Project and task monitoring: a new set of tools for monitoring project teams in Kickidler →

Project and Task Tracking: A New Set of Tools to Monitor Project Teams with Kickidler

Project and Task Tracking: A New Set of Tools to Monitor Project Teams with Kickidler

Note: the new functionality is currently in its testing phase.

Release date: ~ early February 2024.

We are proud to introduce a major update to our Kickidler employee monitoring software focused on project monitoring – Kickidler Project Tracking! 

Now, you can easily track your employees' productivity and workload in the context of specific tasks! You'll be able to find out, down to the precise number of hours, how much time your employees were REALLY working on a specific project or task, how productive they were, what apps and websites they were using, which projects they spent more time on, which ones they spent less time on, and most importantly, HOW MUCH IT ACTUALLY COST YOU.

Our new feature will greatly improve o,verall management efficiency, simplify the monitoring of project resources, and make life easier for both managers and employees alike.

Important note: Kickidler software with its new functionality will not become a project management tool, but rather it will be a project MONITORING tool. That is, our task remains the same – we make it easier for managers to monitor employees, only we are now extending this feature to cover entire project teams.

Project and task progress in Kickidler

Gantt Chart

The first new and unique feature is the Gantt chart, which visualizes the overall progress of all your projects and epics (large sub-projects), along with the correlation between epics. Typically, the Gantt chart isn't used for time tracking, but during the designing stages we came to the conclusion that when analyzing the work on a project, it's very important to have a general overview of the work progress, as well as the ability to see data not only for the whole project, but also for an individual epic. Let's say, for example, if you have a "Website Development" project that consists of the " Competitive Analysis", "Technical Assignment Writing", "Design" and "Programming" epics, you can easily see how productive the employees involved ONLY in the "Design" epic were and find out why the deadline was pushed back, thus delaying the next co-dependent "Programming" epic.

Gantt Chart. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Tasks

Each project or epic will consist of tasks. Contrary to the concepts mentioned above, tasks can be created by both managers and employees. These tasks will be placed on a convenient Kanban board and moved by drag-n-drop depending on their status.

Tasks. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Time tracking of projects and tasks and attention focus

Time tracking

Each project or epic will contain horizontal tabs that show detailed statistics about it. For example, the Time Tracking tab shows exactly how much time your employees worked on the project, as well as the time trends by days, weeks and months.

Time tracking. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Attention focus

We first thought about the need for such a report while developing a cloud version of our own product. The deadline for Kickidler Cloud got pushed back three times, and we couldn't find the reason what was going wrong. According to the productivity reports, the employees were working in their usual manner, their productivity was good, tasks were being completed, so why was the overall progress not up to expectations?

We tested various hypotheses: lack of skills of developers, planning errors, wrong prioritization. It was the last assumption that turned out to be the correct one: our team was working smoothly, but not exactly on the things that needed to be done – they spent a lot of time on custom development, while the main task didn't get the attention it deserved. If we had been able to view not only the general indicators in Kickidler reports, but also the detailed statistics tied to individual projects, the root cause would have been obvious from the very beginning. 

Now Kickidler has such features! With the help of the Gantt chart, you can assess the overall state of affairs for each project in mere minutes, while the "Attention Focus" feature allows you to see how a particular employee allocates their time:

Attention focus. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Project financials

These new features will save you from prioritization worries, and at the same time will greatly simplify the final assessment of the company's costs for certain tasks, calculation of ROI and so on. It becomes very handy if you have several teams working on different projects that can delegate individual tasks to each other.

For example, one of our clients working in the financial sector has more than a dozen subordinating software development teams. Each of them carries out their own tasks, but the projects are still linked and the workload is uneven, so the teams regularly turn to each other for help. It is organized as a somewhat "internal order": those who need help act as clients and formulate technical assignments, and the team that is executing the project evaluates these assignments and issues an invoice. 

The problem is that without thorough control over the work on a particular project, it is difficult for the so-called "customer" – and the auditor in the form of senior management – to assess the accuracy of pricing based on these internal invoices. Let's say that the executing team requested a month of time and a budget of $1 million for a certain task. The question then is, how does this actually correspond to reality? What if there was only a week's worth of work, and the rest of the time they were doing their own projects, while simultaneously using the budget of another department?

With Kickidler's new functionality, these questions disappear. All you have to do is look at the project financials report and find out the exact cost of a project or epic, based on the actual time spent on the project and the salary rates of the employees involved.

Project financials. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Monitoring employee productivity and workload

Another widespread problem is professional burnout, and it is also directly related to project planning and monitoring. It would seem that if a person earnestly works their 8 hours a day, it doesn’t really matter what exactly they are busy with. However, when it comes to reality, it is important to recognize that switching between different tasks is the peak brain strain. Employees need to clear the information on one project out of their head and then focus on another project. And it needs to be done quickly, seeing how we subconsciously regard a "switch" like this as unproductive activity, which does not bring us any closer to solving the problem.

