5 Steps to Crafting SMART Goals

5 Steps to Crafting SMART Goals

Setting goals is like trying to navigate a maze blindfolded with your shoelaces tied together. But fear not, brave goal-chaser! With the magic of SMART goals, you can outwit even the trickiest of challenges while keeping your sense of humor intact. Let’s dive into these five steps, complete with side-splitting examples that will have you snickering your way to success! Get ready to infuse your aspirations with a hearty dose of intelligence, humor, and enough “smartness” to make Einstein jealous.

Step 1: S is for Specific – Stop Babbling, Start Nailing!

Let’s imagine you’re on a quest to become the next big knitting influencer. A goal like “I want to be famous for knitting” is about as vague as trying to spot a chameleon in a kaleidoscope store. Instead, go all out Sherlock Holmes on it and say, “I will create a YouTube channel featuring quirky knitting tutorials and gain 10,000 subscribers in six months.” Now that’s a target you can wrap your yarn around!

Or perhaps you are superheroine. A well-defined goal is your supervillain, and you need to be as clear as a raindrop on a window pane about what you’re trying to defeat. Don’t just say, “I want to be healthier.” That’s like saying, “I want to wear a cape.” Instead, be as specific as a fingerprint at a crime scene. Say, “I want to jog five kilometers every morning so I can indulge in an extra slice of cheesecake without guilt.” Now that’s a goal with flair!

Step 2: M is for Measurable – Counting Sheep, Not Unicorns!

How do you know if you’re making progress? Counting sheep might help you sleep, but counting achievements will help you soar. Make your goal measurable, like counting how many times your neighbor’s dog barked during your morning jog. Better yet, track your improvements with more precision than a cat stalking a laser pointer. “I’ll increase my push-up count from 10 to 30 within a month” is a better goal than “I’ll do some push-ups.”

Numbers don’t lie, and neither does the fact that counting unicorns isn’t a profitable business. When you set measurable goals, you’re like a mathematician with a calculator, only with a tad more flair. For instance, “I will read more books” is as vague as trying to describe a color to a blindfolded ostrich. But saying, “I will read 20 books by the end of the year and discuss them with my book club” is as precise as a Swiss watch.

Step 3: A is for Achievable – Shoot for the Stars, Land on the Moon!

While it’s cool to aim for the stars, don’t forget to pack some astronaut ice cream just in case. Setting goals that are more unrealistic than a unicorn-themed roller coaster is like trying to fit a giraffe into a Mini Cooper. Instead, be sensible, like aiming to run a marathon even if you’ve been sitting like a sloth at a desk for years. “I will complete a half-marathon in eight months after training regularly” is a goal that won’t leave you panting like a poodle in a heatwave.

Dreams are like helium balloons; they’re fun until they float away. Your goal shouldn’t be so far-fetched that it sounds like the plot of a sci-fi movie directed by a dolphin. Saying, “I’ll become a billionaire by selling diamond-encrusted shoelaces” might leave you in a financial pickle. Instead, be realistic like a sloth’s workout routine. Aim to double your income over a couple of years through a smart business venture, not by diving into the unpredictable world of shoelace bling.

Step 4: R is for Relevant – Don’t Chase Rainbows with a Teaspoon!

Picture this: you’re a wizard in a magical forest, and you’re chasing a unicorn. Is that a relevant pursuit? Not unless you’re into mythical creature rodeos. Similarly, your goal should align with your life like peanut butter pairs with jelly. If your goal is to become a gourmet chef, don’t spend your weekends practicing interpretive dance unless you’re planning a revolutionary cooking ballet.

Chasing irrelevant dreams is like trying to catch a snowflake in a desert – it’s not gonna end well. Ensure your goal is as relevant as a cat meme on the internet. If you’re a baker, don’t aspire to break the world record for underwater basket weaving. Instead, say, “I will perfect my croissant recipe and launch a bakery specializing in artisanal pastries within a year.” Your goal should fit your life like a glove, not like a penguin at a flamingo convention.

Step 5: T is for Time-Bound – Because Rome Wasn’t Conquered in a Day!

