Time tracking in legal – creating long list of possible tools and providers

In our recent blog post we looked at 5 most common issues with time management. And in the last post we discussed #1 issue – lack of proper usage of available technology and applications. Todaywe will spend few minutes looking at possible solution – how to create long list of time tracking tools and providers?

As in any attempt to find a solution, the first and maybe most important point is to understand the problem or the need. In this step we should define why we need the time tracking tool and what is our context (situation). It is important to define those things in empirical way (by facts not opinions).

Next, we should “decode” the need into more detailed requirements of the time tracking system. We might use Must have / Should Have model to list functionalities / characteristics that we need. We should not do this decoding as academic exercise (by whiteboard) but rather go to production floor and gather the requirements firsthand.

As one of the first steps we should do investigation into market and try to see how this problem is solved by other service providers – what tools they use and what benefits / problems they encounter.

We should also ask ourselves on business case of time tracking tool implementation and hence the budget we have for it.

We can conclude those first steps with brainstorming session on what solution to our time tracking issue could be.

Understanding the need, having high level list of requirements and knowledge how the topic is addressed on the market we are ready to ask ourselves the question if the solution can be provided by means we already have in the company (DIY – do it yourself approach).

In case we still decide to find the solution on the market its time to “longlist” the solution providers and verify them versus our requirements and budget. It would be tempting to go for free tolls first but I advise to mix free and paid tools as this exercise helps to understand what we pay for in paid instances (and those futures can be important).

In the next post we will go into next steps – starting with creation of “short list” of providers.

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