Recording time in Harvest

As an agency we sell our time. That’s why using Harvest properly is very important.

This section of the Handbook sets out how team members should use Harvest and how projects/other work should be set up.

Billable time

We can only sell our time and being mindful of this being our only source of revenue is important.

This doesn’t ever include being dishonest or misleading – that would be toxic, not in line with our values and doesn't help us build long-term relationships with our clients.

Another way to consider it is, if the client doesn’t pay for it then we do – the time isn’t free. Is it part of the overall effort of delivering the client's work for their benefit?

If a task is necessary to successfully deliver a project, then it should be considered billable. Meetings (including internal), calls, emails, estimating and documentation, are all necessary activities needed to support the delivery of the work and should go under the chargeable task for your role.

Work where there is no question that it should be billed, e.g. bugs and correcting mistakes that are solely ours, should be recorded against the 'warranty' or 'mistakes' task on the project.

How to log time

We expect everyone to use Harvest to record their working time each week. Normally that will be a minimum of 40 hours per week.

We know from experience that logging time retrospectively is inaccurate, so wherever possible please use the Harvest timer, Mac app or browser plugin, to record what you are working on in real-time.

Please make sure you add notes to your Harvest entry to give some more detail on what you were working on. This might be a JIRA reference/narrative or a description of some training activities, or a pitch you were working on.

Make sure your Harvest is fully completed by the end of the working day, every day. We use Harvest for the company scorecard and other reporting every Monday morning, so the data needs to be right.

If you need access to a project or think a new project needs setting up, please speak with the Delivery Manager, they’re responsible for doing this.

Managing Harvest projects/tasks

Please don’t create new Harvest tasks to break project activities apart; either create new projects or use the comments to tag separate activities. More tasks make it hard to achieve accurate reporting, so check with the Head of Delivery before creating.

Unless there’s a reason we want to track a specific set of time, you probably don’t need to create a new project, especially for internal work or if there’s an umbrella project already.

Budgets in Harvest

Every project that we set up in Harvest should have an hours budget associated with it. This should be the same as set out in the statement of work, unless a variation has been agreed by the Head of Delivery (for example if we have chosen to spend more hours on a project than we are able to bill to the client).

These budgets should always be at a task level – so each team member knows their own budget allocation (in hours).