Give yourself a deadline that’s as precise as a neurosurgeon’s scalpel, but less intimidating. “I will become a fluent Mandarin speaker” is fantastic, but without a time frame, it’s like planning a wedding without picking a date. Make it zesty and say, “I will have a 15-minute conversation in Mandarin with a native speaker without using Google Translate within six months.” Your progress will be more noticeable than a penguin at a peacock parade.

Time is like a gourmet dessert – it’s best when served with a dash of urgency. Setting a deadline for your goal keeps you from procrastinating like a sloth with a Netflix subscription. But make sure the timeline isn’t tighter than a swimsuit after Thanksgiving dinner. “I’ll write a novel in a month” might lead to a Pulitzer-worthy novella, but it’s more likely to result in sleep-deprived ramblings about caffeinated unicorns.


In conclusion, my fellow goal-setter, SMART goals are like your secret recipe for success – they’re more tantalizing than a chocolate fountain at a dessert buffet. By following these steps with a dash of humor, you’re arming yourself with a strategy as solid as a rock and as funny as a clown’s shoes. Remember, life’s an improv show – might as well make your goals the star act!

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

3 Ways to Ensure Complete and Accurate Salesforce Case Time Tracking

3 Ways to Ensure Complete and Accurate Salesforce Case Time Tracking

Salesforce Cases are extremely important to your customers because they help them get their issues with your product or services resolved. Today, customers demand personalised service through their journey with their vendors. And often, it is customer service and case management that sets a company apart from its competitors. So it is critical for businesses to handle cases seamlessly to build an excellent customer service reputation.

Using Salesforce Case Tracking is a great way for you to manage your customer issues and provide them with great service. Case Management helps you leverage your support services and improve your customers’ experience as they engage with your business. Salesforce case time tracking is a key metric that your business can use to ensure higher customer satisfaction and more efficient operations. 

If you are a technology company, then handling customer service Cases may be more complex than in other industries. In addition to multiple levels of Customer Support agents spending time on a specific customer case, you may also require your Professional Services Team or an Installation team to check on specific changes that they may have made during the installation process. You may need your software development team to spend time on the Case. And neither your Professional Services team nor your development team may be using Salesforce. As a Customer Services Manager, how do you get a complete and accurate view of the total time spent on a Case? 

With the TimeTracker for Salesforce, we give you simple ways for your teams to track time directly to Salesforce Cases. If your software development team uses Atlassian’s Jira for issue tracking and management, then we have a simple way to integrate Salesforce Cases and Jira issues. We give your PSA team a simple web-based application to track any time spent directly to Cases. And for your Customer Service agents working inside Salesforce, we have Automatic Timers that work both on Cases and on the Lightning Case Console. So let’s look at how each of these work. 

1. Tracking Support Agent Time 

Your Support Agents are busy people with calls, chats emails coming in all the time. So you want an easy way for their time to be tracked. With our easy to add Automatic Time Tracking Lightning components, your support agents don’t even have to think about Starting / Stopping timers. With the Automatic Timer configured on your Case View page, every second of the time that an agent spends on a Case record is automatically tracked. Nothing to click, nothing to update. Your Support Agents continue to work within the Salesforce Case as they would normally. All of their time is automatically tracked to the Case. And the Lightning components work, whether your agents open individual Cases or use the Salesforce Case Console. Our Automatic Timer works across multiple tabs, allowing your Support Agents to work on multiple Cases at the same time. You can easily configure whether the time for each Case should be tracked simultaneously or not.

2. Tracking PSA / Installation Team Time 

If your PSA or Installation teams need to get involved on the Case, then our simple web application allows them to track the time that they spend on a specific Case. The time that they record on the TimeTracker Web app is automatically passed through to Salesforce and logged against the Case. So now you have the additional time spent by your PSA / Installation time in Salesforce too and logged right to the Case that they worked on. Your users can track their time as they work on the Case as in the attached screenshot here. They can also track the time that they spent on multiple Cases on a simple multi-line screen.

