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Transparent Reporting For Remote Teams

Transparency is a crucial value when working with a remote team. We’ve already described the communication tactics we use in our day-to-day workflow. Let’s look at how we actually practice transparency through reporting.

A long, long time ago, we used SimpleTimer, our own internal tool for tracking working hours & generating reports. It worked for a while, then as time passed, the number of team members and projects grew.

Eventually, we came to the conclusion that there’s no point in reinventing the wheel and investing our time in building a tool that already exists out there in the world. Instead, it made much more sense to use a ready-made app. This is how Toggl came into our lives!

About the app

Toggl allows us to track the time spent on various projects and analyze our productivity, simple as that! As the app is cloud-based, and all you need to start is an invitation to join the project. Toggl can be used on the web, as a desktop widget, or on your mobile and all of your data gets synced in real time. After the last redesign, it looks beautiful, clean, and flat (thanks guys)!

How it works

At the beginning of each month, we send our Clients a timesheet detailing the hours we’ve spent on the project. Additionally, we provide them with an access to the Toggl app where they can track the time of their team and generate timesheets anytime they want.

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Photo by Toggl.

The app makes it easy to filter the data by a person involved, timeframes and billable vs. non-billable hours.

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Photo by Toggl.

The chart at the top gives a clear overview of the time spent on the project. If you hover over the bar chart, you'll see a number that shows the total amount of hours on that day. The dark blue section shows the billable hours (developers).

The non-billable hours are in light blue, and designate non-billable hours. Project quality is our top priority, so each project also receives a dedicated Project Manager and QA care, which are is not billed to the Client.

You can filter the data according to your needs by playing around with daily, weekly or monthly reports. Want to export your data into PDF, CSV and Excel formats? No problem!

As you can see, we’re tracking time per project without any particular tickets. Why is that? Our experience shows that this flow is much more efficient and creates no overhead allowing developers to focus on coding. At the same time, we’ve integrated JIRA (our project management tool of choice) with GitHub so all sides involved can easily view tickets and dedicated commits attached, all in one place. Not to mention the staging server. 

PS. Our Ruby on Rails team would love to meet you on Twitter @netguru!

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