For the simplification, I am talking here only about the time, invested into the project starting from the task being defined for developers and functionality being passed to testers.
AFAIK, the mostly used tool for support of the project management is JIRA now. Using it, we can find how much time was used for different functionalities. Or, maybe, subtasks connected to functionalities.
But in the real life, a great deal of work of a developer belongs not to the coding, but to the different additional activities: installing and configuring of platforms, libraries, old and new parts of the project, refactoring, functional and unit testing and others. If some activity is a great and well-known time-eater, everybody knows about the problem and we can hope that the problem will be solved sooner or later. But time-eaters can expose themselves only in connection to some specific activities or parts of the product. And different developers are wasting their time again and again, not even knowing that it is a common problem.
The obvious solution is to register time put not only into different functional tasks, but into different organizational stages, necessary for their solutions. Such as reinstallation of plugin A or writing API tests.
If we had such information, we could find the problems and after solution of them greatly increase the effectiveness of the common work. Something as:
When creating a functional test, we spend 40%+-15% of time for the automatization of server launching with the necessary data. => We should make some data loader for that server.
The tools as MS Project Manager can show us the structure of the time invested, but cannot measure it. They can be used only for postfactum analysis, if somebody has collected and put in the data.
But HOW can we register and/or measure the time put into different activities connected to the solutions of the concrete tasks? Also, I would like not to pass the measurements into the analysis process manually. JIRA, IMHO, is absolutely unusable for any of these tasks.
I am not so interested in the tool (any table calculator can serve) as in organization of the whole process among tools and people.