The PMO is asking for a timesheet on every desk because their schedules are virtually worthless without employee hours and input.
You just can't expect to create project schedules without daily input from team members. There is just too much change. Without that input, schedules quickly stagnate. Dates get old. Estimated durations no longer reflect reality, as the project team has discovered. Tasks have changed or have been deleted. And you're left with an old document everyone laughs at.
"Oh, that must be last week's schedule! Can you print an updated one?"
To prevent that you must have the following employee input:
- Timesheet hours posted against tasks, so you can compare actuals with estimates
- Ability for employees to add, modify, and delete tasks, so the schedule reflects reality
- Ability for employees to mark tasks as complete, so you know which ones are done
- Ability for team members to add or remove themselves from task assignments
Scoll down below the video for a deeper discussion.
Project managers poll engineers
Project managers end up running around asking engineers what has changed. You'll see them setting in engineer's offices for no other reason than to poll the individual for information to update their schedules. And then a week later the whole scene repeats itself. Both the engineer and the PM start to realize how pointless the whole sequence is, and eventually it ends.
Engineers give up on inefficient processes
It doesn't take long for engineers to give up on inefficient processes. They may not know why the polling process above isn't working, but they can sense the futility of it pretty quickly. That futility steps from repeating the same scenario of asking for updates for a schedule nobody uses. And to be clear, the project schedule is not used because it never reflects reality. You can't rely on it. You can't pull it out and look up dates because you know it's gone stale.
Let engineering timesheets drive the project schedule
Why not put the power into the boots on the ground? Instead of PM's polling engineers for scheduling info, why not let the engineers update the project schedule themselves? They know the ground game. Problem is, engineers also eschew paperwork and admin tasks. If they sense a shift from technical to admin, they will flee.
Of course, the actual hours from engineer's timesheets natually suggest task update. Estimated hours get blown through just by entering timesheet hours. You look back at the estimates and realize something has to change. Those are perfect times for PM's to jump in and suggest changes. Engineers are usually happy to work with a PM when situations like this exist.
"Hey, let's get together and straighten out these tasks."
A timesheet on every desk
The engineer above is an elevated example because not every employee will put forth the effort to update their own tasks. There are a lot of employees that don't have the natural inquisitiveness and motivation to dive into the intricacies of project schedules. That's normal and okay. Fortunately, these employees don't need complex schedules that change every week. A few general catch-all tasks usually suffice.
But those employees still blow through tasks, so their timesheet input is crucial for making schedules relevant. You see their actual timesheet hours, and realize when tasks must be updated to reflect reality. Same process, just on a simpler basis, and one the PM can easily take care of without the employee every knowing it.
Business executives… Is your Project Management Office asking for Standard Time® timesheets on every desk?
I’m your online project assistant, and I can explain why!
The PMO is probably asking to compare actual hours with estimates. After all, projects without ‘actuals’ are lifeless, and you may be wasting your time without employee timesheet hours.
Standard Time feeds those hours into projects so you can make informed decisions. Budgets depend on your choice.
Don’t make rookie mistakes.