Project Management: Using Data to Increase Profitability and Reduce Risks
By Curt Finch, CEO, Journyx
Project management data – which is obtained from time tracking information – is often an area
that could be improved in many companies. Recent studies (1) have shown that cost reductions
of 6.5 percent are common from improvements in tracking time from the project management
area alone. This compares with improvements of about 5 percent for billing automation (1) or 1
percent for payroll automation (2).
Time tracking data (payroll, billing, project management, and strategy) can be used to improve
project management in the areas of:
• Costing- How much have we spent?
Tracking - Are we done yet?
• Management - What should we do next?
• Estimation Improvement - How much is this going to cost us?
• Sarbanes-Oxley Act- Are IT capitalization costs and revenue recognition numbers
accurate? Or am I going to jail?
If a time tracking system supports pay rates and pay rules, such as overtime calculations, it can
provide extremely accurate per-project cost data. If not, a record of hours worked per project is
still a powerful indication of cost if an average hourly cost per employee can reasonably be
Most project time-tracking systems support some way of indicating what percentage of each
project is complete. Combined with the cost data described above, this can create an early
warning system for projects that are going out of control. If you've spent 45 percent of the money
allocated for a project, but are only 10 percent done, it's time to hit the panic button.
Any project time-tracking system that is worth its salt will be able to limit an employee’s or
department’s visibility into the project list. An employee confronted with 500 entries on his
timesheet will usually enter bad data. Pushing this burden up to an administrator will vastly
improve data accuracy. You can also use this mechanism to assign people to projects, limit hours
on projects, and see who has been assigned to wh