Why do you continue to use your in-house Timesheet tool?

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Why do you continue to use your in-house Timesheet tool? The question is worth asking since there are a great amount of companies using their home-made timesheet tool, based on Excel files for example.

When we talk about our Timesheet and Billing Software, the main refrain we hear is, “But we already have an in-house Timesheet tool.”

And very often, that pseudo-application comes in the form of an Excel file or occasionally, it will be a web application.

And I ask you: Why do managers think that their solution is the best or good enough?

And why should your home-made timesheet tool be any better?

In fact, in the vast majority of cases, we suspect that it is simply a matter of habit, but for the purposes of this discussion, we can imagine three arguments:

 

– The managers sin by ignorance; wrongly believing that their solution does not cost them anything because it has been developed for ages.

The fact is that there are countless studies that show the staggering (and often unsuspected) cost of obsolete software in terms of user productivity but also the performance of the in-house tool itself; what is commonly referred to today as technological debt.

 

– Managers believe that their solution is perfectly adapted to their needs because they developed it themselves.

A software solution always meets X need at X time. In reality, the tool was created to solve a problem for certain users at a specific time in the evolution of a company or department. That’s why you should always budget for software evolution and maintenance (15% minimum), in order to keep the software in line with the evolution of the company’s and users’ needs. But from you to me, do you really believe that a company or a department that uses Excel files to manage the hours worked of its personnel and its projects is aware of the evolution of the needs of its users or of the possibilities offered by a real timesheet software?

 

– Managers are simply afraid of the change that the adoption of a new solution will bring or the obnoxiousness of a potential user rejection.

Thousands of books that could fill entire libraries have been written about the impact of fear of change and poor change management in business for decades. And all of these books share the same conclusion: poor change management can be very costly to the company, but even worse for the company is the absence of change!  Resistance to change is the worst enemy of Agility and therefore of Productivity.

 

But maybe you are still convinced of the relevance of your good old Excel file to manage the time of your employees?

In order to convince you of the necessity of having good productivity and management tools in place in your company, including a good timesheet software, allow us to present you with a few arguments in this regard.

 

Overview of the negative impacts of using an in-house timesheet solution

 

Inadequate invoicing

The manual process of invoicing from an Excel file of time sheets is a non-efficient process and prone to errors of all kinds for several reasons:

  • copy and paste between different systems or files to generate an invoice
  • expense reports and analysis missing
  • little or no follow-up of client relationships because you have not collected unstructured data on tasks and projects
  • if your billing model is not on time, then good luck…

 

Integrity of Time Sheets (in Excel format)

Errors can occur that will compromise the integrity of your projects and billing, for example, because Excel does not keep historical data.

  • Where will you find your historical data?
  • How will you be able to compare them?
  • How will you manage your different versions?
  • How will you make your backups?

 

Wasted time

And of course, what about productivity in terms of managing your timesheets when with a real timesheet software, the entry of your hours will be automatically associated to a task, a Project and/or a Client!

– entering timesheets will be laborious because you will first have to find the right file and if you work on several tasks or several clients in the same day, the same week; you will have a large number of files to handle

– how will you identify / associate the time attached to a given project or client?

 

Analysis and Reports

How will you get your global performance metrics from an Excel file?

How will you get the cost of tasks or clients or projects, for example, from an Excel file?

Or how will you calculate the profitability of a Project or a Customer from an Excel file?

 

Growth hindrance

And finally, do we need to remind you that beyond 15-20 employees, time management and billing will become even more perilous?

Imagine 40 employees working on 20 or so projects, each with about 50 tasks.

Now do the math on how many Excel files the company will have to handle!

 

 

Good luck with this…

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