Do Startups Really Need Timesheet Software To Track Employees and Project Performance?

Mike Kulakov, February 20, 2019
Startup timesheet software - Everhour Blog

Time is a valuable resource for everybody even though not all realize its importance. However, in many cases this understanding is not critical. Often it only comes down to feeling sorry about wasting time or using it on ridiculous things.

But when it comes to startups, there is nothing more crucial than time, with no more serious consequences of losing it. Well, each entrepreneur’s biggest dream is to have thirty-six hours a day, at the very least. Good thing to know is that more time is no better than well-organized time. However, being involved into the crazy race of tasks, many startup managers ignore this fact.

One of the effective ways of structuring time might be this – using timesheet software for comprehensive time management.

everhour timesheet summary

Let’s think about it.

  • It’s true, it does take some time to get used to using it. And this is when startups tend to postpone implementing this technique until there will be more time for it. The argument is solid – we don’t have time to play games around time right now.
  • Another argument is that startups do not typically bill their employees based on the number of hours worked. The average working day is about 7-8 hours or slightly more depending on the involvement levels.

In this case, timesheets seem to add no value to the process. Even implemented, they are being filled in at the end of the week just to show that those hours have been used for work (really?). No details there, no data to analyze. Pretty useless, who can argue that.

But what if we look at timesheet software from a slightly different perspective?

4 Benefits of Timesheet Software for Startups

Quantify how the team spends time

Each startup has to close each day better results than the previous one, and steadily increase performance each month. Disruption despite smaller budgets and overall scarcer resources is a demanding task that can only be completed through large volumes of focus and clear vision of high efficiency. It means that walking at regular pace is never enough. But how do you measure that speed?

task estimates in Everhour

You can do it with the help of timesheet software. It will show that some tasks tend to take more time than planned while others fly by unnoticed.  It often depends on what your team members are better with. If you start tracking time by tasks (can link it to previous article), you will be able to quantify the time they need.

Prioritizing based on quantitative approach is far more reliable than having only general idea of what the team is doing at any given moment. This is something to actually make time more controllable for startups. Try to find any drawbacks here, and they will all seem irrelevant if compared to the benefits.

Track to optimize and improve

Some tasks take more time when you do them for the first time. Other tasks require templates or step-by-step guides. Trying to remember such details is more challenging than entrusting it to the timesheet software.

overtime in everhour

Performing and measuring each task, adding comments on what was useful for its completion, noting how work speeds up when done several times within short period of time – all of it is valuable information that can be used for the process optimization. Comparing performance of different team members, you’ll get valuable insights on who can do this or that task faster and better. It can improve the general speed of startup development.

In addition, anybody with the similar tasks will be able to check the records and find useful tips on performance efficiency. Having all the data in one application is effective.

Learn how to estimate more accurately

According to the Parkinson’s law, any task takes all the time that is available for its completion. You probably noticed how one simple thing from your to-do list such as sending an email can take up to the whole day if you do not set any limits for its completion. Now you know it’s not a fantasy, but an actual law.

Knowing that somebody can spend only two or full four hours to get the job done at the same level of quality, try to keep it reasonable. If some piece of coding actually requires 5 hours, there is no way to pushing your developer into squeezing it to 3 hours. But at the same time, with more track records from timesheet software you will get the better idea on what is accurate task estimation.

Predict when each particular task will be completed

If your startup works with any clients, you need to constantly be up-to-date when it comes to complex projects and their time frames. While large companies can afford involving more resources in case of the need of speeding up, startups rarely have this luxury. Careful planning is the main asset available for them.

With timesheet software, you can check what stage is any project at. No need to run around asking workers or involving project manager into this game of asking questions. All the data can be easily accessible for you at any moment of time.

Summing up, timesheet software is something that can serve really well for a startup in case you use it right. It’s not just an app to track hours, but the one to track time-task efficiency so essential for any startup.

Mike Kulakov

IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.