The more such switches occur during the workday, the faster the overall stress level rises. A very telling example is the case of one of our clients, a high-tech company where one of the system analysts suddenly experienced a burnout amidst seemingly prosperous external conditions. Everything looked fine according to the reports: his productivity was slightly above average for his position, he was coping well with the tasks, yet his colleagues with the same indicators calmly carried on working, while this specialist was completely drained by the end of the quarter.

The managers dug deeper and found out that while the average system analysts in the company lead 2-3 projects, this person happened to have as many as 11! He had to constantly switch between completely different tasks while trying to keep his productivity at a high level, which depleted him and led to exhaustion.

Employee workload

To ensure that our clients don't face similar problems, we have developed the Employee Workload feature:

Employee workload. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

This report is based on a custom algorithm that takes into account:

  • the number of hours the employee spent working;
  • their overall productivity;
  • the number of projects and tasks currently in the works.

As a result, you can see a comprehensive indicator that illustrates just how busy each employee in your company really is. This is very useful when distributing new tasks, since you can see at a glance whom to assign one more projects to, and whom you should refrain from adding tasks to for the time being.

Productivity analysis

This feature can be considered a standard one for our software – with one slight exception, in fact, two of them. The productivity in the "Projects" tab will be measured only in the context of an employee's work on projects. If you are looking for the total productivity of an employee, use the reports that already exist within the software (which, by the way, we will significantly update in the near future).

Productivity analysis. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

Web pages and applications

An important aspect of working on projects is determining which web pages and applications employees use while carrying out their duties. You can monitor this in the tab of the same name.

Monitoring employee participation in projects

One of the most annoying and unproductive things about project management is the reports employees have to fill out. Yes, the manager (or the customer, in case the work is being done for an external client) needs to know which employees worked on what and for how long, but the manual approach to this task is obsolete:

  1. Every report employees fill out is billable time they could have spent on more substantive tasks. After all, writing reports does not generate profit for the company.
  2. Such reports are almost never accurate. People tend to make mistakes: misjudge the time they invested in a task, forget some minor details, or even outright lie, distorting the data in their favor.

We offer a fully automated approach. There are no timers with buttons indicating, "Here’s the time I started working on the project" or "Here's the time I finished work." Let's be honest with ourselves - very few people actually press these buttons in a consistent and timely manner anyway. There are also no Excel spreadsheets filled with reporting data. Instead, a detailed activity map is generated for each employee:

Monitoring employee participation. Project Management Functionality in Kickidler.

All you need to do is drag & drop a task from the master project list to a specific activity, linking it to that time slot. It's faster, way more convenient, visually appealing, and accurate. Plus, even if an employee forgets to link a certain point in time to their projects, you'll still see the activity itself, and all you'll have to do is ask them clarifying questions.

Work intensity indicator and inactivity threshold setting

We are also working on improving Kickidler's approach to productivity analysis. In particular, you will soon be able to customize the time threshold after which an employee's idleness at the PC equals inactivity: whereas before it was 1 second, now you can choose from 1, 2, 3, or 5 minutes.

At the same time, we haven’t abandoned the second-by-second recording of working hours, only now there will be a new indicator – "intensity". With its help, you will be able to evaluate the employee's activity in the short run, whereas the "inactivity" will give a more adequate overview of the whole working day.

Comprehensive time tracking

New project monitoring tools can help you dig deeper into the details of how your employees spend their time, but let's be realistic: you don't always need that kind of granularity. Kickidler's basic functionality is great for routine, day-to-day monitoring:

  • Time tracking charts show the periods of activity and inactivity of your employees (you can create a rundown for a single employee, a group of specialists or the whole organization);
  • Summaries of employee activity in different applications will help you track which sites and apps people use most often and for what purposes;
  • Screen video recording will allow you to check what exactly a person was doing at a particular moment of time.

Convenient monitoring on all levels can be considered one of Kickidler’s key advantages! You can always choose to quickly check the overall summary, or you can go into more detail, up to and including a full workday map for a specific employee.

Interface branding

Another new feature is the ability to customize the interface of Kickidler's employee module in your company's corporate style (for example, by adding your own logo). This way, your employees will look at an application directly related to your organization, rather than third-party Kickidler software. From a psychological point of view, this makes it easier to transition your staff to using monitoring software while still maintaining a comfortable and familiar work environment.

Try our software and take your organization's project monitoring performance to a new level!

Kickidler Project Tracking – a whole new level of project and task monitoring!

Kickidler Employee Monitoring Software

Alicia Rubens

As a tech enthusiast and senior writer at Kickidler, I specialize in creating insightful content that helps businesses optimize their workforce management.

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