, creates major challenges in the effective management of people. The traditional punch-clock mentality, tracking the time-in and time-out of employees is not sufficient. Organisations need to trace the tasks and activities along with the time taken for completion of the relevant task or activity. This calls for greater planning and control at all levels, to ensure that there is the right level of detail in the time tracking system. Insufficient detail will not provide the data needed for in-depth productivity analyses, too much data challenges the employees and may interfere with the effectiveness of the whole time management process. Organisations need time management systems that give them flexibility in the level of detail to be collected at department, unit or employee level to ensure that resources are not wasted on the collection of useless data, but focus on data which provides useful insights to the effectiveness of the people within the organisation.
By using timesheets of differing levels of complexity amongst employees, organisations are able to deploy a quick and effective way to streamline business processes and increase overall employee productivity. This is especially critical in a service driven industry, where time spent on different projects and tasks needs to be managed within various budgetary constraints. In the service industry, there are no physical products on inventory. Time is the inventory of the organisation and this time needs to be utilised in the most effective manner.
An effective time management system is in the interests of the more serious employees who get to showcase their effectiveness. On the other hand, the poor performers find that their levels of performance are exposed and must act to improve their productivity and effectiveness.
In today’s demand for broad access to systems, an effective time management system needs to be secure and web-based to allow for:
- Cost effective tracking of different project costs
Being able to monitor and evaluate whether the organisation is making or losing money on an on-going project is a vital metric for managers to gauge the viability of the project to identify problems as early as possible. It provides useful data for planning of future similar projects, as well as providing relevant data to support strategic business decisions. This level of analysis is particularly relevant when organisations offer fixed fees for certain services which may have to cover scenarios dependant on external factors which in turn may impact costs of completion.
- More accurate billing
In business, the best deal occurs when all parties involved feel as though they have acquired a good deal. Failure to do so in any side of the deal will result in a broken relationship further down the line. In a service driven industry, transparency is a key factor in building business relationships. This can be done effectively through the use of a time management system tracing employee time allocations through the completion of timesheets. These web-based forms enable employees list down the tasks and activities done on a specific project, allowing for an in-depth analysis of how time was spent doing what on a specified project. This in turn, allows all concerning organisations to gauge how that time is being spent, and if the time is fair for the task completed. This greatly reduces the possibility of an organisation overcharging or undercharging.
- Better insight into HR activities
Timesheet data can help managers gauge the more productive members within a team. This allows for corrective action to be taken to improve productivity of other members in the team in a timely manner. Such analysis can be tied in to the revenue generation or costs per employee which are useful metrics to track. These metrics can be used as inputs to any remuneration scheme incentives or as a basis for disciplinary action if continued poor performance prevails. The detail of such information is also useful in understanding work-flow and identifying areas of insufficient personnel requiring additional resources. The data is also useful in designing job descriptions which can help to make better informed recruitment decisions.
- Identification of non-productive time
Employee timesheets can help to identify issues or roadblocks to certain tasks, and help managers take better business decisions that can limit time wasted and incentivize employees to work more productively. As managers, being able to identify what employees are working on throughout the day allows for better business decisions, but also allows managers to be more of an understanding leader, as more light is shed on the hard work employees are doing for the benefit of the business. Showing this understanding at work can help inspire employees to more readily commit to their tasks, increasing the chance of success for the organisation.
eBusiness Systems has been designing and developing such web-based bespoke systems for the past twenty years. It has a broad rand of experience in developing customised and be-spoke online solutions for various industries and sectors. Through the high levels of customisation required by clients, eBusiness Systems has developed valuable the Time Management module in our business management platform, eB-ISP as a scalable and scenario driven solution. It provides a user-friendly process for the collection of staff time allocations to the different projects, tasks and activities within an organization. The system allows for identification of department or business specific projects and tasks and allows for customized views to ensure that staff only get to view those activities and projects they are authorised to be working on.
Users make use of a simple interface, also accessible via smart phone, to enter daily time allocations. Typically, this is done in 15 or 30 minute segments, to allow for grouping of activities of lesser duration. Users can also be linked to multiple employers. This allows the use of one system to cater for associated companies. Users are only shown client companies they have been assigned, with the relevant Rates set to each Task. The rates can be set across a number of users or can set per user. The use of a “Comments” section allows user to provide detailed descriptions to their entries when required. Users can make use of built in charts and reports to analyse and self-manage their time. The wide range of reports provide management with the right information on demand. These are presented in a structured format to assist management in understanding better how to optimize the allocation of the staff time to the many internal or client projects and tasks.
Contact eBusiness Systems now for an in-depth view of our business management platform, eB-ISP, with 17 different web-based modules for support in the effective management and streamlining of organisational processes.