3. Tracking Development Team Time

And now to your development team. If they are already tracking their work times within Jira Worklogs, then the TimeTracker for Salesforce has a simple webhook that automatically pulls those Worklogs into Salesforce. By integrating Salesforce Cases and Jira Issues, you can create a seamless workflow for issue resolution. When a customer support representative identifies a bug or a technical issue reported by a customer in Salesforce Cases, they can create a corresponding Jira Issue directly from the case. This integration enables a smooth handoff between support and development teams, ensuring that issues are tracked, prioritized, and resolved efficiently. Since the Salesforce Cases are now directly created as Jira issues, the time spent on those Jira issues can now be pulled back into the Salesforce Case. Our webhook can be scheduled to pull Worklogs from Jira at a frequency that you want.


Now with the time spent by your Support Agents, your PSA team and your development team all in one single repository in Salesforce, your reporting and analysis on Case handle times becomes a cinch.Whether you want to monitor the status of a specific customer Case or measure how quickly cases are being resolved, you can now do that with all the tools that Salesforce Reporting gives you. You can use the Case data to identify trends in customer cases and prioritize the Cases based on urgency.

With our Case reporting, you can now figure out how long it takes for each stage of the process from Case Initiation to Resolution. You can also analyze time spent on different types of Cases. You can then use this data to pinpoint areas of improvement to reduce response times and improve customer satisfaction. So now you have everything within Salesforce to track Case times and resolutions so you can better understand your customers’ requirements and  optimize your operations for maximum efficiency.

You can read how MercuryGate International the leading transportation management software provider was able to plug revenue leakages for paid Support Cases with the TimeTracker for Salesforce.

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

The Magic of Gantt Charts: When Projects and Comedy Collide

The Magic of Gantt Charts: When Projects and Comedy Collide

In the realm of project management, efficiency and effective planning are crucial for successful project execution. One tool that has stood the test of time and proven its worth in numerous situations is the Gantt chart. Developed by Henry Gantt in the early 20th century, Gantt charts provide a visual representation of project tasks, dependencies, and timelines. While they have evolved over the years, Gantt charts continue to be an invaluable asset in project management.

When it comes to project management, the words “humor” and “hilarity” don’t often come to mind. However, there is one tool that manages to bring a touch of comedy to the world of business: the Gantt chart. Yes, you heard that right! Gantt charts can be unexpectedly amusing, especially in certain project management situations. So, sit back, relax, and let’s explore the hilarity that can ensue when Gantt charts work their magic.

1. The Delusional Deadlines

Ah, deadlines, the bane of every project manager’s existence. But fear not, because Gantt charts have a way of turning those unrealistic timeframes into a comedy goldmine. Imagine a project plan with tasks that seem humanly impossible to complete within the given time. As you gaze upon the Gantt chart, it’s like watching a thrilling race against time, with each task bar representing a sprinting team member. Will they make it? Will they crash and burn? The suspense is real! Gantt charts have a knack for highlighting the absurdity of unrealistic deadlines, giving project managers a chuckle amidst their stress.

2. The Colorful Chaos

Nothing screams comedy like a Gantt chart that looks like a rainbow threw up on it. When multiple projects, teams, and resources converge on a single chart, chaos ensues. Each task is represented by a colorful bar, overlapping and intertwining like a complex tapestry. It’s a visual representation of the madcap nature of project management, where team members are juggling multiple tasks, and dependencies are as tangled as a bowl of spaghetti. The sight of a Gantt chart resembling a Picasso painting can be oddly entertaining, reminding project managers that even in chaos, there’s beauty… or at least a good laugh.

3. The Perilous Dependencies

Dependencies!  Those sneaky little things that can make or break a project. Gantt charts have a special way of exposing the precariousness of task dependencies, turning them into a comedic spectacle. Picture a chart where one delayed task throws off the entire project timeline. It’s like watching a dominos game gone wrong, where one toppled domino leads to a chain reaction of chaos. Gantt charts gleefully highlight these interdependencies, providing project managers with front-row seats to the drama. Just remember to grab some popcorn and enjoy the show!

4. The Absurd Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is a serious business, but Gantt charts can bring a dose of hilarity to this aspect of project management. When a chart shows resources stretched thin or assigned to tasks that are clearly outside their expertise, it’s like watching a comedy sketch unfold. Picture a team member assigned to perform a task they have zero knowledge about, struggling and fumbling through it like a clown in a circus. Gantt charts highlight these absurd resource allocations, showcasing the comedic potential of mismatched skills and misplaced responsibilities.

