Delving into some insights concerning workplace time allocation can yield startling revelations. Consider, for instance, the striking fact that employees, on average, contribute less than three hours of genuine productivity per day. Equally remarkable is the realization that companies collectively waste a staggering $37 billion on unproductive meetings.
To prevent inefficient utilization of time, leaders must diligently monitor and measure this resource.
Here are six ways to measure the time invested by both you and your team, to get the highest possible return.
1. ROTI (Return on Time Invested)
To begin measuring time, you must first understand what your priorities are. If you know your priorities and their weighted order, it’s important to spend your weighted time there to get the highest ROTI (return on time invested).
The formula for calculating ROTI is as follows:
Impact / Resource = Return
Within the ROTI formula, “impact” denotes the progress you make towards your goal. The greater the impact, the higher the resulting value. For instance, if your objective is financial gain, the more money you make per hour, the greater the return on your time. In this case, money represents the impact (numerator), while time represents the resource (denominator).
For example, assume you’re evaluating two job opportunities in which one pays $100 per hour, while the other pays $1 per hour. Consider the calculation: $100 Impact / 1 Hour Resource = 100 Return. Of course, this is better than $1 Impact / 1 Hour Resource = 1 Return. Based on ROTI, it would be wise to choose the first job.
2. Forecast / Actual Time
This metric assesses the difference between the time planned for doing something vs. the actual time spent. It indicates whether time estimates are accurate and/or accountable.
While budget vs. actual analyses typically pertain to monetary measurements, this concept extends to the far more valuable resource of time.
At Arootah, we employ a time tracking software to measure the variance between the time an employee or consultant forecasts for an identified priority and the actual time they spend on it. This information serves two purposes. First, it tells us whether the individual spent the time as planned, and second, it tells us whether that time was sufficient to allow the individual to complete the priority.
Time is your most valuable resource, necessitating careful allocation to your highest priorities. Failure to do so inevitably leads to inefficiency. If you spend your budgeted time on your priorities and still don’t get them done, you must ask yourself some other questions. Begin by examining intrinsic resources such as energy (sufficient vitality to accomplish the task), discipline (adequate willpower), and focus (ability to remain undistracted).
3. Cycle Time
Cycle time plays a crucial role in helping you predict the length of certain tasks. By recognizing the time investment required for tasks performed in a recurring cycle, you gain valuable insights for estimating the duration of similar tasks in the future.
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4. On-Time Completion Rate
Maintaining a record of projects completed within a designated timeframe yields valuable insights. The on-time completion rate serves as a key indicator of your commitment to meeting deadlines. This metric can be expressed as: Projects Completed on Time vs. All Projects.
Consistently missing deadlines warrants a deeper examination to identify potential issues. Is there a problem with time allocation? Are you not assigning adequate resources to the project? Investigating the root cause of missed deadlines is essential to prevent missed deadlines in the future.
This forward-looking measurement helps your team identify, on both a micro and macro level, where they need to spend time to accomplish a goal.
Transparent timelines play a crucial role in providing clarity at both the macro and micro levels. Employers should ensure that employees are well-informed about the company’s long-term objectives, including one-year, five-year, and ten-year organizational goals. This awareness instills a greater sense of direction and purpose among employees, empowering them to contribute towards these overarching goals.
6. Gantt Chart
A Gantt chart is a series of horizontal lines that shows the amount of work done or production completed in a certain period in relation to the amount of time planned for those periods.
The vertical axis of the chart represents the tasks performed, while the horizontal axis represents the time intervals, typically in months. Gantt charts provide valuable insights into the interdependencies among various activities, known as the precedence network. By utilizing this chart, organizations can readily identify if any activity experiences delays and assess how it impacts other interconnected activities.
The Bottom Line
Properly tracking and measuring time is both your responsibility as a leader and the best way to get the highest possible return on the time you and your team have.
Time measurement and management may sound like a simple concept, but many organizations overlook its importance. Reassessing how your organization spends time is crucial to maximizing your return on it.
If you’re looking to further optimize your organization for success, take our free leadership assessment to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.