WIP tracking

Timesheet is NOT the old type of form-based tools for recording employee working hours for accounting or payroll purposes. It is a time-and-effort commitment management system that contains full context information about the activities that the employee is conducting.

The system helps teams to understand the gap between actual vs planned time and effort in each small step of their commitment. By doing so, it will drive up their productivity to get work done faster than they would normally take. The objective is to find which activities take time and how the team can ensure that it is operating efficiently. From a psychological angle, it keeps the team on track to focus on important activities.

Timesheet also helps team members identify activities that are not a good use of their time. It shows them underlying trends behind why some activities get done faster and some slower. Likewise, you’ll be able to see which members of your team are particularly fast at specific activities and assign them to those activities more often.

The importance of Timesheet for WIP Tracking is proven

If you think that tracking time is just to prevent the team members from slacking off, you probably don't know enough about knowledge work management. For example, Bell Labs is the transistor, laser, solar cell, light-emitting diode, digital switch, communication satellite, electronic digital computer, C/C++ language, UNIX operating system, cellular mobile communication equipment, long-distance television transmission, emulation language, and the birthplace of many great inventions such as talking movies, stereo recording, and communication networks. Bell Labs has won a total of 8 (13) Nobel Prizes (including 7 in Physics and 1 in Chemistry). Bell Labs requires its members of technical staff to fill out weekly timesheets.

For the purpose of cultivating good intellectual work, even if you think your team should have a lot of freedom, you should still provide a mechanism for them to see whether their time is being spent wisely or not.

Timesheet for WIP Tracking is the essential management tool for every organization

Timesheet for WIP Tracking is what every organization needs to manage the value that employees produce with their spent time. Without this mechanism, employees would simply use up their work hours each day, not paying much attention to whether they were using their time wisely or whether the value they produced was proportional to the time they spent. The most frightening thing is that in the absence of such a mechanism, managers’ hands are tied or are incompetent, because they lack the data that they need to point out to employees that the time they spent is disproportionate to the value of their output. They often wait until the last moment, which is the annual performance review time, to tell their employees. But, at that time, the time wasted can no longer be recovered, and the employees were already in the defensive mode. Moreover, managers still have the same lack of data problems. All these resulted in ineffective performance reviews and the organization’s time and cost are wasted year by year.

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