Many projects need to keep an accountancy on timesheets and expenses by team members to control the project finishes on budget and also for work invoicing. Organizations should avoid bureaucracy on time and expenses tracking to increase productivity.

Projects should be broken down into manageable work packages. Let’s imagine a project. As of status day, cost variance is €10k and if no corrective action is taken, forecast at closing states variance at completion will be as much as €15k. Corrective actions should be allocated to work packages, not to the whole project. For each work package, we need to measure actual cost up to date. For some projects, tracking is simple if they have only a few cost accounts. What if we need to track timesheets and expenses for every team member? Chances are there is too much waste keeping project managers devoted to non-value activities, with no time left to make good decisions.

The impact on team members is more concerning. If one single person has not reported timesheets and expenses the last day of the month, the entire organization may not proceed with the accounting monthly closing procedure. This situation is critical: managers go and find this person and make him report as soon as possible. This person has travelled a lot during the month, he has worked for several projects, and he also has non billable activities like sales, trainings, etc. He needs to collect all ticket receipts, recall actual hours, etc. Not to mention that some regulations enforce workers register start and end hours for each working day, overtime hours, etc.

Doing this under pressure is a recipe to inaccuracy and mistakes. Reported data is likely wrong and team member has not done any value work the whole morning. He maybe ends up the day with the feeling or poor productivity. To make things worse, the process is not done yet. The project manager, or other person responsible, have to approve timesheets and expenses. If they are rejected, discussions will occur to have this fixed and start the process over again. Consider now the multiplicative effect in projects with many people, in organizations with many projects. All this bureaucracy can have alarming economic consequences. It can also damage team morale.

The only effective way to put an end to the tedious hassle of time and expense tracking is online reporting. Once a day, or at least once a week, team members should register timesheets and expenses. Once a week, or at least biweekly, they should submit data so that managers can approve or reject. People can only make this a habit if tools help them do it quickly, via web or, even better, with a mobile application.

PMPeople tool follows a two-way workflow between team members and project managers. See this chart for timesheets –similar case for expenses.

PMPeople get people focused on the real work, saving unproductive time in many ways:

  1. Team members take only a minute to record facts when they actually happen, from their computers or using the mobile application. They can attach a ticket receipt photo taken with their mobile, for instance.
  2. Time can be automatically tracked for one activity or than one in parallel.
  3. Team members can use timesheet templates if they have repetitive activities week after week.
  4. Start and finish work hours are initialized automatically, making team member only have to manage exceptions, overtime, out of calendar works, etc.
  5. Managers can approve or reject days or weeks from their computer or mobile application. They can also approve or reject in bulk.
  6. Managers can manage planned and actual capacity effectively by team members, projects, programs, portfolios, business units or the whole organization, for variable time frames for days, weeks and months.

PMPeople cannot automate recording or prevent people need to talk about disagreements, but it can optimize time and expenses workflows.

PMPeople is the tool for the project economy. It is aimed to unify professional project management by these differential points:

  • Designed by and for professional project managers, following professional project management standards.
  • Online productivity –less meetings, less documents, less workflows– through distributed collaboration among 12 specialized roles: Organization Owner, 6 roles on demand management and 5 roles on supply management.
  • Freemium product –unlimited time, unlimited users, only managers have to pay– usable via web and mobile application.

Start using PMPeople for free, for unlimited time and for any number of users. In premium organizations, only managers have to pay. Several roles –stakeholders, team members, sponsors and resource managers– are always free. You can increase or decrease your premium seats according to the organization actual needs. Premium organizations have access to our interactive support through Slack. Our servers are located in EU. This software can also be hosted on customer premises.