Workamajig: Where to begin? Timesheets.

Workamajig implementation can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to configure a new software system, but ideally, you have to evaluate your current practices and identify opportunities to streamline them. Oh yeah, and you have to learn how to actually use Workamajig. This process begs the question: where do I begin? The answer is timesheets.

Timesheets are a predictor of your company’s ability to streamline operations and use Workamajig to its full potential in the same way that a child’s reading level by the second grade is a predictor of their success in education. You need to have a time entry policy clearly defined before going live with this system. More importantly, you must have controls in place to manage this process, and make sure they are being adhered to. Many companies look for creative incentives to encourage proper time entry. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but ultimate success will come from the top of your organization.

It is easy for a president or manager to say they think time entry is important, but actions speak louder than words. I am not advocating a system for punishment. Rather, top management must create a chain of accountability for adhering to this process. That means they must buy-in, and hold their staff accountable to this ideal. No employee wants to sit in a closed door meeting with their boss to discuss time entry. Better yet, managers don’t want to sit in a closed door session with their company president and be held responsible for staff not adhering to a time policy. The motivation becomes clear and you will discover that we may be talking about your organization’s ability to execute more than we are talking about time entry.

So why are timesheets so important anyway? Workamajig is a comprehensive system. All members of your team log in to a system and rely on the information they need to be accurate. Time entry forms the basis for most information in your system. If your team cannot rely on its accuracy, then they will not rely on Workamajig for information. Your efforts for Workamajig success begin to erode at this early stage of acceptance, and your investment just became a machine your employees feel obligated to feed — rather than a tool to align multiple departments managing complicated information towards a common goal.

Daily time entry also tends to drive data and process in well-managed Workamajig systems. Time entry can be utilized to evaluate progress on a project, communicate task workload to other employees, and keep real-time monitoring of project budgets. This marvel of efficiency and communication will be as effective as your teams time entry.

Workamajig does not solve your business’s problems. It does not make your company run more effectively. Workamajig is the most effective tool you have, however, to manage a complicated business. It is a tool, best capable of mirroring the discipline and process your are willing to manage in your organization. Maybe your team isn’t “there” yet. For those groups, Workamajig proves it value and creates a bridge to take your organization to a higher standard of operation.

Workamajig is a powerful tool and will require an investment of your time to learn and manage it properly. You will find it to be a continuing education, one that can help you establish and refine your company’s most precious intangible asset: information. Proceed cautiously and don’t expose your team to the growing pains of learning a new system if you do not feel confident in your time entry policy and your ability to execute it effectively.

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