The philosophy and the need behind a time tracker is simple enough to fit into this introductory paragraph – having a real indication of how you’re performing leads to a better assessment of the performance itself, which in turn leads to a better estimation of how much a similar task would take.
The more precise the estimation, the better.
Why is it then that we’re about to dedicate a whole blog post to a feature that has already been implemented and well-documented a long time ago?
Well, it’s partially because we’ve decided to give it out for free.
The notion of time tracking was popularized by the freelance industry, where it quickly became a standard practice of delivering transparent work logs to clients. Partly also due to the fact that clients (sometimes oblivious to the process required to develop their project) needed visible proof that the freelancer wasn’t slacking, but, instead, actively working on something that simply takes time.
But, we digress.
Time tracking began outgrowing the client – worker scheme and soon became a personal productivity measurement. Just like timing your run and aiming to do better next time, it provided the user with clear performance stats, based on which he/she could not only analyze their performance in hindsight, but also assess and predict future time requirements for a similar (sometimes the exact same) project.
Now, with us being an Agile company, and our tool aimed at utilizing the Scrum framework to enable better estimations and overall productivity, we absolutely had to include the time tracker in the list of all the features.
However, up until this moment, we’ve considered it an advanced “asset”, aimed at more experienced users alongside other premium features such as invoicing, team management and more. That is not to say that we choose to keep it away from our free users in some comically evil corporate manner, but rather that it seemed like something better fit for a premium package.
Well, our premise was simply wrong.
See, we learn more about Scrum every single day, with each milestone giving us more insight into how we should implement it internally on our software development journey. As we adapt and hopefully become more agile, so does our vision of the perfect project management tool evolve into something new – and that new vision includes the time tracker as a crucial element.
Whether an existing user or someone on the fence, we strongly encourage you to try tracking your performance for even the shortest sprint to get a feel for the process.
You can find a simple installation and use guide over here.
Now, by this point, some experienced Scrum Masters are surely wondering why we’d put such emphasis on time tracking when it goes against the framework of story points and values introduced in Scrum. Our answer to that is quite simple: we aren’t advocating for it as a superior alternative, in fact, we firmly believe in their benefits.
However, for someone just starting out in Scrum or maybe project management, time tracking can serve as the missing link to make the entire planning and retrospective process fall into place. It shouldn’t be used as its own measure, but rather as an added support for all estimations.
By providing that tool for free, we’re aiming to ease the learning curve for all new members.