Zigler Law Group, based in Chicago IL, is a national class action and complex litigation firm committed to protecting consumers and investors from corporate misconduct. Their attorneys have successfully litigated countless complex cases across multiple industries. Their experience includes litigating consumer fraud, securities fraud, breach of contract, breach of warranty and breach of fiduciary duties, amongst others.
Depending on the case being litigated, the Zigler team includes attorneys, paralegals, employees and contractors.
As a national class action litigation firm, Zigler Law Group is required to keep very accurate time records of all time spent on cases. All attorneys, paralegals and other staff members need to keep very accurate time records of every minute spent on a case.
Time tracking for attorneys and paralegals is extremely hard. Most attorneys work on multiple cases, often for multiple clients on a given day. So it’s time-consuming and challenging to figure out what they worked on at the end of a long day. Combine that with the fact that they work in an interrupt-driven mode, with calls, emails, discussions and the whole time tracking problem is compounded.
Zigler attorneys and paralegals were used to tracking their time on spreadsheets. This itself was a big step up from having to reconstruct time from reviewing paper notes, emails and appointments whenever time needed to be accounted for.
Time-consuming: Each attorney, paralegal and employee maintained their own spreadsheets of time spent. So any reckoning of time for a case, meant reviewing and reconciling the spreadsheets of all the attorneys and paralegals that worked on a specific case. This was a very painstaking and time-consuming process.
Variations in case names: Attorneys and paralegals would code their work times for cases using different names for the same case. There were as many variations for the same case as the number of people working on it. Identifying the various names and collating the data was a nightmare.
Loss of data: When working on a case, an attorney could end up sending 10-15 emails back and forth in an hour. And all that work needed to be entered in granularly. While working with spreadsheets, invariably there would be some loss of time worked.
All these issues prompted the Zigler Law Group to look for an alternative solution that could meet its evolving needs for time tracking. And since they had already moved to Salesforce for tracking all their cases, they were looking for a time tracking solution that would work within Salesforce too.
In 2022, the Zigler Law Group implemented PK4’s TimeTracker for Salesforce. PK4 worked with the law firm to configure the TimeTracker to their exact requirements. The firm decided to use the TimeTracker’s Multiline Time Entry screen since it was very similar to the spreadsheet mechanism that the team was already used to. Since all cases that the firm worked on were already within Salesforce as a separate object, PK4 configured the TimeTracker to track time to that specific object. So the TimeTracker users just needed to select a case from the existing list of cases.
Decreased inaccuracies on cases
Since all cases were set up in the TimeTracker, the Zigler team no longer needed to enter the names of the cases. They just needed to select the name of the case from the dropdown. This completely eliminated the endless variations in the case names.
Timely Data Entry
Since the Zigler team was already working inside Salesforce on their cases, it was easy for them to track their time in the TimeTracker on a regular basis. The team now records their time within the TimeTracker between 6-8 times a day, Since the tasks and the time spent are fresh in their minds, the time entered is much more granular and accurate, ensuring that there is no under-reporting of time spent.
Easy contractor payment
Zigler uses contractors who are paid based on the number of hours worked. Since all time data is within the TimeTracker, it’s now very simple for Zigler administrators to pull end of the month reports for the time spent by contractors.
Instant, flexible reporting
The fact that all the time spent on cases is properly tracked and in a timely manner within the TimeTracker made a big difference to the Zigler Law Group. With all time entries correctly tagged to specific cases, running reports based on cases became a cinch for the Zigler Law Group.
The time that they spent previously reviewing and collating data from multiple spreadsheets has decreased from 4-5 hours per month to less than 3 minutes per month. Time that can now be put to much more productive use.
The Zigler Law Group Management can now easily answer questions such as:
– How much time attorneys/paralegals spend on specific cases and practice areas
– Perform detailed analysis of cases to determine time spent and profitability
– Analyze what cases take disproportionate amount of time
– Quickly assess the lodestar of a case for reporting.
Overall, the Zigler Law Group has found that data collection, collation and review have all become much easier with the TimeTracker from PK4. The Zigler Law Group saved over 99% of the time spent on data collation, review and reporting. Resulting in an overall saving of $ 2500 per employee per year.
Speed up your invoicing workflow with the PK4 TimeTracker Invoicing Add-On. Our Invoicing Add-On lets you automatically create and send professional invoices (based on the time tracked by your team members) and then track payments against those invoices. You have the flexibility to add / modify the invoices before they are sent out to your customers. Our integration with QuickBooks Desktop ensures that invoices are seamlessly synced across, saving time and effort.
