Tcal and Time Tracking
As for “time tracking”, we intend a way to record how much time a worker has spent on a specific job.
Called “timesheet” too, it was originally used to fix the employer salary (how much time he spent in the company).
On a modern service company, where several employers work on the same project, time tracking is used to record start and ending time of a specific job or just its time span, keeping trace of how many working hours are allocated to each project step and to the overall project. These information can then be used to set invoicing and the “project management”.
This project management data can make complex cost relationships visible, thereby allowing lower costs. This knowledge can drive corporate strategy as users stop performing or reassigning unprofitable work.
Time tracking software, or timesheet software, is an accounting software that is used to maintain timesheets for each person in a company. Such software allows employees to enter their time, which can be approved/rejected by supervisors or project managers.
Tcal is the easiest way to input working hours, on each project step, for each resource.
Three concepts originated Tcal:
- Which software to use for project management
- How to input each worker hours for each task.
- How to keep a flexible company management system, avoiding frozen custom solutions.
A) Many small companies use a simple database solution, built with FileMaker Pro or Microsoft Access, bought in a store, as a management system for job orders, instead of “custom” management solutions, costly and less flexible.
They prefer commercial database because of how easy it is to modify it or implement new company needs, formatting, reports, exporting...
B) Whoever works with computer is accustomed to the graphic interface of calendars as Outlook, iCal, Entourage. Because of how easy is to create events, deadline, alarms, this became a “de facto” standard for time input or for month and week display of events/appointments. The problem is that these calendars, using a proprietary internal database that is not easy to work with, do not allow to link new event to the work they refer to. If the architect works 5 hours on Monday on a new house project and 3 hours on Tuesday on an interior solution for a different client, how is it possible, at the end of the month when he needs to invoice, to quantify the worked hours? And on what basis will he prepare a new estimate in the future, for an analogous job?
C) Companies, employing a number of professionals, create Teams, for large projects and each team member follow a different task. Each task is a cost generator that, on a service company, is billed by the hour or by the day. The awareness of these costs makes a successful estimate and helps on keeping a client’s business. Each Team member is probably also the member of other Teams, on different projects.
The resource management is then fundamental for a company, as is the capacity of each group member to have knowledge of how much time he and the other members of the group have spent on a project.
The solution we propose is to separate the time input instrument from the management one, giving tough the option to link the two instruments:
Tcal is a shared, cross platform, full feature calendar that allows all the main function of a modern calendar: share events, invitations and answers for shared events, administrator privileges, alarms, etc.
When Tcal gets connected, it makes available to the user the lists of resources and jobs (current jobs) getting them from databases (made by you on FileMaker or Access). When the user creates an event (for example: Monday, from 9 am to 11 am), he can link it to a specific Job name or number and add all the Team resources that belong to that event (a survey, for example...).
At the end of the week you can then produce a report. With a simple click, the week get “certified”: on a different database, Tcal creatse the records for each resource, for all the working hours dedicated to each project over the week. These records are then available to be formatted and handled at your will on the database you created.