5. The Comedy of Errors

Let’s face it, no project is without its fair share of mistakes and mishaps. Gantt charts capture these blunders with a playful twist. Imagine a chart where tasks are constantly being rescheduled, modified, and extended, like a never-ending game of musical chairs. It’s as if the Gantt chart is winking at you, saying, “Hey, expect the unexpected!” These unexpected changes and errors become part of the comedy routine, reminding project managers that flexibility and a good sense of humor are essential survival skills in the world of project management.


Finally, there’s nothing quite like the moment when a project is completed and the Gantt chart transitions from a chaotic mess to a glorious display of accomplishment. As the last task bar is filled with the vibrant color of completion, a sense of triumph washes over the project manager. It’s like the grand finale of a fireworks show, with the Gantt chart lighting up in a mesmerizing display of success. The once-chaotic chart now becomes a visual representation of the journey, reminding everyone of the challenges, the laughter, and the ultimate victory. It’s a moment that deserves applause and a standing ovation.

So, while project management may not be synonymous with comedy, Gantt charts have a way of injecting humor into the mix. They turn delusional deadlines into suspenseful races, transform chaotic chaos into colorful tapestries, and bring absurdity to resource allocation and dependencies. They capture the comedy of errors and culminate in a grand finale that brings a sense of accomplishment and joy.

In the end, let’s not forget that laughter is a powerful tool in any professional setting. It brings people together, lightens the mood, and boosts morale. So, embrace the hilarity that Gantt charts can bring to your project management endeavors. Use them not only as a visual planning tool but also as a source of amusement and inspiration. And remember, amidst all the stress and pressure, a good laugh can go a long way in making the journey a little more enjoyable.

So, project managers, grab your Gantt charts, put on your comedy hats, and let the hilarity ensue! Because when projects and comedy collide, amazing things happen, and success becomes all the more satisfying.

Gantt Chart in the TimeTrackerBut on a more serious note, Gantt charts are an essential tool in project management, particularly in situations where planning, task dependencies, timeline visualization, resource management, project tracking, and managing complex projects are critical. By leveraging the power of visualization, Gantt charts enable project managers to effectively plan, execute, and communicate project details to stakeholders. And both for us at PK4 and our customers, Gantt charts make a huge difference in keeping projects on track and within budget.

Disclaimer: No Gantt charts were harmed during the making of this article. Remember to take your project management responsibilities seriously, but never forget to find moments of laughter along the way.

Image by Jo Szczepanska from Unsplash

Gantt Charts: When ‘Plan-Tastic’ Turns into ‘Plan-Tragic’!

Gantt Charts: When ‘Plan-Tastic’ Turns into ‘Plan-Tragic’!

In the vast landscape of project management, Gantt charts have been hailed as the go-to tool for planning and scheduling. However, like that questionable tie your boss wore to the company picnic, Gantt charts aren’t always the best choice. So, let’s dive into the  Gantt side of project management and explore five situations where Gantt charts transform from “plan-tastic” to “plan-tragic”! So, buckle up and get ready for a journey through the land of misplaced bars and tangled dependencies.

1. The Agile Avalanche

Picture this: a group of agile enthusiasts storming into a boardroom dressed in superhero costumes, chanting “Iterate! Adapt! Deliver!” Their mission is to revolutionize project management with their nimble approach.They believe in embracing change and responding to customer needs promptly. Meanwhile, poor Gantt chart sits in the corner, overwhelmed by the constant flux of requirements and evolving priorities. It’s like forcing a tortoise to keep up with an Olympic sprinter—it just doesn’t work! So, in the realm of agile development, Gantt charts become as useful as a snorkel in the desert.

2. Tangled Task Web

Ah, the sweet symphony of task interdependencies! Or is it more like a chaotic opera of crossed wires and tangled strings? In the realm of complex projects, dependencies lurk like spiders waiting to ensnare unsuspecting tasks. Unfortunately, Gantt charts often resemble a web of confusion rather than a clear plan. Arrows crisscross, forming a web so intricate that even Spider-Man would scratch his head in bewilderment. As Gantt charts attempt to map out these complex relationships, they quickly resemble a Jackson Pollock painting—splattered with arrows, colors, and confusion. It’s like using a dot-to-dot puzzle with 10,000 dots—good luck finding the big picture!

