Not familiar with Chronemics? Believe it or not, it’s the study of time in the role of communication. Since the 1970s scholars have been analyzing how human beings perceive and value time, structure time, and react to time. In fact, scholars have defined two typical approaches to time management:
- Monochronic Time – typically associated to Western and Eastern Asian cultures where time management is linear and broken down to small units in which tasks are done one at a time.
- Polychronic Time – typically adopted by most cultures outside of those indicated above, where the preciseness of time is less important than the development of relationships and maximizing one’s time by multi-tasking.
Chronemics looks at the relationship between power and time which is highly valued in both monochronic and polychronic societies. This means, the value placed on time would be dependent on an individual’s level of power. In the business world, regardless of your culture, a boss’ time is perceived more valuable than his/her subordinates based on the perceived value delivered by that person and their position. Hence, the popular analogy that Bill Gates makes more money ignoring a $1000 bill in the street and going to work, than taking the time to pick it up!
All this being said, time does matter and the ability to effectively capture and track time can directly impact your bottom line by analyzing the losses and the gains of time invested both personally and professionally. As for businesses that live and die by the “time” (aka project) they sell to their customers, time capture is even more critical. Professional services organizations are a classic example of where the selling of projects are time-bound to the revenue they generate. Without the careful understanding of the monetary value of time and the ability to accurately capture time to bill their customers, revenue leakage is inevitable. Yet many services firms do not take the time to effectively invest in timesheet technology that is core to their business. As a result, capturing valuable time can get lost in cumbersome spreadsheets that are prone to error and face resistance from those who are stuck with the chore of submitting timesheets.
Chronemics preaches that time is valuable. Yet many organizations today are still losing this valuable commodity due to a lack of process and means to effectively track time. Consequently, the rise of online timesheets has emerged to address this challenge.
Here are 5 reasons why your services business should consider the deployment of online timesheets:
- Centralize time capture – When working on multiple projects, centralizing time capture is key in effectively organizing and tracking captured time and reducing errors often resulting in a decentralized system (e.g. spreadsheets).
- Maximize user adoption – Online timesheets eliminates the excuse of lost information or limited access to details for time entry. Online timesheets are accessible at all times and typically on all platforms.
- Improve billing cycles – With an increase in user adoption and the ability to better enforce timesheet deadlines, online timesheets will allow organizations to get entries captured quickly, approved and fed into their billing system for more efficient invoicing and payment.
- Adhere to compliance – Many organizations struggle with complying with industry standards and/or government regulations to audit employee work. Online timesheets are designed to automate this process.
- Keep stakeholders in the loop – Approvals of timesheets by internal stakeholders and/or customers can be complex and a lengthy process which impacts billing. Enterprise Online timesheets can quickly integrate approval workflows mapped to an organization’s business process, providing the much needed visibility in project and task execution.
About the Author: Neil Stolovitsky has over 15 years of IT experience with end-user, consulting, and vendor organizations, along with extensive expertise in business development, software selection, and channel strategies. He has published numerous white papers and articles covering Professional Services Automation, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for service industries, Project Portfolio Management, IT Governance, and New Product Development to a global audience. Neil currently holds the position of Senior Solution Consultant with Upland Software.
To learn more about Upland Software’s Enterprise Timesheet offering go to: uplandsoftware.com/timesheet