Using the information in the Time Details (time tracked by your users), the TimeTracker automatically creates invoices that can be sent to customers. You select the frequency that you define (by default it is set to 1 month).
All Materials (Products) included in the Time Details will also be invoiced
We create ONE invoice per Account based on the Account that is updated on the Time Details
Taxes and Surcharges are calculated based on simple percentage values set up in your configuration
You can review and modify invoices before they are sent out to the customer. All totals and taxes are re-calculated based on any modifications that you make
Your invoices are sent out by email using a template that you set up inside Salesforce. You can modify the template to include your logos, addresses and colors
You can apply payments received as Collections against the invoices
Only Users that need to work with Invoicing need to have the additional TimeTracker Invoice Add-on module.
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With our holiday offer, you get 20% off on ALL subscription orders paid by Christmas Eve 2022. This offer is valid on subscription prices for your initial year. Prices are per user per month, unless specified otherwise
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.
Measuring your employee’s time and productivity can help you with team management in so many ways. For example, it can help you identify individuals who are not performing, while it will also help you spot flaws in processes. Armed with this information, you can then address issues accordingly, helping to ensure your business is running as smoothly as possible.
This leads to the question of how to measure employee time and productivity so you can get the information you need to make impactful decisions. To help, we’ve created this brief guide for you.
Before you even get started, you need to determine which KPIs you want to measure. Developing KPIs is one of the most essential steps because you can’t measure your performance unless you know how well you are supposed to be performing.
Of course, you shouldn’t choose just any metrics. It’s important that you choose to measure metrics that give you a reasonably fair and accurate picture. For example, measuring monthly output can be misleading because some staff will have additional duties in the company. Otherwise, you may end up making detrimental rather than beneficial decisions.
Remember also that you can evolve your KPIs over time as you learn which metrics are most useful to you. It’s also good team management to tell your employees which KPIs you are using and let them know how they are performing. Once your team understands what is expected of them, it becomes easier for them to meet those expectations.
Missing a milestone will make it loud and clear that something isn’t going according to plan and that something needs to be changed. However, you will need to set milestones in the first place otherwise, it becomes much harder to judge how well you are progressing.
If you missed project deadlines, it’s important to break down the process and understand why it was missed. Take it on face value and you might end up doing more harm than good. This means looking at each step of the process to see where the hold up was.
When setting milestones, it’s essential to be reasonable and realistic. If your milestones are not challenging enough, then your staff might become demotivated, and your profit margins can shrink. Making project deadlines too challenging is another motivation killer and your staff are unlikely to work well, harming efficiency and productivity.
When setting up milestones, you can also set goals for your team to aim for individually and as a collective. Goals will help give your team something to aim for and meeting goals will help keep morale high. It can also be a good idea to reward your employees occasionally for meeting goals, and even showing appreciation can help keep employees enthused.
Use Time Tracking Tools
Time tracking tools can give you a wealth of information about the performance of your employees and your business overall. Such tools can break down an employee’s working day into separate tasks, giving you insights that can be a powerful team management aid.
Some of those insights include the following:
How much time is spent on particular tasks
How productive an employee is compared to their colleagues
Your employees’ attendance records
Identifying which tasks are time-consuming and unproductive
Using time tracking tools will also help act as an effective deterrent should any of your employees be tempted to cheat or not make enough of an effort. This will help prevent unpleasant situations as well as helping to keep productivity high.
However, it’s a good idea to educate your employees on the importance of time tracking, otherwise they might object to being monitored so closely.
In addition to letting you track time, time tracking tools will also often come with other useful features that will help you manage your business effectively. For example, the time tracking and project management platform by PK4Tech offers powerful tools that help you manage your milestones and give you a comprehensive view of your operations.
Such tools are fed with masses of useful information that will help you with team management, and you will have hard, accurate data rather than incomplete information and estimates.
Hold regular meetings and get regular updates from employees. Getting together as a group will help the team communicate effectively and help the manager to guide their team in the right direction. Meetings are the ideal occasion to raise issues with your team, making for good team management that will help you come to a solution together.
Remember that meetings work both ways and it’s essential that your employees get to give their feedback as well. If there is anything wrong with the project, your employees will know about it first, so listening can help you fix issues before they become a problem.
This brief guide has covered some of the basics of measuring employee performance and productivity. It’s important to define your KPIs before you get started and let everybody know what is expected of them in terms of productivity.
You should also set project deadlines to help you track progress, and regular meetings will help ensure you get essential feedback and you get full updates on how well everything is going. And last but by no means least, use time tracking software to help you gather and use data to help you make the right decisions. Remember, the information at your disposal can make the difference between success and failure, so it makes sense to put that data to work.