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These are the differences - Time is not just time

Attendance times versus time reporting

A comparison in the context of multi-project management and resource management
Conny Düran
17.05.2024 | 2 min reading time

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In the dynamic world of project and portfolio management, efficient resource management and accurate time tracking are crucial for project success. Two key concepts are attendance time and time reporting. Although they may seem similar at first glance, they differ significantly in their application and impact on multi-project management.

Anwesenheitszeiten vs. Zeitrückmeldungen - das sind die Unterschiede (1)

Attendance Time: Definition and Benefits

Attendance time refers to the period during which an employee is present and available for work. It is often recorded by time-tracking systems that document the start and end of the workday. This is also regulated under occupational safety laws. Generally, this method is widely used in traditional work environments and offers a simple way to monitor an employee's working hours.

Attendance Time:

  1. Easy to Record: Attendance times are easy to capture and manage.
  2. Transparency: The presence of employees is clearly documented.
  3. Compliance: Helps businesses adhere to labor laws and regulations.
  4. No Link to Productivity: Attendance times do not necessarily reflect an employee's productivity or contribution to a project.
  5. Lack of Flexibility: For knowledge workers who may work flexibly or from home, mere presence is often not indicative.
  6. Does Not Capture Specific Project Times: In multi-project environments, attendance time is not useful for allocating time actually spent on projects.

Time Reporting: Definition and Benefits

Time reporting refers to the detailed recording of the actual time spent on specific tasks or projects. Employees actively report how much time they have spent on concrete activities. This method is particularly important in multi-project management and resource management.

Time Reporting:

  1. Accurate Resource Allocation: Time reports allow for precise allocation of work hours to specific projects and tasks.
  2. Increased Transparency: Project managers gain a clear overview of the progress of individual projects and the effort involved.
  3. Optimization of Resource Planning: By accurately capturing time spent, resources can be planned and utilized more effectively.
  4. Increased Administrative Effort: Detailed recording and reporting of work time require additional time and discipline from employees.
  5. Potential for Inaccuracies: If employees do not record their times promptly or accurately, the data may become inaccurate.
  6. Requires Training and Acceptance: Employees must be trained and motivated to use the system consistently.

The Ideal Approach: A Combination of Both Methods

In practice, combining attendance time and time reporting proves particularly effective. Attendance times provide insights into the basic availability of employees, while time reporting offers detailed insights into actual work hours and performance.


Finding the right balance between attendance time and time reporting is crucial for effective multi-project management and resource management. By implementing a combined strategy, companies can optimally utilize their resources and ensure the success of their projects.

Conny Düran
Written by

Conny Düran

Conny Düran is Head of Customer Service and Support at Can Do. She is therefore very close to the challenges of the prospective customers and the everyday project work of the users. In the Can Do blog, Conny writes about features of our software that are particularly popular with users.