Are you adequately assessing your progress and failure for each innovation? Is there any real-time data which you can instantly turn to your advantage?
If you are not tracking key indicators of a project, correct decisions on the future of your business are impossible.
For most companies metrics for the project’s success are blurred and unclear: “increased customer satisfaction”, “increased market share”, “increased profits” to name a few. While these ones are really important, they must have precise figures behind them. How many customers have to get a better service and how large the new target audiences have to be so that managers can say the project goals were achieved?
Real-time data is everything
While some second level managers still don’t see much sense in automatically measuring employee time and productivity apart from periodically making an office tour, it’s clear the future is now in digital technologies. Web-based solutions are a must have for tracking employees performance. Completely automated, they provide updated reports on performance and detailed description of an employees working day. Time and cost-consuming manual checks gradually disappear.
If you’re not using the best modern practices, you lack agility, in which case your business is losing profits. Online time tracking not only builds insightful reports but makes them available from anywhere so you can make the right decisions instantly.
Key time metrics to look at
Successful practices show it’s best to track 5 to 8 metrics for a project. First you track certain quantitative indicators (e.g., financial investment). Secondly, indicators such as time are equally important.
Once the innovation project is set up, time tracking software will collect the next metrics:
- time spent by employees on innovation activities and its share in total work time;
- time spent by senior management on innovation activities;
- time spent on beta testing, trials, launches of pilot programs, etc.;
- time spent on each phase of an innovation project, from generation of ideas to actual launch;
- ROI on the innovation project in terms of time and costs spent on its realization.
Set up goals to measure everything
Once your metrics are defined, it’s time to proceed to goals for each of them. Here’s where data collected by time tracking software are irreplaceable as they helps set up achievable goals. With real-time reports on how your team is progressing, what the most time-consuming activities are, what phase of the project demands more time, etc. you’re able to motivate the team with realistic timelines, not test everyone’s limits.
Online time tracking software helps you stay flexible
Agility is everything: one can hardly expect a project will proceed in strict accordance to the plan. Data collected by time tracking software will show where change is needed. This way you could adjust your goals and deadlines to real results.
Providing your team with the metrics on their performance is a smart way to keep them posted on current progress as well as a guide towards improvement. This could be another way to help everyone stay flexible.
One more advantage of online time tracking software for the project’s success
Online time tracking software helps avoid lagging metrics, that is, data which you can analyze only retrospectively. If the interim, results of the project are not what you’ve planned (and there’s a 100% probability that at some point something will go wrong as Murphy’s law wisely reminds us), lagging metrics won’t show you what exactly is pulling you back.
At the same time, online time tracking software accumulates historical data on productivity so dynamics of different projects’ progress can be compared and analyzed.
Practice shows that if innovation progress is accurately measured actually foretells success of the project. Only with precise feedback positive change can be fostered and goals can really be achieved.