How to gauge and allocate the time of your team?

How to gauge and allocate the time of your team?

*Post written by Franklin Valadares, CTO and co-founder of Runrun.it

I have almost 20 years of experience in team management and nearly complete certainty that in large, the solution of fixed costs allocation in relation to fixed salaries resides in how your employees use workload appointment systems (when they exist.) Would it be too much to ask that employees literally wear these systems? As a watch for example? Let me explain.

Whether it’s to know the profitability of a particular customer, or to gauge the productivity of a team or to make fixed cost sharing more accurate, or knowing what activities employees are investing their time in is a key factor for efficient financial management.

The timecard is a longstanding problem in business and several alternatives for a resolution have been tried over time:

  • Timecards on paper or electronic timecards depend highly on the discipline of employees to accurately write down the entries of the times in which they worked. Many times, they end up being done at the end of a period (day or week, for example), completely losing any kind of precision, and the entire purpose of the timecard ends up being fruitless. Aside from that, inputting this information into company systems takes manual labor the majority of the time.
  • ‘’Spy’’ Softwares installed on employee´s computers, try to deduce what activities and projects users are working on in relation to softwares, files, and open windows. Which are generally inaccurate and generate dissatisfaction in it’s users, leaving the impression that the company is watching everything the employee is doing, with distrust.
  • Dedicated professional. Someone who is hired exclusively to track what people are doing, conducting follow-up meetings, recalculating plans daily. The problem here is the human factor. It’s expensive, performing repetitive work is subject to errors or environmental influences.
  • Softwares dedicated to timecards. Today there are various softwares already available, installed or used through the internet (on cloud technology), that can make data entry (hours) much easier. However, they still require a fair amount of the user’s attention to distinguish which tasks they are currently working on. In addition, most of these applications require integration with project management or business tasks systems, which ultimately demand the efforts of IT, generating costs.

As a manager, I confess I’ve used all of the above mentioned solutions, but I always had the feeling that the margin of error for what actually happened was very large. This ended up impeding me from trusting in the data that I had to make important decisions with. The only alternative that was able to drastically increase the accuracy rate was by using an Integrated Work Management system.

Imagine a software where people create and manage their tasks and projects. Imagine a tool where they register what they actually do in business. Managers configure the work schedule and what they have to do. From then on, they only indicate the start or the delivery of an activity. After that, you’re good to go.

But how is this different? The system uses a preset work schedule that knows when to start counting time automatically. Even Breaks, Lunches, Holidays, Weekends, etc. can all be prescheduled.  With this we have already eliminated the need for employees and payroll clerks to constantly put hours worked into the system. However, we need to motivate employees to minimally engage in the tool. The more involved employees are in the system, the more necessary information managers will have.

It’s a snowball effect that ends up rolling in our favor. Hence, the importance of a convenient integrated system. The user works on a user-friendly interface, where the priorities are clear, the work is transparent, and the communication and files are organized in the tasks and projects. They are getting through their day, and on top of that, they are helping managers to measure the time and cost of projects. In addition, the system “stores” the history of activities and generates the necessary reports.

You can go one step further (or three) getting more benefits. Additionally, you can create indexes to observe employee performance over time, helping them by making comparisons with their old performances or with that of other colleagues – through healthy competition.

If there is something that really discourages managers it has to be delegating that things be done and when they have to be delivered. But there is a cell phone in each employees pocket. It can generate proactive alerts if a task is behind schedule, or if he/she has gone along time without showing which task they are focusing on. It’s what we call “self-running-teams” or what Gartner calls “robobosses”. An overall convenience for managers.

smartwatch-system_engagement

Recently, we have taken another step towards the specialization and the convenience of interfaces here at Runrun.it, with the launch of our first application for smartwatches. Incidentally, in another post, you can read all about how ‘’wearables’’ (a category that includes the smartwatches and smartglasses) will transform the way we all will work.

smartwatch2

We believe that Runrun.it is the interface and database for all relevant information when it comes to  company management tasks that generate the necessary information that managers need when leading corporations in their markets.

If you would like to know how Runrun.it can help you become more productive, don’t hesitate to contact me by email: enterprise@runrun.it

Thank you for reading, and have a great day.

Franklin Valadares
Co-founder / Runrun.it

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