In order to be the most successful with your timesheet software, you must understand the most common mistakes made during the implementation phase. Setting up and implementing a time tracking solution can take, on average, 30-90 days involving several hours of work per week. In the 20 years Journyx has been around, we have learned many lessons on what makes for a successful launch of your new timesheet software, and what roadblocks can make your implementation take much longer than expected.
If you’re currently evaluating the purchase of Journyx or any other time tracking solution, it’s important to keep the following possible roadblocks in mind as you map out your rollout project plan.
#1: No Dedicated Resource
Usually a company decides they need a software timesheet solution and one person is designated to research and select the best one; but all too often the decision as to who is going to “own” that project – after the purchase, during the setup, and during the implementation phase – is not made. Inevitably, this means that the person who made the selection ends up as the primary resource to manage the project, but that person usually has many other responsibilities and tasks that don’t involve setting up the company’s timesheet software. There are many decisions that need to be made when setting this up, and if the only person responsible for providing the answers is consistently unavailable, then the overall timeframe of the project is extended – sometimes dramatically. This usually leads to frustration for everyone involved in the project.
It is important to explicitly decide ahead of time who is going to manage the implementation phase of the timesheet software project and make sure that person has adequate time to devote to the process, so expected timelines can be met.
#2: Too much at once
People can get very excited about a new major piece of software, especially people that historically do very manual tasks – so the thought of having a system that will take much of that manual work away is too much to contain. A common tendency is to think of every possible way to automate everything and want to implement them all, immediately. If your executive leadership says that you have unlimited time and resources to implement anything and everything you can think of before you start using the new software, then this isn’t necessarily a problem; unfortunately, I don’t think that has ever happened in the history of a timesheet software implementation.
First of all, you should understand your integrations, but don’t necessarily try to implement them all at first. By understanding everything that could come down the road, you can often make decisions today that will make your life much easier six months from now when you start to tackle that integration. Conversely, if you try to implement every integration on Day One, you will often find it very difficult to make any of them work “just right.” Instead, it’s better to identify the key pieces and focus on those for the initial rollout. Your solution provider will have no problem with re-engaging to finish the remaining integrations after initial rollout success.
Also, be careful to not delay the project because of lack of support for the one feature that happens once a year. It’s better to be flexible and understand that upon initial rollout, there may be a handful of manual tasks that still must be done. As long as you have confidence in your solution provider and your own organization’s commitment to finish, you can feel comfortable grinding out the few remaining manual tasks, knowing that it will be automated soon enough.
#3: Lack of third-party integrated software understanding and support
Software is often used for many years by many different personnel at a company, so knowledge is transferred and inherited from one person to the next. Often the true knowledge and understanding of software was lost long ago, replaced with vague notions of “what buttons to click.” Inevitably, this system will need to be integrated with your timesheet system, too. A lack of detailed understanding of the software and no ongoing contact with the vendor means that no one really knows what is required to actually integrate with it.
Be sure at least one person knows a system very well before trying to integrate with it. Ideally, you should maintain a relationship with all software vendors (or their partners) so that they can be called upon in these circumstances to work directly with the timesheet system vendor. This will typically help everything to go much more smoothly.
#4: Lack of executive support and lack of user involvement/adoption
Either one of these will kill a project. If your leadership doesn’t see the value, they will pull the budget. If your users don’t use it or complain about its effectiveness then, obviously, it is worthless software.
It’s important that everyone understand the reason for adopting a timesheet system.
Timesheets are not typically the “fun” part of your day, but if everyone understands why it is necessary and are on the same page, then the go-live process will go much more smoothly.
For more ideas for getting your organization on board with time tracking, read our whitepaper, Get Better Timesheet Data and Increase Profits by Empowering Your People or watching the recorded webinar, How To Get Your Employees to Fill Out Their Timesheets.