Are you using your time wisely?
The company cuts down on the control and level of detail in the time recording – to the benefit of both employees and deliveries.
One of kaastrup|andersen's customers, a large manufacturing company, experienced a high degree of frustration and demotivation among employees in connection with the extensive time recording in projects. The time registration constituted a large administrative task, which was not part of their core task or interest and did not add any value to the projects – in other words: the employees lost focus on their actual tasks and felt exposed to rigid control.
In short, the company wanted to simplify time recording and instead increase the focus on deliveries and value creation. Read about how the project is progressing - and the visions behind it.
The customer had a time recording system, which had been expanded over several years as the organization and business grew. The challenges were not so much in the IT system itself, but in the many processes that the employees had to carry out to enter the time registrations correctly. The individual employee spent a long time recording time spent – often in several systems. This was done to secure information for use in reporting and compliance with internal rules and procedures, for example in connection with settlements between departments. At the same time, the information from the time registration was part of what activated costs in terms of accounting in the projects and was thus a deeply integrated part of the financial processes.
The company has a desire to simplify the time recording, so that the employees can get rid of the cumbersome processes and save time in connection with the time recording and focus on their actual tasks and progress. Until now, all time spent on projects is registered by the individual project member as the hours are used. The vision for the new setup is that the project members will not have to register their hours. The hours consumed in the project must be recorded on the basis of estimates and resource allocations made by the project manager in collaboration with the technical manager and the line manager.
The immediate challenge therefore consists in uncovering the many processes and dependencies in the time registration area and designing a solution that covers both reporting needs, local and national legislation - and which still ensures an acceptable degree of precision.
The project set out uncovering and mapping the many dependencies, processes, responsibilities and roles in connection with the time registration. It turned out to be an extremely complex task with a large number of stakeholders and many expectations for different kinds of reporting with a high level of detail.
One of the central questions is whether the time records will become more accurate when changin from real time spent to estimates. Experience shows that the estimates overall (if they are adjusted on an ongoing basis) are almost as accurate as the real numbers (a deviation of 5% on average) and this speaks for the fact that the time consumption can be recorded at project level and in chunks. But here additional challenges arise: what happens to the accounting for the time spent in a project that employs both salaried employees and hourly paid employees - and where the members of the project team are employed in different countries? It is clear that the time consumption calculated at individual level is necessary to be able to pay and to be able to meet various national legal requirements for reporting to the authorities.
The close connection with the company's general financial processes was also scrutinized and mapped, so that the potential consequences of changes became clear. Here, too, it was clear that both time recording processes and systems are fundamental to the company's operation and growth, and the management's opportunities for overview, management and planning.
The project's extensive uncovering work has brought a large number of realizations and insights, among other things a finding that there is no real 'owner' in the organization of either processes or systems related to time registration. This makes the work even more difficult and gives reason to also focus on ownership and decision-making ability in the area in the future.
The company expects to achieve the goal of a simpler system that eases the time registration processes. The project's result so far is the comprehensive uncovering and mapping that provides the basis for making the right decisions about the new system and the new processes. The extensive information thus forms the basis for detailed planning of the further process.
The organization is aware that a maturation process has been initiated and that it takes time both to design the new processes, but also to change the attitude of the stakeholders to what the core task of the time registration system is - and whether the previous reports should remain unchanged.
The cultural change is already underway: the goal of empowering the employees, of showing that they are trusted and that they must work with what they are hired for and not complicated administrative tasks, has won favor with the stakeholders.
Other functions and departments in the large company are watching from the sidelines to assess and gather experience for similar initiatives at their own; there is no doubt that in the future the company will see a shift in attitude and practices in relation to time recording.
kaastrup|andersen is at the head of the initiative and ensures progress and alignment between the many stakeholders.
How does time registration affect your processes, your employees - and thus your focus, deliveries, and business? Contact us and let us look at how we can help your business free up (even) more power for growth and progress. Call or write to Lars Glowienka on 41825925 or firstname.lastname@example.org.