Time Tracking in Software Development Team

Use case

Customer story

Industry: Software development

Use case: Time tracking in software development

Favorite feature: Time Reports

Software teams use various methods to improve their development processes, deliver software faster and increase their customer satisfaction. Time tracking tools help face these challenges and meet the requirements. We know this from our own experience. This use case is to show you how Time Tracking can support software development teams, on our own example.

Let's start from a brief description of our software development board (you can see it on the picture below). First of all, please notice that we have here two swimlanes - each for every of our developers. Secondly, we have divided our Kanban board into 6 columns: To-do, Schedule, This release, Dev Queue, In progress and Done. Lastly, we have created 3 types of cards that help us to visualize specificity of tasks:

  • black for user requests (it has always high priority),
  • red for bugs
  • orange for tasks with valuable ideas for new additions or features.
Software development kanban board with time tracking

The reason why our team loves using Time Tracking is its simplicity. We don't have to remember to start and stop each timer manually. It just happens! The only thing we actually did before using Time Tracking was editing lane types in column settings in Board Editor. On our board, two columns has In Progress lane type: This release and In Progress.

The real value of Time Tracking tool lies in Time reports. They provide us with important statistics and summaries of work flow. Kanban Tool offers two types of reports: Detailed and Summary Report. Now, a brief explanation of how we use them.

Summary Report gives us a quick and graphic overview of the work we had performed. Its first element is a bar metric that presents total time spent each day on our tasks. It helps us to monitor daily working time and daily labor limits, as well as the budget accuracy.

Time report for software development

The second one is a breakdown chart. It consists of a list, pie chart and additional bar metrics that displays when you click on each element of a breakdown chart. A lot of data, isn't it? We use it to obtain valuable and detailed information that answers two important for us question.

  • What were we working on and how long did it take us to finish?
  • Which tasks were the most time consuming? Is this what we had expected?
Time report for software development team

Further more, breakdown chart allows us to compare who was the most efficient in performing a particular type of tasks. It is possible and easy by using tasks types or tags. We use tags to mark similar tasks. For example, on our board you can see two similar tasks „Attachments – Google Drive” and „Attachments – SkyDrive”. They were both tagged with „cloud attachments”. Each of them were held by a different developer. Now, using tags and breakdown chart, we can compare who had developed this feature faster and to whom assign similar tasks in the future.

Moreover, by using tags (or tasks types) and analyzing the Summary Report we are able to make realistic estimations. While considering the implementation of an another integration with a file storage service we can go back to previous time reports on „Attachments – Google Drive” and „Attachments – SkyDrive” and calculate how long it will probably take us to make it live.

Detailed Report is a list of timers. It clearly presents total working time and the time spent on each task. Thanks to filtering options, we are able to easily access very in-depth information which is necessary to calculate salary for each team member. The working time report is exported to PDF file, printed and passed to the person who is responsible for the payments.

Detailed time report for software development team

What Time Tracking has changed for us?

After few months of using Time Tracking our team has observed important improvements in the way we work and plan future goals.

Less distractions

Previously our team members had to remember to record the working hours. It was tiring and often inaccurate. Now, it's seamless! The timers start in the background when we are following our regular work flow.

Reliable payroll system

Our software development team members are paid per hour. Thanks to the Detailed Report we are finally able to quickly generate information about the time worked by each team member on a task / all tasks / specific type of tasks within a given period of time. This is the best method of calculating salaries we have ever tried out!

Estimations and learning from the past

Time reports provide us with statistics on the basis of which we can make reliable estimations. Past data allow us to estimate how much time we need to solve the problem of the particular class or introduce a feature that is analogical or additional to the existing one. Our plans are now more realistic and we are more enthusiastic about their success.

Better match between people and tasks

Summary report allows us to compare the time utilized by different team members to perform the same type of tasks. It helps us to assign jobs more wisely and improve the productivity of a team as a whole.

Time tracking has become an indispensable tool for our software development team.