The usual development tools are code editors, assemblers, linkers, and debuggers. While from a business perspective, most software development companies also use project management and time-tracking software during their daily routine to deliver their products or services to their clients.
Tracking the time a project takes is going to improve your business in a variety of ways. You can run a more accurate day-to-day operation, and clients get accurate estimations on price and how long they can expect for deliverables.
Knowing precisely how much each project costs and the time it takes to complete is essential. And some excellent apps and tools help software companies do this with minimal effort. Here's what you should know about time tracking and how to utilize it to your advantage.
Why you Should Track Working Hours in your Development Agency
Tracking time spent on tasks is an excellent tool to help you run your business efficiently. You can keep tabs on your team to optimize performance and pricing while you can also create a professional environment that is fully transparent. Here are a few ways that tracking work hours can help you.
Bill your clients accurately
When you use time logging, you have an accurate sense of how much a project costs. This allows you to bill your clients properly. Once you're ready to invoice your clients, you can easily break down how much time your team has spent with a clear record of the hours. You probably use Jira for your projects, so you can use time logs from Jira to determine what was done, when, and for how long within a few clicks.
Evaluate the team's performance and optimize processes
When you use project time tracking, you look at how long tasks take. This allows you to see if there are some discrepancies with work performance and also allows you to create better processes. Optimizing processes can reduce the amount of time a project takes. By evaluating where the time goes with any given project, you can do better resource allocation and also begin to provide better time estimates to your clients.
Optimize your pricing
As you use project time tracking more and more, you'll have a much better view of the time and costs for each project you do. How many hours are billable and non-billable at the end of each month? The goal would be to end up with fewer non-billable hours. You can use your time and expense reports to more accurately estimate future projects, ensuring your profits on each project.
Assess the profitability of your projects
To grow your business is essential to measure the profitability to make changes and pivot as needed. By using time logging, you can easily measure profitability. The time tracking tool will allow you to look at how many hours someone puts in and how much they are paid hourly. You can look at expenses vs. revenue to see if your projects are as profitable as you need them.
What Features a Time Tracking Software Should Have for Development Teams
Tracking billable and non-billable time
As crucial as tracking your work time, it is even more critical to separate time into billable and non-billable. This separation of your logged hours will help you evaluate your time spent on each client and if it's worth it for you to continue working with the same rules.
If you see on the timesheets that your non-billable hours are just a fraction of your total working time, you are on the right track. But, if you realize that the ratio is almost equal, you must take immediate action and reevaluate your relationship with this client.
With a proper time tracking tool, like Elorus, you can track the billable and non-billable times of your projects, ensuring that your development agency stays profitable.
Integration with Tools that Developers use
Development agencies use many different tools, and there is no reason to add even more to their stack. The ideal scenario is to open the core development tools every morning and then use integrations for the rest.
For example, you can track your work time using Jira by integrating Elorus and accessing advanced time & productivity reports. So, you can continue using Jira for your project management needs and track your working hours effortlessly with Elorus-Jira integration.
Smart invoicing features
Since you have tracked your working time in detail, it's time to invoice your clients and start getting paid for your work. For example, using Elorus, you can set up your hourly project rates, and the system will calculate your billable hours and prepare the invoice for your client.
You can customize your invoices by adding your logo and colors based on your branding. At the same time, you can take advantage of more advanced features, like recurring invoices, auto reminders for your clients, and more.
A breakdown into tasks, subtasks, and tags
Time tracking in Jira allows you to select the project being worked on and filter through projects to get the necessary information. You can use tags and create tasks and subtasks through the Jira time tracker. This makes it easy to do the billing for each current project and helps you optimize internal processes by finding possible discrepancies within the project implementation.
Keep track of contractors, freelancers, or in-house employees
Since each individual does their time entries, you have a complete overview of the team's productivity at the unit level. So not only can you break things down by project, you can further break them down to the individual working on the project. As a result, you can make any team adjustments if you think there is room for improvement.
Project monitoring and expense tracking
Undoubtedly, time tracking is critical for your business's sustainability. Still, to complete the puzzle, you also need to know the company's costs at the project, client, or employee level. The only way to have a detailed picture of your business expenses is to set an hourly employee cost per project and link them to each project. That way, you will understand your projects' actual cost and make better budget allocation and planning decisions.
Time tracking is crucial for software development agencies. At the same time, there is a plethora of custom or already-made solutions that you may use for your business needs. Some are light software with a few features; others are more advanced, providing extra utilities. As an agency owner, you must research the available software, evaluate its features and pricing, and choose the one that fulfills your business needs.