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Timesheets: Need for zillions of tasks?

Hello,

Im currently working in the financial sector, where the general idea seems to be that IT do not contribute to the revenue generating business (by providing effective means of doing business, and thus saving money), but just cost a whackload of money.

Because of this misconception, there is an overenthusastic followup of the budget and we have a very fine grained time reporting system. This is a big pain in the you know where.

There can be 50 different tasks to a project, with another 10 or so sub categories. You do the math. Im trying to figure out a less tedious system for keeping track of time, and that also has the benefit of being somewhat fine grained.

How are you doing this, so that you keep the balance between the number of report tasks and the need for followup?

Experiences and thoughts are welcome.

Anonymous (for this one)
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

The only way to show business value is
via time cards?

somebody
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

If your time is not billable, then all time cards indicate are which cost centers should be paying for you - you're just a load. What you should be doing is putting together point papers about how you save the company money (efficiency, auditing, identifying waste, etc) - you need to point out dollars and cents, and support it with evidence.

Then you can point out how timesheets *cost* the company money because while you're filling out time sheets, you're not pursuing productive activities. :)

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Tell those jackasses you are a vb programmer and not subject to such common accounting practices.  They need to come up with a new form of accounting to guage you're worth ala the article recently by VB's inventor

Carly
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

"They need to come up with a new form of accounting to guage you're worth ala the article recently by VB's inventor."  Oh, come on Carly, if you post something like that you have to provide a link. Otherwise no one knows what you're talking about, and you don't make your point.

Exception guy
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

I think he means this article by Alan Cooper

http://www.ftponline.com/vsm/2003_11/magazine/departments/softwarearchitect/

Kentasy
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

http://www.allnetic.com/working-time-tracker/index.html

The Allnetic Working Time Tracker.

It's what I used when I was at a big financial that started tracking our hours. The program - the 1.x version, not the beta version that expires - is a little quirky, and it may take you a while to get it set up to the point where it's really useful for you, but at the end of the week I was able to scroll through the tasks and input them into the web-based tracking system quickly and easily.

You can even fudge some numbers later on, I checked each day to make sure I had 8 hours. They expect you to work a full 40 hours, and let's face it. None of us is going to but more than a few minutes into "non project" work like checking email or gossiping by the water cooler, and at the same time, none of us actually work 40 hours (unless we're at the office a lot more than that) on a regular basis.

The program automatically starts & stops when it detect activity / inactivity on your computer, so it tracks often more accurately than you would. Having it remind me to start after I come back to the computer is a godsend.

Mark T A W .com
Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Philo,

My time is internally billable, which pretty much is what you are saying an indication of which costcenters should pay for my time. Just a question if the money paying my time is coming from the left or the right pocket.

Im off practicing my writing skills to produce those papers :)

Anonymous (for this one)
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

> Then you can point out how timesheets *cost* the company money because while you're filling out time sheets, you're not pursuing productive activities. :) <

Everyone whose had to fill out time sheets has thought about that. I think I included an explicit hour every Friday for it. Then again, I don't work there anymore...

Mark T A W .com
Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Can you manage what you cannot measure? Personally I think time sheets are great and dislike when they are not used. Usually they are not used in companies which ask me to do something they haven't really thought about until of course after I've created something.  If I have a business I want to know what things cost me. It doesn't mean I'm going to get cheap, I just need to know. I think the problem is more in the implementation of managing costs than in the concept itself. Most people I've met who dislike time sheets dislike any sort of accounting for their work.  It is not the time sheets per se but just the concept that someone would actually track what they do.

Me
Thursday, October 02, 2003

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