Timesheet allows line managers and project managers to record and track the work hours of their employees. If each of the employees only works for one department or one project, the employees might have a lot of idle time waiting for assignments or other tasks to be finished before theirs. Most modern organizations have a kind of matrix management organization structure in which employees report to multiple managers rather than one.
When an employee can serve more than one master, the demand for the accuracy and timeliness of employee time tracking information goes up many times. For example, when a resource is being shared by two independent projects, it instantaneously changes the project management of the two projects from single project management to multiple project management. Why? For example, when one of the tasks in project A is delayed, it could affect the schedule of the task that the common resource working on, which in turn affects the schedule of the common resource working on the task in project B, eventually affecting the final finish date of project B. Because of sharing only one common resource, project A and project B are linked together dynamically. If one task in project A is late, the managers of projects A & B must know or both their projects could miss their final milestones.
The project resource scenario described above is already very simple. Real-life project resource scenarios are even much more complicated. But even for such a simple scenario, one can’t manage without timesheet software because the changes are too dynamic and the information is too complicated for a human to capture and analyze without the help from timesheet software.
Benefits of a timesheet for Managers
Timesheet provides the following benefits for both line managers and project managers:
Identify the availability of the members of your team
With a timesheet, you can easily distribute the workload amongst members of the team with the most availability. The tasks assigned to each employee are clearly identified and quantified in terms of time. Project management is simplified while remaining effective.
Monitor the progress made by users to anticipate delays in deliverables
The Timesheet records valuable information regarding any delays incurred e.g. unexpected difficulties when performing a task, and absence of an employee due to an urgent meeting. It makes it easier to redistribute the workload to compensate for these delays and thus meet the original deadline.
Estimate the cost of the project or operations from the time spent on it
The Timesheet is an excellent tool for estimating the cost of the project or operations. Each element is evaluated in terms of time spent; the management of the project or operations is thus facilitated by being able to compare the prediction to reality at any time during its execution.
Benefits of a timesheet for employees
Timesheet provides the following benefits for employees:
Determine one’s workload over a period of time
For the employee, the Timesheet is an effective means of self-regulation in terms of time spent on each task. It also makes it easier to plan by knowing the workload coming up over a period of time.
Keep up to date with time spent on each phase of the project or each part of the operations
Regularly updating the timesheet allows employees to accurately track the progress of their work against deadlines. It can indicate the time spent on the major project activities and/or for each operational task.
Anticipate delays in tasks and refer them to the manager
With the Timesheet, the employee can inform the manager of the progress being made in real time. In the case of delays, the manager can then change the schedule or re-assign urgent tasks to available employees.