We’re often faced with the paradoxical task of helping IT organizations who don’t want to execute on time tracking of their IT resources but would like to optimize those same resources. I’m sure that you can instantly see the impossibility of this as the variable of resource usage needs to be known to solve the resource problem. Factors in the resource equation are:
- The number of resources – staff is separated into teams. Each team would have a total of a whole number greater or equal to zero that could be assigned similar tasks.
- Availability of resources – staff each have availability. There is their overall readiness, 40 hours, minus their holidays, sick time, training, meetings, etc.
- Resource requirements – tasks and work instructions with time units associated with projects.
- Prediction of resource capacity – help desk work, if team is assigned to help desk, would be a predicted value based on individual resource activity over a short period (30 days)
With these known variables we are then able to optimize our resources.
- Number of resources = 5
- Availability of resources = 5×40 = 200 hrs
- Resource requirements = 150 hrs
- Prediction of resource capacity = 60%
- Resource capacity = 200 * 60% = 120 hrs
- Resource requirements are 150 hrs
- Resource deficit of 30 hours
Tracking Resource Time is important. It provides your organization with a true picture of what your IT teams are working through and provides the project and help desk managers with true insight that could affect their overall satisfaction rates. In the above example, either the help desk or the projects will be impacted. The hours must come from somewhere. Real insight into resource management will allow everyone to plan, create proper schedules, maintain high levels of customer service, achieve project plans and maintain staff morale.
Tips for Employee Time Tracking
- Use a single tool to track help desk and project management time
- Use spreadsheets sparingly – it creates too much work and is an unsustainable activity
- If your teams are not used to tracking their time, then some strategy on this change needs to be considered. Incomplete data will make the process and the resulting data valueless.
- Pilot the time collection activity with a selected few resources – the ones that are the most resistant. If you can find a method and process that works for them, then you’ve got a chance of winning.
- Use the data – no matter how much information you get, share it with the team(s). If you go to meetings without the information that you collected and start asking people what they’re doing with their day you are sunk. The staff will understand that while you’ve asked for the data, you don’t value it or their time. See Dilbert’s boss for example.
TeamHeadquarters can help you with your Time Tracking of IT Resources – easily and effectively with little or no administrative strain on resources. Learn more with a personalized demonstration.