Time Tracking and Time Sheets, Roadblocks and hurdles

Hello!

We are a creative team, who use Wrike exclusively for our project management: scoping, planning, deliverable / draft review, milestone planning, resource assignment and occasionally 3rd party vendor coordination.  What we don't use it for is time management, much to our chagrin.

We recently did a team-Space cleanup and redesign which provided us improved clarity and status on projects.  We have anecdotally and quantitatively seen improvement in our OTD of materials and completion of projects.  As part of this refresh we also hoped to have an increase uptake in the Time Tracking features within Wrike.  We use start & end dates to set a date range during which a project or task is expected to be worked on.  We want to be able to allocate how much time was spent on those tasks and visually manage our days.  Our primary use case of time tracking is as an analytical look-back, "in what types of projects were our resources most concentrated, did we spend time where we wanted" rather than as an accountability tool. We  currently find issue with the following: UI, functionality and time needed to input time spent, here are key examples—

1. The time spent interface within a task itself is tiny, unintuitive, easy to mis-click the play button and not representative of time blocks worked over different days.  "> 0:00" give no indication of its function. There's also no calculation function, if manually tracking time elsewhere, it must be added up by the individual to be input, providing a barrier to entry and decreasing uptake by our users.

2. Time sheets are a bust and again require manual calculation by the user.  The UI of only seeing tasks due that week does not represent natural workflows, as working on overdue tasks are an inevitability, as is working ahead on future items.  Having to manually remember what tasks were due when, so that you can see them in the Time Sheet interface is unintuitive and time consuming.

3. You may be thinking "ah Workload! effort allocation instead of time tracking?"  I had the same thought, but encountered similar issues, different nuance, greater frustration.  Effort allocation seems beneficial purely from a budgeting stand point (total effort), usefulness as daily estimated effort is a non-starter: 

  • 3 dot click to enable effort is already a barrier to entry, as is having to click into "daily" or "flexible"
  • Default effort mode of Basic: It is a zero-instance use case for any member of our organization to evenly allot time amounts over the date range of a task, even for estimating.
  • Daily: nearly identical issues to basic, again, zero-instance use case
  • Flexible: requiring the user to pre-calculate total effort defeats the purpose, why wouldn't Wrike calculate the totals itself from the amounts input on each day?
  • No visual representation of a day of work (in Workload or anywhere else).  Workload shows the date range a task can be worked on, but the only indication of planned effort is a darker bar of color, i.e. there is no calendar view of effort to allow for day planning.

How we naturally work to manage our time is visually and in blocks, as a use case example: Google Calendar (really any calendar interface is a good analog), where we assign time blocks spent on specific tasks.  Often times we will change and adjust the time blocks spent throughout the day. 

We're exploring a custom-developed Google Calendar integration with the Wrike integrate team, but the costs are not insignificant and the functionality is still likely limited.  Where I see a HUGE opportunity: If Wrike's own calendar interface supported a visual representation of time spent, similar to creating blocks on a calendar, tagged to tasks... I would become your biggest fan and an unpaid, loud advocate.

At the moment, we have given up on tracking our time in Wrike for now, as the effort is not worth the time (pun intended?).

 

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Hello David Winton, welcome to the Community!

Thank you for the detailed use case and feedback on time tracking. I've shared it with our Product team. Please find more information in this Community article about what happens with Product Feedback that we receive on the Community.

Cansu Community Team at Wrike Wrike Product Manager Learn about Wrike’s killer features and best practices with our Online Training Webinars

Cansu Wrike Team member Learn about Wrike’s killer features and best practices with our Online Training Webinars

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