Time Tracking For SugarCRM
To really understand how much time it takes to write a blog post or design a landing page or even the time required to service one high-maintenance client, you need a reliable and easy-to-use time tracking solution. It needs to be something your team will enjoy using, and it should have all the features without being overly complicated. Time tracking add-ons and apps are available in many other agency project management systems, so if you are looking for something more robust, you won't find a solution in this list. But sometimes, simplicity is the key to getting buy-in.
The Reason for Tracking Time
The problem is unavoidable. Our industry is built on billable hours. Even retainers are based on an understanding of how much time an agency will spend on a specific client each month.
The other problem is that people don't actually track their time, so agencies never have a true understanding of how much time is required to complete a project. Consider this: A designer estimates it will take 10 hours to complete a design. Three months later, he fills out his timesheet over a period of two weeks, accounting for 11 hours of design time. He didn't actually track his time, but he thinks it's in that ballpark. Besides, it looks good that he spent a lot of work on the project. The team lead reviews the timesheets and compares it to the original estimate.
There are two implications:
- The project is unprofitable.
- Future quotes for this type of design project will be set at 15 hours.
Now, if the designer had tracked his time, he would have been able to say that it actually took him 6 hours to complete the project. This knowledge would have changed the agency's view of that project. In addition, this miscalculation causes inflated prices moving forward. It creates the misconception that anything below 15 hours could be unprofitable for the agency.
Timesheets are a necessary evil if profitability is a concern.