Our own evolution with timesheet management went like this:
1. Painful paper timesheets, entered into Spreadsheet form
When we decided that spending weekends data entering and not having a real time view of our projects just didn’t make sense any more, we evolved to:
2. Try third party software
Desktop software, web based software, lots of trial and error. We found some interesting and cool products in this space, but they either didn’t fit our process or felt like they were built for companies with 5,000+ employees. Then we moved on:
3. Internal Development
Since we solve other companies web related problems for a living, we decided to solve our own. We didn’t want one process for managing projects and tasks and a separate process for timesheet collection and approval. Folks don’t like to fill out timesheets and tracking time is difficult. We all know that. With trial and error we decided that directly tracking time at the task level catches a lot of missed time. This also combines tasks and time into one process. We found that making weekly timesheet submissions and approvals part of our process did a few things for us:
A. People started tracking time daily because it’s too tough to throw it all on a timesheet at the end of the week.
B. The system generated “nags” to submit time quickly went from annoyance to friend. “Oh good, I need to submit my time”…instead of “Wow, what did I do last week?”.
C. Since time is entered with tasks, less ‘holes’ exist on timesheets.
Timesheet Approvals and Rejections