3. Resource Roulette

In the wacky world of project management, resources come and go like Friday afternoon productivity. Project managers are masters of juggling resources—assigning tasks, managing availability, and balancing workloads. However, Gantt charts can’t quite keep up with this circus act of these dynamic changes. Imagine assigning tasks to Bob, only to find out he’s already buried under a mountain of work. Meanwhile, Alice is twiddling her thumbs, eagerly waiting for something to do. The poor Gantt chart can’t handle this resource management roulette—it’s like trying to juggle custard pies with oven mitts — spectacular, but not recommended for the faint-hearted!

4. Flowing Waterfalls or Stumbling Streams?

Some projects follow the graceful flow of a cascading waterfall. Tasks move effortlessly from one stage to another, like synchronized swimmers in a pool of efficiency. But alas, Gantt charts struggle to capture this rhythmic motion. They struggle to accommodate projects that resemble wild rivers, where tasks ebb and flow like capricious rapids.They prefer a rigid, linear approach, where tasks march obediently, one after another. So, when faced with continuous or flow-based work, the poor Gantt chart is left in a state of confusion. Watching a Gantt chart navigate this unpredictable terrain is like witnessing a ballerina trying to pirouette through a minefield — graceful, yet utterly treacherous!

5. Strategic Daydreams

At times, projects require visionary leaders who navigate the choppy seas of strategic planning. They rely on high-level roadmaps, visionary statements, and big-picture thinking. Meanwhile, the Gantt chart sits in the corner, diligently showcasing every intricate task while missing the forest for the trees. It’s like sending a GPS navigator to guide your dreams—it might get you to the nearest grocery store, but it won’t help you reach the stars! So, when it comes to strategic visions, let the Gantt chart take a well-deserved nap and embrace the whimsy of creativity.


While I’ve enjoyed poking fun at Gantt charts, there are numerous situations where they work amazingly well. I’ll talk about those situations soon in another blog article. 

While Gantt charts have their merits, they can be woefully inadequate in certain project management scenarios. The agile revolution, complex interdependencies, resource management roulette, flowing waterfalls, and strategic visions are just a few of the situations where Gantt charts fall short. So, next time you’re faced with a project management challenge, remember to choose the right tool for the job. Embrace the humor and flexibility that comes with project management, and don’t let poor Gantt chart bear the brunt of your plan-tragic endeavors!

Image by Alvaro Reyes from Unsplash

Task Completion vs. Time-Based Progress Tracking

Task Completion vs. Time-Based Progress Tracking

Recently, a customer asked us which option was better for project tracking – task-based completion or time-based completion. Tracking the percentage of tasks completed and tracking the percentage of hours logged.are the most common ways of measuring project progress. While both methods have their merits, each also comes with its own set of complexities and potential pitfalls. So let’s look at the challenges involved in tracking time reliably, and the consequences of failing to track progress accurately in light of a hypothetical project.

Picture this  

Your company’s CEO, inspired by a recent bout of nostalgia, has tasked you with overseeing the construction of a tree house in the company’s courtyard. Not just any tree house, mind you – a majestic, multi-level marvel that will serve as a symbol of innovation and creativity. As the designated project manager, you must now choose between task completion and time-based progress tracking to ensure the success of this lofty endeavor.

Task Completion-Based Progress Tracking: The Tree House Tango 

You opt for task completion-based progress tracking and promptly list every action needed to bring the CEO’s dream to life. The excitement is palpable as team members race to complete tasks like “purchase lumber,” “install windows,” and “add a rope ladder for quick escapes.” 

However, you soon realize that not all tasks are created equal. Sure, “paint tree house exterior” was completed in record time, but the “install zip line to the parking lot” task has been met with a collective groan from the team. Task completion tracking has given you an adrenaline rush, but it hasn’t prepared you for the uneven workload or the fact that the team spent an entire day debating the merits of a spiral staircase versus a traditional ladder.

