Time management has always been a passion to me. Managing time ⏱ = managing life 😉. Naturally, productivity is an area that I very interested in. As a team lead, I was reflecting on how we use and manage our time. In order to resolve the hassle of “internal activities” 💸 (overhead), I was searching for solutions how to automate time-tracking in order to identify productivity bottlenecks within the department.
Ever since I started working with dev teams, my fascination with their methodologies and workflow organization grew. Agile became a mantra in every growth process that I manage.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure (Drucker): Connect time tracking with project management software
Our team uses Trello to manage growth sprints (project management tool). This productivity hack started by exploring Trello’s time tracking integration and add-ons. After carefully review this list of Trello’s time tracking integration, I took Toggl for a spin. There are several reasons why Toggl was my go-to solution. At Growth Tribe in Amsterdam I got to know two of their employees and from what they’ve been saying about the company, I was quite intrigued to try it. Moreover, one of my colleague who is a dev team lead uses Toggl + Trello as a substitute for Jira. I was sold on the idea that Toggl is worth trying by the fact that the tool is powerful enough to perfectly cater the needs of dev agency.
Connect Trello and Toggl
Oh, this is easy-peasy and could be done in 5 minutes 🍋. Here is how:
- Add Toggl Chrome extension
- Set up your Toggl account
- Press a red button 🔴 to track your first activity and viola- you are tracking time.
Frictionless adoption of time-tracking in my team
I was quite anxious to start introducing time tracking to my team. The lion share of concerns was centered around the assumptions that people may feel uncomfortable if they have to be perfectly accountable for their work and therefore the motivation to adopt this system would be low. Luckily, that was not the case. What played the most significant role in the adoption process was a shared purpose. It was never my intention to spy on people, to make them look bad in any way or bridge the lack of trust in them. I firmly believe that my team is very good and motivated. Therefore, the idea of time tracking system as a measurement tool, which will give us insights how much time is spent on non-market-related activities, will help us be more successful and give additional meaning to our work. The introduction of the time-tracking system in our team was frictionlessly finished within one week.
3 Pillars of Successful Toggl + Trello Integration (Team)
- Shared purpose is the fountain ⛲ of motivation to adopt changes
- Basically, it comes down to pressing one button 🔴 on a Trello board whenever you start or end a task (that’s is super easy).
- Each team member has a personal productivity dashboard on Toggl, once a week I present the findings to the management and the team. We seek for improvement together. Transparency and gamification of the work process is something that we find enjoyable and motivates us to use the Toggl+ Trello integration consistently, which is the 🔑 key to great insights.
Let me conclude this post by providing some advice for getting the best productivity insights from this integration:
- Start by creating a free Toggl account instead of connecting Trello + Toggl immediately. To get great results it is important that you specify projects and clients well in Trello. Always keep in mind what you want to achieve with this integration. Arrange a Toggl workspace accordingly. I found this video helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXiYiHyPu84&t=166s.
- Subtasks or to-do lists in Trello are wonderful to track with this integration. Time-consuming tasks are the best to be specified in to-do lists. It is very helpful for junior team members because it provides them a great structure as well as the track record of all the activities done within one complex task, which is great for the analysis and demonstration complex workflows.
- A week seems to be a good unit for analysis. When you start using this integration, you might want to analyze the results (team/individual dashboards and report in Toggl) every day to identify and resolve user anomalies (for example: when someone did not end tracking the task when he or she went home and you see 18h time record in the morning 😈). Later on, you will start getting weekly email report by Toggl and you might want to reflect and find ideas on how to improve team performance on weekly basic.
That’s it. Let me know if you have some other clever ideas how connect time tracking and project management systems.
Happy productivity hacking!
Excellent. Get in touch.