This week we released the latest version of the Binfire’s online project management software. We have enhanced the UI in many places including the Kanban boards. There are two brand new features in the application: time tracking and bug tracking. In this blog I will cover time tracking feature. In later blogs we will cover Kanban board and the new bug tracking feature in detail.
Time tracking is an integral and important part of the project management discipline. Both remote teams and traditional teams use time tracking to track a project’s cost. Time tracking is a tool that helps to track time spent by each member in a project. For a long time we have been planning to add this feature to our application, but did not get to it. To add this feature in the app, we had two options. The first option was to develop our own time tracking tool. The second option was to integrate our app with a third party time tracking tool. Some vendors like Asana use third party time trackers. We studied several time tracking gadgets such as Harvest, Toggl & Hours. None met out requirements so we decided to develop our own. Our main concerns where ease of use and reporting. It is always easier to integrate with a third party tools than developing your own. You can go to the market faster and spend less money on development and testing. So why we decided to develop our own time tracking gadget you might ask? We believe it is always better to have tools which are integrated tightly in the application. Below I have listed several reasons for developing our own time tracker tool.
- Better integration of time tracking with the project management application.
- Better integration of time tracking with task management. Each task has its own time tracking clock. When you start tracking time, any other task which you have been tracking time for will stop. This helps avoid double counting and over charging the customer. Another benefit, you can start the time tracker and leave the application. The application will track the time while you are offline.
- Better integration of time tracking with bug tracking. Not only can you track time spent on tasks you can also track time spent on bug fixes.
- Better control overwhich tasks you can use the time tracker. For example a task needs to start first before time tracking function is enabled for it.
- Better ability to create reports. Theapplication creates accurate time-sheets and time tracking reports.
- Better ability of modifying records in case somebody forgets to start or stop a timer. The edit function allows the user or the project manager to change the tracked times in case of errors.
- Better reporting, we offer the best reporting for both one project or all projects you have in your plan.
The main issue with using a third party tools is the integration via an API. APIs is most cases are not as efficient as native tools. Another problem is that the user needs to sign up for two different applications. Often the user has to pay for two separate applications.
Another issue is that the data is only synced a few times a day between the two applications. This created blind spots where the data might not be accurate in one of the two applications. Although most applications have a manual sync option, why bother? Manual Sync not needed if you use an integrated project management application!
Binfire’s new tool is the easiest way to keep track of time in a project management application. To start tracking time, the user only needs to click on the clock timer found for every task in the task description section. To stop time tracker the user clicks on the clock again. The application creates timesheets and reports in Excel format that you can download.
Recording time your employees spend on internal or external project is important to your company’s bottom line. Using Binfire you can use the best tool in the market and not pay for project management application plus a tool for tracking time. If is important to you to have this feature as part of the project management application and you’d like a free demo of the Binfire Project Management software, please click on this link.