In project management, time is of the essence.
The more control you have over how you use your time, the more efficiently you’ll be able to complete your projects. Software to track computer activity can help you monitor your time data, but you also need time management strategies to stay on course.
The evidence suggests that the longer you dwell on decisions during the project management process, the less likely you are to enjoy positive results. When a decision takes under an hour, it leads to a 70% success rate on average, when it takes more than five hours, that figure lowers substantially to 25%.
With that in mind, how can you sharpen your time management skills to supplement your tracking computer activity software and make sure every second counts?
Key Factors in Project Time Management
When you zoom out and look at project management as a whole, the primary objective is to finish one or more projects within a predetermined time frame. That’s the main role of the project manager: to get the job done in the shortest time possible.
Of course, there are other factors to consider. For example, if you were to finish a project and ship the final product to a client before it’s ready, you’re sure to receive poor feedback and invite a bout of revisions.
While monitoring software for computers will keep employees accountable and honest, you also need to prioritize.
Time management should be more a case of prioritizing the important tasks and cutting down on idle time as opposed to rushing tasks to send the project off in record time. Using a pc monitoring program in tandem with time management strategies can help ensure you focus your time and effort on tasks that matter most.
With that said, we’re going to break down project management into various aspects, and show you how you can employ time management strategies and tools to increase employee performance and overall work productivity.
Before you map out a project life cycle, you need to know you have the resources to complete it in good time.
Where many projects fall short of expectations is in the resource planning phase. If you over or underestimate how many employees you need to successfully complete the project, you can run into one of two major problems:
- Employee burnout
- Idle time and disengagement
Both ends of the spectrum - over and under-committing resources - can end in disaster for your project and drain company resources.
How to improve it:
One way to apply time management to your resource planning phase is to set up timesheets for every team member before starting the project.
Because with timesheets, you can track every hour an employee spends working on a project from the moment they clock in to the time they clock out. There is a caveat with timesheets, though - they’re reliant on employees manually entering time data and they only give you the data after it has been logged.
As such, an automatic time tracker through employee tracking software can be a more effective solution in this case.
With screen tracking software, you can employ an automatic timer so that employees simply need to show up to work, and the clock will start ticking when they turn their computer on. There’s no need for every team member to manually enter information, so you’re more likely to get an accurate picture of the time data. This is especially helpful useful for time tracking remote employees.
What’s more, with an employee internet usage monitoring tool like Insightful, you can view this time data in real time so you can evaluate employee capacity and move resources around accordingly. That way, you’re less likely to run into an issue with your resource distribution.
When it comes to plotting out the overarching details of a project, a schedule is essential.
Within your project schedule or plan, you want to include everything from:
You may want to complete a RACI chart to establish all the roles and responsibilities for the project, and a risk assessment to outline potential hurdles you’ll encounter along the way.
The more detailed the project plan, the easier it will be for everyone to stick to.
However, without consideration for the best use of each team member’s time, all the planning in the world can still lead to undesirable results.
How to improve it:
To bring time management into the project planning process, the best action you can take is to draw up a timeline and make sure it’s visible on a shared team calendar.
A timeline by itself is useful as it gives you a valuable reference point for timing that you can check in with regularly, but a dynamic timeline is better.
What is a dynamic timeline?
One that reflects updates in real time so any changes in scope, roles, or circumstances will automatically factor into your approach to the project. With a project management platform, you can set up such a timeline and modify it as you go, so you’re never caught short by unexpected changes.
The use of a shared calendar makes sure that everyone on the team is on the same page. Accountability is huge in effective time management, so making key deadlines and milestones visible in a digital calendar is essential.
For the day-to-day task management of a project, you need to implement a reliable system for approving requests, completing actions, and making steady progress.
Without a considered approach towards task management, you can end up in a situation where team members are wasting time on work about work activities as their priorities aren’t clear.
Perhaps they finish a task early, and because the task assignment process isn’t automatic, they’re sitting around waiting for the next thing to do.
This of course, is a recipe for slow-moving projects and is a huge hindrance to effective project management.
How to improve it:
The best way to build momentum during the project management process and cut down on individual idle time is to set up task dependencies and sequences.
With the right project management platform, you can go in and do this easily.
Task dependencies allow you to trigger events automatically once a team member completes an action. This can create a cascading waterfall of completed tasks, as the completion of one alerts another team member, who can then complete their task without wasting time.