Time is our most precious resource. Agencies understand this more than most, because the professional services they provide are backed by the people doing the work, and people can only work so many hours in a day. The agency that manages time effectively will improve their chances of being successful. Fortunately, there are plenty of time management tools available that will benefit any agency. Here are a few we’ve found to be true in our own historical experience as a web design and development agency.
Much of the work an agency performs is repetitive and structured in such a way it can be encapsulated in one or more task-based workflow templates. Time management software that supports task-based workflows gives the agency a way to easily create and manage templates for these workflows. For example, the process of designing and developing a web site can be turned into a template and then copied and tuned each time a web design project begins.
This level of organization cuts down significantly on overhead because it requires less time to get a project up to speed and less effort to keep momentum going for the duration of the project. Workflows not only save time, they help the agency deliver a consistent level of service.
One great feature of agency time management software is its ability to schedule and manage tasks. Breaking down a project into smaller tasks and assigning them communicates to each team member their scheduled responsibilities on the project. But, it also gives the agency project manager oversight into who’s working on what, and when.
The ability to review what the team is working on is critical to avoid wasting time and keep everyone on track. Software with strong reporting features will provide this information with just a few clicks, and in an easy-to-read format, so managers and team members can review the current workload and re-prioritize at any time.
On time projects
Breaking down a project into smaller tasks is the first step toward managing a successful project. The second step is an ongoing process of scheduling and monitoring tasks until the project is complete. Knowing what to work on, and when to work on it, will keep momentum going so the project doesn’t stall out or fall behind schedule.
Agency time management software helps teams identify problems early on so they can fail fast and maintain that momentum. This is partly due to the collaborative nature of these tools, which helps create an environment of shared responsibility, where the success of the project is the primary goal of the team, not just the project manager. And when the entire team is participating in the project management process, projects get completed on time.
Teams that manage their time well will not only deliver projects on time, but also under budget. And the best way for an agency to be profitable is to match or beat their estimates on every project.
When a team uses agency time management software everyone knows exactly what they should be working on and when. By keeping the team’s priorities inline with the project scope, less time is spent on non-essential tasks and expenses are reduced. The result is increased margins and profits.