Searching for team-based time tracking.
Before using Harvest, the team was using another web-based tool, but they weren’t happy with it. There wasn’t a straightforward interface for tracking time, and the timers were unreliable. They were also frequently frustrated that the concept of a team wasn’t well defined, making people and project set-up ungainly. Says CEO Rachit Shukla, “when we found Harvest we didn’t even bother with a free trial, we just opened our wallets, and never looked back.”
As the team grew and became more distributed, tracking time while staying on top of each other’s projects became an important issue for them. In their search for a time tracking solution, they found the solutions were either focused on freelancers, not web-based, or felt like bloated enterprise-level software.
When we found Harvest we didn’t even bother with a free trial, we just opened our wallets, and never looked back.
Quick time entry.
When they found Harvest, and its seamless integration with the team collaboration tool Co-op, they knew they had found the right solution. Today, a majority of the team tracks their time in Co-op. Other than submitting weekly timesheets, most of the team don’t need to go into Harvest at all. “Co-op is great for quick time entry, and to do group wide announcements in a lightweight manner.”
Rachit is one of the few team members who is a Harvest and Co-op power user. He says he uses both Harvest and Co-op on his iPhone several times a day if he’s running around New York City, and even has the full web app pinned on his phone so he can easily access all of Harvest’s features from the road.
Typically, it’s the project managers and the partners signing into the web app to take a deeper dive into the hours reporting, and to find long term trends. Rachit relies on the Harvest Dashboard for a quick status update on their active projects.
Integrations and API capabilities.
The ability to accept online payments for Harvest invoices was a big deal for Two Toasters, and they were able to start using Harvest’s online payment feature immediately. Payments via PayPal are made by about a quarter of their clients, which means they don’t have to send a request to an accountant or a separate department for approval.
Two Toasters is also building their own dashboard on top of Harvest’s API to let team members see how they’re performing against each other, and will display the split between everyone’s billable and non-billable hours. They are excited to bring this transparency to the office, and are also thinking it will play on an open and fun competitive spirit.
Reports keep the team on track.
On a weekly basis, the partners sit down and look at the time reports of individual employees to see their output, and to look for patterns that may indicate where team members are getting bottlenecked. The Harvest bar graphs displaying billable vs non-billable time tracked allows them to quickly see the percentage split, and if it’s below the company threshold, they can drill down into the reports available in Harvest and diagnose the issue.
Reviewing their reports, Rachit noticed that, for a task for push notifications that should just take a few hours, many Junior Developers were spending 7-8 hours spinning their wheels. He decided to take action, to better prepare their Junior Developers in tackling this task. Says Rachit, “part of running Two Toasters is that we want to create an environment where if someone needs help or is struggling, they have support. When you look at the reporting, you can see it in their hours, and that helps us know when to jump in and help them.”
Embracing timers in culture.
Says Rachit, “We engender an atmosphere that makes it clear: if you’re at your desk and you’re working on a client project, the first thing you do is start your timer. We start that on day one, and folks that have worked previously in client services fields are very comfortable with timers. Other folks sometimes take a week or so before they’re fully utilizing Co-op or Harvest, but it becomes second nature quickly.”
It becomes second nature quickly.
With the whole team easily adopting Harvest (and Co-op) to their workflow, Two Toasters’ team of developers can focus their time on creating mobile applications that change and improve the way you use your mobile device, while keeping their business and budgets in line.