The SwiftTraction beta just got a new report that displays the relationship between your set time estimates for each project and the actual time spent on the projects so far. This is a good thing for two reasons.
First, and perhaps somewhat obviously, having constant access to your running totals and visual representations of your progress just makes it easier to think about the project. Having this information at the ready gives you room to conceptualize how you’re going to allocate your resources and direct your team to finish the project on time before you end up in the crisis situation of being over-time and over-budget.
This new SwiftTraction shows the projected hours for each project versus the actual hours logged
Secondly, most projects end up costing more and taking longer than we at first anticipate. There just isn’t any way to accurately estimate the amount of time a project is going to take us, short of the specific expertise that a project manager can develop over a period of years working in the same environment. This is not only because it takes that long to understand the intricacies of the problems your teams are solving–and it does–but also because it takes time to understand the dynamics of the team itself: the attitudes and patterns of decision-making, the types of emergencies that come up, even the impact that vacations and holidays are likely to have on completion times.
SwiftTraction is quickly arriving at a point where it will be able to decrease this organizational learning curve by giving direct, immediate feedback on project time estimates versus actual completion times. This report is a first major piece of that development.