Time-Based Progress Tracking: The Great Tree House Time-Logging Adventure

Determined to learn from your mistakes, you switch to time-based progress tracking. The team starts logging hours spent on tasks like “sawing wood planks” and “hammering nails with moderate enthusiasm.” You now have a better sense of the time and effort required for each task, and you feel confident in your ability to manage resources effectively.

However, the complexities of time tracking rear their ugly heads. One team member, who insists on using a sundial for “authenticity,” logs wildly inaccurate hours. Another seems to think that the time spent watching DIY tree house videos counts as “research.” Meanwhile, the intern who spent a week perfecting the tree house’s Wi-Fi connection has inadvertently skewered your project timeline.

Complexities and Consequences: A Branch Too Far

Despite your best efforts, tracking time reliably proves to be an elusive beast. As the project’s deadline looms, the team is divided between those who’ve mastered the art of hammock-based multitasking and those who’ve succumbed to the siren song of impromptu brainstorming sessions in the unfinished tree house.

Mismanaged resources and a false sense of progress ultimately lead to a delay in the project’s completion. The CEO, having envisioned cutting the ribbon on their childhood dream with gusto, now faces the sobering reality of a tree house that still lacks a rooftop garden and mini-fridge.

Striking the Perfect Balance

In the end, the tree house project serves as a lighthearted, yet cautionary tale of the challenges associated with task completion and time-based progress tracking. By adopting a combination of both methods, adjusting expectations, and maintaining a healthy sense of humor, you’ll be better prepared to manage even the most unconventional of projects.

As you watch your team put the finishing touches on the tree house’s rooftop conference room, you can’t help but smile. After all, project management is about embracing the unexpected, learning from experience, and, occasionally, building an awe-inspiring tree house that will leave your competitors green with envy.


Task-based progress tracking allows for an easy, high-level overview of project status and provides a clear indication of how much work remains. By focusing on task completion, project managers can readily identify bottlenecks and allocate resources more efficiently.

However, this approach does not account for the varying levels of effort required for different tasks. This can lead to an inaccurate representation of progress and a skewed perception of the remaining workload. Further, it does not reflect the actual time and resources consumed, which can impact resource planning and overall project management. 

Time-based progress tracking offers a more accurate representation of the work completed, taking into consideration the time and effort required for each task. By monitoring the hours spent on tasks, project managers can identify inefficiencies and adjust workloads to optimize productivity.

However, time-based progress tracking introduces complexities in tracking time reliably. Employees may inaccurately log their hours, either through unintentional errors or deliberate misreporting. Furthermore, time spent on a task does not always equate to the quality of work produced, which can lead to an overemphasis on hours logged rather than the overall outcome.

And whichever way you choose, the TimeTracker for Salesforce gives you great ways to track project completion in “real” time.

Image by EM80 from Pixabay

Best Practices for Implementing Time Tracking

Best Practices for Implementing Time Tracking

The transition from paper or Excel-based timesheets to an automated system can seem overwhelming and confusing at times. But the benefits of an automated time tracking system are undeniable. It can simplify procedures, eliminate errors, make your invoicing and payroll much more accurate and provide savings, overall. 

But like with anything new, you need to plan and prepare your transition carefully. Here are some best practices to help make the transition smooth.

Decide why you want to track time

Start by asking yourself why you want to set up time tracking. Perhaps, you spend too much time on payroll and the process is error-prone. Maybe, your customers need more accurate and transparent hours with your billing. Perhaps your estimates on projects is going out of whack and you are losing money. Maybe you want to balance employee workloads better. Whatever your reasons, make sure that you can articulate them clearly.

Get your team on-board

It’s critical that you get all stake-holders on board with time tracking. New processes only work when there is buy-in at all levels. Make sure that you get your team leads and influencers on board and explain why you are moving to a time tracking system. Get them to see the benefits to them and their teams. Choose a couple of champions from the teams that need to track time. This way, people will have someone to turn to when they have questions.

