“The act of attaching task and time entries opens up a whole new world of transparency and accountability for what is happening with a project.”
To improve the app development process, we recently went live with the alpha version of the time tracking module of Summa Coding. We are currently using Asana for our project management and we use the Kanban methodology (a visual workflow) to manage tasks. A Summa-Kanban Board is under development that will replace Asana eventually but, for now we use custom fields in Asana to start gathering more metrics. Each task that has been entered into Asana must be estimated and approved. We then use custom fields to help add estimated hours, complexity, categorize the task and include the source. Categories for task include things like platform, UI, networking, database, etc. And for source, some examples are: original estimate, change order or new feature request. Gathering as many data points as possible is key to what we are trying to achieve with Summa Coding.
The Asana tasks are then synced with the Summa database. The crucial aspect to Summa time tracking is that each time entry has to be attached to a task that has been estimated and pre-approved. Or to a generic task like project management, meetings, emails, phone calls, etc. By attaching each time entry to a task we are able to do important analysis on the data.
The act of attaching task and time entries opens up a whole new world of transparency and accountability for what is happening with a project. We have already created a long list of reports that draw from this data. But we are really just scratching the surface as far as what is possible and the benefits that can be gained from this new system. For example, we are able to quickly identify problems with a task going over budget. We are able to send detailed invoices that include total hours per task and the original task. We can quickly run reports of how many hours are remaining to complete a project and see what resources need to be dedicated to both short and long term in order to reach deadlines. We have identified areas in our estimates that we were over or under estimating.
This is just the beginning for Summa Coding. The possibilities are truly endless as we gather in all the software needed to run our company under one platform and as we gather as much data about every step of the process. The goal of all this is to be the best partner possible when someone hires us for development of their mobile and web apps. The level of transparency of what is going on will be invaluable in helping us establish a long term partnership with future clients. It also provides a ton of additional value to our existing clients, above and beyond what we were already providing to them.
I would love to hear any feedback that you might have with what we are creating