[thelist] Filling up timesheets - good or bad?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 07:34:29 CST 2001

> From: "Hendrik Mans" <hm at netzbiest.de>
> Personally, I think stuff like making employees fill out timesheet is the
> worst a company can do. It's the kind of ideas people get from misguided
> personell managers/trainers who believe that putting pressure on people
> always makes them work better.

um, we're a 10 person company, and we rely on it... we have a 
professional services billing model, with capped fees... how else do 
you know if you're still on budget?  how can you tell where you are 
in a project?  how do you generate accurate bills?

this is the way we do business, from day one... if anyone refuses 
to fill out time at my office, they won't stay very long...

if someone complains that he's spending too much time 
administering a server and needs help, the first thing i do is run his 
hours and see how much time he's sinking into it... then i do a 
quick cost-benefit analysis to see if he's putting in enough time to 
warrant a new hire, thereby making those hours billable for him 
again... if he hasn't entered any time, well, how do i know who or 
what to hire?  how do i know what tasks he needs help on?

i used to reel against time sheets when i was an employee, but 
now that i have a business, i rely on them to bill clients, track 
projects, constantly re-evaluate our quoting, determine where we 
need staff, and many other things... if the staff understands the 
importance, and understands precisely how they are used, then 
there are no problems...

> Also, don't believe these timesheets are actually used to keep track of what
> people are doing. Managers/CEOs/etc know that it's a good way to make people
> feel bad for slacking. Group dynamics and all. Bah.

we don't use them to audit how hard people are working (that's just 
stupid)... they know that, too... it's a fine line since people who are 
going over budget often try to hide time in the research or admin 
sections... but there is no reprisal, and once a staff member knows 
that, time is accurate, and we know when we've gone over budget, 
thereby allowing is to quote more accurately...

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