Start with a pilot program

It makes sense to start with a small group of people to make sure that the time tracking software fits all your requirements and that it can be used easily. This will help you work out any kinks in the system before rolling it out to a large group. Select the pilot group carefully; get motivated people as well as someone who’s not a fan of time tracking. Get feedback from them and make sure that their issues are properly dealt with.

Decide what you want to track time to

Make sure that the time tracking software gives you the flexibility to track time to whatever makes sense for your company. Get the time tracking system setup to track time to those objects. If you have multiple teams of users, decide what each team is going to track time to. E.g. your sales team works with Accounts all the time and should track their time to Accounts. Whereas, your Support team that works with customer Cases should track their time to Cases. Identify each of your groups and make sure that select the right elements

Automatic Vs Manual Vs Live Tracking

There are multiple ways in which you can track your team’s time. You should decide what method makes sense for your team. Manual and Live tracking mean that your users would need to put in their time physically or use  Start/Pause/Stop buttons. With an automatic time tracker, the system automatically starts tracking time as soon as the user clicks on a specific page and continues to track time without the user having to click on anything. Depending on the type of work that you users do, you should select the appropriate method of time tracking. E.g we suggest that agents is a call center would normally use the automatic time tracker on Cases. That would get the time tracked without the agents having to put in any extra effort. But if you were tracking time for a group of consultants that worked on multiple different projects for longer lengths of time, then they may prefer a single page, where they could enter times for multiple projects that they worked on during the day.  

Avoid too much monitoring

If you can’t trust your team to do the right thing, you may have bigger issues than can be solved with time tracking. Software that tracks screenshots and keystrokes are generally too intrusive. This level of monitoring does not make sense for stable and productive teams. You may end up creating more distractions and stress within the teams.

Limit access to timesheet data

Make sure that your system is set up to show only the projects / jobs that each user is working on. Your time tracking system should allow you to filter the right data  like this. Unnecessary data can clutter up the screens, making it difficult for users to find the right projects / jobs. It could also cause performance issues within your system. We normally recommend showing only Active projects. Whenever a project completes, make it a point to change the  status of the project, so it no longer appears on the active lists.

Enable automatic reminders about incomplete timesheets

Make sure that your time tracking software can send out reminder emails to users to remind them to complete their timesheets. It’s a given that some users will forget to enter their timesheets and a responsible manager would need to remind them about this. Especially in the early stages of implementation. If the system can do this automatically, that’s time and effort saved.

Create a document that explains the requirements

Create a document that defines why you are implementing the system. Make sure that it includes benefits for the users and for the company. Include an FAQ section that answers common questions. Include examples where possible. You should be able to get general fAQs from your time tracking vendor’s knowledge base. But things that are specific to you company, you will need to write up.

Consider binding time entries to a project plan

Well-structured data is better for reporting and analysis. Consider building a project plan in advance and breaking it down to tasks and task assignments to your team. Ensure that your team is tracking time to their task assignments. This way you’ll have a real-time view of how well your team is working against the plan. This is a great way to monitor how accurate your project estimates are.

Have someone check timesheets and reports regularly

Regardless of the automatic reports that you may receive from the time tracking system, make sure that someone responsible is checking the reports regularly.  She should review the reports for completeness and compliance with company policies. This will automatically throw up any trouble spots and also highlight employee workloads, adherence to project schedules. Analysing timesheet data can become so fascinating that managers enjoy it, rather than looking at it as a boring duty. 

Lead by example

All managers should track their own time, even if it is un-billable. Employees are much more likely to be accurate in their own time tracking, if they see their managers following the same policies.

Don’t insist on logging 8 hours per day

Reporting less than eight hours a day is OK. It’s more important that users give an accurate accounting of their time and for you to make sure that the time was spent productively. If you try to force eight hours per day, you may find users  taking more time to complete tasks or logging in more hours than they actually worked.

Don’t use timesheet data for criticism

It’s hard to assess productivity just from the time worked on the timesheets. A longer duration on a task may not mean lower productivity. It may mean that the user is more detail-oriented and has better results. Combine your knowledge of the employee with the data from the time tracking system to get a better overall view of productivity and efficiency.


We hope this gives you a good starting board for your time tracking implementation. If you have other points that you can add to this list, please let us know in the comments.

 Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash