Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Introduction to Talygen’s offline Time Tracking Application

Talygen tracks time through its web based tracker and it keeps a chronological record of tasks through an installable (desktop) program. The installable program runs with and without the internet. Here is the rundown of the offline tracking mode of the desktop version.

What is Talygen’s offline time tracking feature?

The offline tracking mode is a feature of Talygen’s desktop time tracker. Privileged users can track time through this mode when internet connectivity is unavailable. Decision makers - managers, human resource professionals, and administrators - decide who is and who is not allowed to track their time in the offline mode.

What is its use?

The offline mode is capable of tracking time without the internet. It is a useful feature to have in places where internet connectivity is not very reliable. It functions as a contingency tool in even those companies where internet is generally reliable.

Who has it been designed for?

The offline mode has been designed for freelancers, small businesses and enterprises.

The screenshot and keystroke features are absolutely essential for freelancers. They often require to support their work with evidence. The screenshots function as a reliable proof, especially when there is poor internet and only web based trackers cannot be used.

It is useful for businesses that need to manage employees from different geographical locations. Business managers need to ensure productivity and maintain discipline. The screenshot and key logging features are indispensable here, too.

When there is no internet connectivity, the offline tracker stores tracking data for five days. This makes the tracker extremely useful at places where internet connectivity is shaky, or otherwise unreliable.

Does it maintain two separate databases?

No, the offline mode is smart. When there is connectivity, it synchronizes the data stored on the computer’s hard drive with a company’s Talygen cloud. It does this with the single push of a button.

This feature brings the best of both worlds - a cloud database and ability to track time without internet connectivity.

What platforms does it work on?

The offline feature is currently available for Windows desktops and Mac machines.

Is it for me?

If you are looking for a tool that is reliable, that does not demand a huge investment in IT infrastructure, that keeps time tracking accessible, and that has the capability to store time without the internet - the Talygen’s offline time tracking feature is undoubtedly for your business.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Tips and ideas for successful project management

When it comes to managing your projects, there are many challenges. A project manager has to take care of deadlines and exceed quality expectations within a predefined budget. Missed deadlines, poor quality, and increased budgets can ruin a project. However, project managers can take precautions and use time tested techniques to ensure success. In this article we are listing such helpful techniques:


(a) Get the details

It is easy to underestimate the complexity of a project. The safer bet is to nail down on details, understand the expectations, and learn what factors will constitute success. The first step in successful project management is to identify scope. There will be no way to gauge the success of a project if there are not any clearly defined targets (scope). The next task is to identify how material resources, individuals, and finance will be used. It has to be very detailed. In fact, it is a smart idea to be very diligent about on details. Small discrepancies can snowball into a huge problem. An emphasis on details is essential to creating successful plans. However, a detailed plan should have room for flexibility. It is mathematically impossible to predict everything in a complex system to absolute certainty.

(b) Identify requirements

Once a sound plan is in place, the next step is to create a team of individuals who will work together and use their combined skills set to make the project successful. The first step here is to identify individuals who have the necessary skills to be part of the project management team. The next task is to ensure the individuals are prepared to use their skills in a specific way, which suits the project management requirements the most. Thirdly, the individuals should be very clear about the objectives – what they are trying to achieve and how they are going to work.

(c) Leadership counts

Strong and inspiring leaders can sail their projects through the toughest weather and still complete it in time and exceed everyone’s specifications. The task of a project leader is to cultivate the team affiliation, improve communication, and keep the team in contact with major stakeholders. Turbulent times can derail projects mercilessly. A leader’s function is to make sure the team stays intact, prevails over challenges, and finishes the project within planned time and budget constraints.

(d) Divide the works into smaller tasks

An ancient philosopher Confucius once said the road of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Translated into the language of project management, what it essentially says is that a big project is a whole sum of smaller tasks. Successful managers focus on the successful completion of these smaller tasks, without losing the broad picture, and the whole project takes care of itself. If it is a website creation project, a leader can divide the task into content creation, design, and development and tackle these smaller tasks one at a time. It is easier to manage little tasks.

(e)  Communication is crucial

If there is one thing that matters as much as planning and time management in the success of a project, it is how accessible and open the channels of communication are. A lack of communication can doom a project. It should be a priority to make sure everyone in a team is communicating openly, consistently, and honestly. It is very easy to lose touch with other team members. There are various ways in which managers can keep communication lines open; through regular meets, group chats, and others.

(f) Use a project management software

The days of creating project details on dead wood have been long past us. This is the age of computers. Many managers have to take care of projects where individuals may not be in the same geographical location. An effective way to tackle dispersed teams and individuals and successfully complete a project is to use modern project management software. When it comes to software, web based or online project management (PM) tools have many advantages for their installable counterparts; namely lower costs and more flexibility.

(g) Dig into experience

Unless one is faced with their first project management task, the smart way is to dig into the past and look for similarities with previous management tasks. For those who are trying hands on project management for the first time, the intelligent way is to think about the lessons on project management they received in college. Considering that this is a very useful strategy, it is surprising how little use is made of it.

Conclusion

Project management is an old discipline. It is all way more important in the modern era where most projects are completed by a team instead of an individual. Project managers play crucial role in managing individuals and completing projects in time. Yet, they occasionally make avoidable mistakes. This article has listed eight precautions and ideas which project managers can utilize to deliver successful projects every time.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Smarten up your Project Management with Talygen

Introduction to Intelligent Project Management

It is easy to lose track when a project is large and several people are involved. Everyone, who is involved, can create a time estimate for their task, without regard to the time assessment of the entire project. The new feature in the ProjectManagement Module alerts you, when it happens.

How does it function?

Let’s say you run a web design company of five people. Your company gets a contract for the revamping of a website. You and your client settle on 200 man hours. You talk to your designer, developer, writer, and quality analyst. They give you their time estimates.

The designer wants 60 hours, the writer demands 50 hours, the developer needs no less than 80 hours, and the quality analyst needs 30 hours.

Can you give them a go-ahead?

No, because together, their estimates add up to 210 hours. It is easy to figure out. Sixty, fifty, eighty, and thirty make 210. However, it can get complicated if a project involves more than a few tasks.

This new Talygen update pops up an alert when an employee’s estimate makes the entire project’s time assessment go haywire.

Is it flexible?

Yes, it is flexible. Once the bells have sounded, it is upon you to decide whether you want to change your estimate to fit the existing project period, or to change the estimated duration of the entire project to accommodate your task.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Why should businesses use an invoicing software?



There are two ways you can go about creating invoices. The first, and old fashioned, way is to do it manually and the new, and more modern, way is to use a computer or web based invoicing software. If you are doing things the first way, you run more chances of making a mistake. Even if you are able to get everything right in the first go, there are at least half-a-dozen things you have to take care of, such as:

    Creation of an invoice with a neat and professional template

    Inclusion of all the items that the clients have been charged for

    Mention of meticulously kept records that you can produce when asked for

    Constant checking of the payment status – paid or unpaid

    Monitor invoices and create them again if the due date has passed

Let's assume you manage to get everything right – from professional-looking templates to meticulously placed charges with description. That still leaves open the possibility of the whole work being ignored. The client may not be in their office when your invoice reaches them. Or, they may forget to pay you. Anything of this sort can happen, and create cash flow problems for your business. The problems snowball into an existential danger for your business if you are a start-up.

In contrast, an invoicing software for large and small businesses suffers from none of these issues. It automates the entire process of invoicing. It makes creation of invoices faster and it pro-actively strives to bring your money to you in time, thus making the flow of cash smoother.

Of the many advantages of a big or small businesses invoicing software, the most prominent ones include:

    Professional-looking invoices with your business brand on top of them

    Error-free itemization that ensures all your products and services are listed in the invoice

    Automatic tracking of rates and discounts

    Reminders to you when you are not paid in time

    Less time in invoice creation and more on your core strength; more business

Talygen web based invoicing software is a great way to save time, create professional invoices that get paid on time and improve overall efficiency of your business. Take a 30 days Free trial today!

Keywords: small business invoicing software, web-bse invoicing software

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Why Worker Productivity Matters and How to Improve it



In April 2014, The Economist carried a story on worker productivity in Brazil. It is an interesting read for anyone who doubts the importance of productivity to the growth of a company - small or large.

China, where worker productivity accounted for 91 percent of the GDP growth between 1990 and 2012, roared at more than 10 percent GDP growth per year. In comparison, Brazil’s worker productivity during the same period was 40 percent. Unsurprisingly, it grows at a measly 2 percent. The Economist makes a daring, but dismal, prediction - unless Brazilian companies change, the Brazilian economy’s growth will come down to only 1 percent.

There are many useful lessons to be learnt from the largest country in South America on the importance of worker productivity. The most significant of them is - companies that do not invest in worker productivity fail to realise their full potential and grow slowly.

Worker productivity is important. Companies can become more productive in two ways:

    They can hire more workers, and
    They can make their existing workforce more efficient.

 There are upsides and downsides of both methods.

Recruitment of more workers

This is a quick fix solution. It works well in places where unemployment rates are relatively high, and where workers are required for mostly unskilled or semiskilled jobs. A downside of this approach is that it is hugely expensive. Most companies cannot afford to add their highly skilled employees at a short notice.

Improvement of worker productivity

A lesser expensive, but more efficient, method is to conduct a research on existing production methods and devise plans that elicit the most out of existing employees by making them more able. Companies can introduce time tracking, they can use employee performance review systems, they can invest in newer machines, and they can do a million other things to make their existing workforce more productive. This method may not always show immediate results; but it is sure to work in the long run.

Successful companies and societies focus more on improving worker productivity than rely on raw strength - recruitment of more people. The Economist story makes it clear workers in North America and Europe are, on average, more productive. It shows. Their economies are robust.

There are many ways to make a workforce more productive. It takes a combination of an understanding of psychology and a use of right tools.

How much understanding a manager has of their workers, varies. Two managers with equivalent credential can produce vastly different results. A use of right tool is more objective and reliable.

There are a number of excellent employee performance review tools, including Talygen’s performance review, available. They are intelligent software that take care of the review tasks; such as feedback, skills, and how many goals are being met. They are able to perform a number of other tasks, streamline employee reviews, and help companies and businesses create strategies that help them maximise productivity.