One of the best things about RescueTime is it’s ability to help people make smart choices about their time. We think that self-directed, creative workers in the information economy should have the best tools to be able to manage themselves effectively.
No one likes to have their time micro-managed, and to be perfectly honest I’ve never met a team leader who actually enjoys micro-managing people. Giving team members the right information to manage their time on their own frees team leaders up to think bigger, on more strategic ideas.
We know from experience and feedback that executives and team managers can make better choices and provide not guess-driven, but rather data-driven decision making if we can bubble up the most compelling summaries of team trends and activity. Bringing these two concepts of individual independence and team metrics together is a challenge we now answer.
We’ve recently rolled out a new dashboard in our Team version that simplifies the life of managers who want a better understanding of the team’s overall time-resources. We think it answers some high-level questions allowing managers to be more strategic. Have a look…
We had several goals with this new Dashboard:
Answer important questions about the team rather than the individual
This dashboard doesn’t attempt to be a malleable, pivotable, power-user Swiss Army knife of information. Rather, it’s focused on telling a story about the group’s time, in as straightforward a way as possible. The top section covers the questions “How much time have we spent working this week?”, “How productive have we been?”, “What types of things were we doing?” Below that, you’ll get some running totals showing progress towards team-defined goals for the week. Then finally, there’s a configurable section at the bottom showing details about the various categories that time can be spent in, to answer any follow up questions raised by the other sections of the dashboard.
Give managers the pulse of their team, not a full MRI
We’ve found that too much data can easily become just noise. Team leaders getting lost in details can cause more harm than good in many cases. What are they supposed to do with all these numbers? We think having access to *actionable* data is the important part, and feel we’ve struck a really good balance here between simplicity and a rich level of information.
Respect the trust between managers and other team members
Nowhere on this dashboard will you see information about a specific individual. It’s all aggregate rollups, generally at the category and above level. We wanted to provide a good amount of high level information, while at the same time providing some insulation to individual users. We think it’s well optimized to spot opportunities for systemic improvements, while leaving the more detailed, tactical, individual decisions to the individuals themselves.
If you have a team of people and you’d like to try out RescueTime’s team version, click here.