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CA PPM: A simplified time management system

Note: this is a reprint of an article originally posted on CA Technologies. The full article can be found here.

Learn how to streamline the timesheet process, making life easier for your teams and managers

Every time I fly I'm amazed at the number of hoops we jump through before we're allowed to board the plane. I stood in six lines the other day – one to check in, one to drop my bags, one to show the security agent my ticket, one to be x-rayed, one to get on the people mover and finally, one to board.

We accept this largely because we're surrounded by TSA agents. But none of us would go patiently through this process if we didn't have to. It's human nature to want things to be as simple and speedy as possible – including our technologies.

And that's one of the key challenges with today's Project and Portfolio Management solutions. If you want people to do something, and you don't have the power of the TSA behind you, it has to be simple.

Take timesheets. Nobody in history ever enjoyed filling one out. They're tedious, monotonous and generally perceived as having little to no value. And guess what? People avoid them. Like the plague.

The result is a resource manager that spends precious cycles running time reports to figure out who hasn't turned theirs in. They email reminders and then run more reports. They pursue employees in the hallways and run more reports. Only after a lot of effort can they verify that all the time has been entered…and then the whole process starts over.

Timesheets are important for resource management

While frustrating, timesheets are an integral component of successful management. A typical resource manager oversees a team working on multiple projects simultaneously. The manager needs to ensure that the right people with the right skill sets are assigned to the appropriate projects as they arise, so a clear understanding of current and future capabilities and capacity is essential. For this, the manager needs to have a degree of certainty that the team is entering project time regularly and reliably. Efficient and accurate time tracking are indispensable.

CA PPM: A streamlined system for time management

In an effort to address the timesheet dilemma, CA recently released our latest version of PPM, designed to eliminate the tedious, repetitive and mundane tasks of time tracking and management. We basically transformed the timesheet concept into a streamlined time management system that provides multiple data entry and tracking options — including mobile support.

The ultimate goal is to keep the team productive and adding real value to the business. To achieve this, we've significantly simplified the ability for team members to enter their time, add notes and track approval status.

The PPM time management system similarly speeds the approval process for project managers, and also provides them with information that will help to more effectively manage their projects. They can now easily track where teams are spending time and how projects are progressing against plan with precision. This real-time data can be used to make better informed business decisions.

The benefits of a single solution

By streamlining the timesheet process, and making it easier for both team members and managers, everybody wins. But most of all, the business wins. Simplified time entry and approvals, the ability to track actuals against budget or even track a contractor-supported workforce mean integrated support for the software capitalization needs of the business.

All these features combined in a single solution serve the PMO and the entire organization in a number of business-enhancing ways, and without any need to reconcile information from disparate tools. One of the things CA PPM clients appreciate most is their ability to aggregate valuable, actionable intelligence through one cohesive platform. That's true empowerment — for the PMO, the team and the business.  

In The News is brought to you by WinMill Software, a CA Premier Global Channel Partner, Preferred Services Partner, and leading provider of CA PPM consulting services in North America. WinMill can support all of your CA PPM needs, including training and application hosting.