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Outdated Time-Tracking Tools Frustrate Mobile-Savvy Workforce, Cost Businesses Time and Money

Manual Time and Task Entry Limits Insights, Pains the 78 Percent of Employees Who’d Welcome Mobile Applications

 Despite the obsession with agility, efficiency, and productivity, the evolution of technology has outpaced critical work processes. A new report, “Mobile Keeps Business Moving Forward”, reveals a mobile-savvy workforce struggling with outdated processes and eager for methods that complement their mobile lifestyle. Organizations using time and task data to guide business decisions over-rely on old-fashioned methods including Excel spreadsheets (28 percent) and pen and paper (36 percent).

Changepoint, a leading provider of project and portfolio management, enterprise architecture, and professional services management applications, surveyed more than 800 global project managers, executives, and IT professionals to understand how mobile has shaped today’s workforce. The study found inaccurate data collected via outdated methods and technologies threatens to stymie business growth.

The value of investing in mobile is clear: Fewer than half of employees are satisfied with their workplace technology according to a Forrester report¹. Inadequate, unfamiliar tools can negatively impact effectiveness while, fulfilling psychological needs can result in a highly-engaged workforce. Forrester found highly-engaged employees result in 81 percent higher customer satisfaction and 103 percent improvement in employee turnover. With nearly all (95 percent) survey respondents using their smartphone for work-related tasks during the day, aligning processes with the mobile workforce better positions businesses to compete.

While data is valued across the organization, time tracking data has long provided a foundation for informed resource decisions, controlling cost, and meeting contractual labor obligations. Organizations know the importance of accurate data yet, the majority of managers (77 percent) aren’t confident in the accuracy of the timesheets they approve. Meanwhile, nearly half (49 percent) of project managers aren’t sure they’re tracking their time right either. The likely culprit—inconvenient processes resulting in irregular, infrequent data entry and submission.

“We use our smartphone to check the weather, confirm flight info, read the news, call an Uber, or order coffee,” said Eric Bergman, vice president, product management at Changepoint. “Mobile is second nature but some of the most agile, tech-forward businesses still use spreadsheets and paper to collect business-critical data despite its impact on staffing and project decisions.”

Other key findings include:

  • Today’s workforce is mobile and device-driven. Throughout the workday, 95 percent of respondents use mobile for work-related tasks. More than one-third (35 percent) bring three to four devices to work and 78 percent would use a mobile app to input and submit time and task data.
  • An epidemic of multitasking. Individuals, contributors, and managers need simpler ways to manage work, especially given how often they juggle multiple projects. Virtually all (97 percent) team members are allocated to more than one project, with almost half (49 percent) on four or more, and 18 percent juggling seven or more. Managers are spread even more thin. Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) manage four or more projects and more than a quarter (26 percent) oversee seven or more.
  • Time tracking must be intuitive to be adopted. Eighty-three percent of respondents reported that their organization tracks time. Of the 17 percent who do not track time, the majority (81 percent) would if it was easier and 63 percent would use an app integrated with their PPM tool. A quarter (25 percent) of project managers believe tracking negatively impacts productivity. Employees want applications that work like they do–mobile and cross-platform.

“Technology frees employees to work anytime, anywhere, from any device,” said Bergman. “Applications like email and messaging have evolved to meet the needs of today’s hyper-connected, mobile workforce. Time-tracking should be simple, easy, and offer the same flexibility.”

For the full report, visit: http://changepoint.com/resources/white-papers/ppm-ea-mobile-keeps-business-moving-forward.

¹”Workforce Enablement Defined: Elevate Productivity And Engagement”, Forrester Research, Inc., April 14, 2016.

 

About Jean-Pierre Ullmo

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