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Software Development Execs Eye Wasted Time

October 1, 2021

Tempo Software noted results of a time management survey of 800 software development executives across North America and Europe to understand how and why development teams track time. The survey revealed that understanding and managing team capacity is a priority, and software development leaders are looking to automation to eliminate mundane tasks that waste developer time.

Every organization surveyed tracks the time developers spend on development projects. When asked what issues are top of mind when it comes to IT and software development talent, survey respondents listed:
  • Wasting time on mundane tasks that don’t deliver value (56%)
  • The need to up-level capacity with automation (46%)
  • Using legacy processes that are not reflective of today’s tech landscape (42%)
  • Lack of talent or capacity needed to complete necessary tasks (39%)

Nearly half of the organizations surveyed (44%) track time daily, while another 44% track time weekly. The high frequency with which surveyed organizations track time indicated a need to have a clear view of how time and effort are being invested — and a need to make tracking time seamless in order to save, not spend, time every day.

Organizations are looking to automation to increase capacity and save time. While the majority of respondents (79%) already augment development and engineering work with automation tools for faster decision-making purposes, this has not fully extended to how time is tracked. Thirty-four percent of respondents still track time manually with spreadsheets, with the remaining two-thirds using internally developed tools (41%) or time tracking software they have purchased (23%). An automated approach to time tracking has not reached the same level of adoption as other automated software development tools.

As development teams are more dispersed than ever before, they need time and capacity reports at their fingertips for planning and forecasting purposes. Respondents reported they are using time tracking insights to inform:

  • Collaborative work management (59%)
  • Project and portfolio management (55%)
  • Workforce management (48%)
  • Product management and roadmapping (46%)
  • Enterprise agile planning (28%)
  • Value stream management (28%)

“A thorough understanding of how time is invested is what sets high performing organizations apart,” said Mark Lorion, CEO, Tempo Software. “This survey confirms that having insights on how developers are spending their time is a frequent need, yet some organizations are still manually logging time, even when other aspects of software development are automated. Making time tracking and reporting easier with an automated solution will realize better returns on developer time and enable better planning and budgeting.”

Summary of findings from Tempo’s developer time management survey include:

  • 79% of organizations already augment development/engineering work with automation tools for faster decision-making purposes. 16% of respondents indicated they’re planning to utilize automation in the future.
  • 41% of respondents track time with internally developed tools; 34% track time manually with spreadsheets and 23% of respondents use purchased time tracking software.
  • 44% of organizations track time daily; 44% of organizations track time weekly and 9% track time monthly.
  • Organizations listed the following issues as being top of mind when it comes to IT and software development talent:
    • Wasting time on mundane tasks that don’t deliver value (56%)
    • Using legacy processes that are not reflective of today’s tech landscape (42%)
    • Lack of talent or capacity needed to complete necessary tasks (39%)
    • The need to up-level capacity with automation (46%)
  • Organizations are using time tracking insights to inform:
    • Collaborative work management (59%)
    • Project and portfolio management (55%)
    • Workforce management (48%)
    • Product management and roadmapping (46%)
    • Enterprise agile planning (28%)
    • Value stream management (28%)

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