Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Posted on July 17, 2013

A Better Way of Time Management

The idea of building Weavora, a small-sized company with a focus on custom web-development, was born 3 years ago. The other co-founders and I had already had a great deal of experience in the information technology industry & and were well aware of major drawbacks software companies usually had.

With this in mind, we started our own company based on the following crucial principles:

  • We are a reliable team of professionals;
  • No bureaucracy, minimum control;
  • Contribution of each member at each stage is highly appreciated;
  • Most challenging projects to be accepted;
  • Continuous self-development & self-education.

However, it’s easier said than done when starting your own business from scratch. It’s always a matter of approach you employ for building a business processes, managing informational flows, dealing with organizational issues, etc.

One of the peculiarities that we faced was time tracking. For years, it has remained one of the most controversial points in software development. Frankly speaking, most of the developers I have ever worked with lack self-organization and don’t like any time tracking tools.

It’s no wonder that the Internet is packed with articles about how useless time tracking is, that logging time is a time-waster, that it’s impossible to measure creativity in hours as the idea doesn’t arise as scheduled, etc. Finally, they claim that it’s better to bill the result, not the time spent.

Of course, it is a very tricky issue & there are always plenty of arguments “for” & “against”. After a series of meetings within our team we have come to the conclusion that tracking time really matters. Another question is how we’ll use & analyze the time logged, what time tracking policy we’ll adhere to. But the core point we’ve all agreed upon is while working with time we need to know how we distribute & spend it.

You might be aware of different time management policies. We’ll tell you about our approach using Everhour, our own tool. We track every hour each team member spends at work, let’s call it project time. However, billable time includes only hours spent on a certain project – effective time. Can you feel the difference? We don’t bill our internal meetings, code review, coffee & smoking breaks. Our customers pay only for the time efficiently spent on their projects.

What’s more, with this dual-time approach all the members of our team know how much of their time is devoted to each project, they can measure their efficiency and even find out about their busiest & laziest days. We strive to adhere to the most transparent approach & keep our customers fully informed about our work.

Regular time tracking reports are very generic: the task & the time spent. What makes Everhour distinct is a very detailed, personal report for each team member.

Before we came up with our own time tracking tool we’d used different tracking approaches: from non-tracking time to Google spreadsheets, oDesk, Redmine etc. Total control tools like oDesk with taking screenshots contradict our basic principles. Redmine & Google spreadsheets lack flexibility & opportunities for analysis.

Besides, these tracking tools don’t count seek days, holidays, vacations, time off work for personal reasons. Every company faces it all and all their employees have to send a bunch of e-mails copies to dozens of people to inform them about vacation or a day off. However, in the end nobody remembers why and when you have been absent. Everhour gives an opportunity to track all kinds of time for each team member.

Being a project manager you can keep asking your team about the current progress on every task, which issue is the most time-consuming, what problems they face, etc. Or you can check out the project dashboard & find this information in a minute instead of distracting your employees.

We’ve come up with Everhour after endless trial & error and got a smart-featured geeky tool, clear & simple, with the minimalistic & intuitive interface. Each member of the team has contributed to the product development highlighting their personal time tracking needs. When working on Everhour we’ve learned to provide better estimates for certain tasks & projects, which significantly influence the eventual result.

Moreover, we find Everhour useful not just purely for work, but for other corporate & personal activity as well. We pay particular attention to team-building & track the time we spend on sports, corporate events, professional & personal workshops, coffee breaks, lunch, corporate poker & other cool things we do together.

You’ll never start changing your routine unless you know for sure what is missing & what you can fit in it.

They say awareness is core to changes. Figure out what you spend your life on, day by day… and change it to the better with Everhour.

We have done it with our team & we want to share our encouraging experience with you.

Stop idling away – track your time for a crucial change in your life.