[thelist] Filling up timesheets - good or bad?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 10:08:32 CST 2001

> From: Madhu Menon <webguru at vsnl.net>
> Ah, but you see we don't usually bill on an hourly basis. So, it doesn't 
> matter how many hours we spend. If I put a Senior Web Author on the job and 
> she can do it twice as fast as a regular web author, that's my problem.  So 
> at least in that area, time sheets don't help.

we do, but against capped fees... and since we know who the 
resource will be in the planning stages, we don't put a senior 
person on a job assigned to a less senior staff member...

> In MY case, however, I'm almost often doing several things at any given 
> time, and not one thing after the other. That's what happens when you 
> manage a department. I find it very hard to clearly set down the 
> achievements of a 30 minute time slot.

same here... and since it's not billable stuff, it goes into the 'admin' 
task and gets a general description, like "phone calls to clients, 
project reports, removed grit from photocopier"...

> What about coffee breaks? Or time spent discussing code with a colleague? 
> Or simply chatting about something? Since you can't put that into 
> timesheets, people will simply lie.

yes, i agree, except it doesn't happen here... if someone takes an 
hour to play Unreal, then they choose the 'time not worked' task, 
and as that person's boss, i see that there is bandwidth that can 
be filled... it's not always the employee's fault, it's usually the 
manager's fault... keep in mind, that we require 8 hours, lunch does 
not get entered, and neither do the two 15 minute breaks... if a 
person takes lunch and those two breaks, they have to be here 9 
hours... if they take no lunch or breaks, they have to be here 8 
hours... if the person works for four hours, and plays Unreal for four 
hours, that's four hours that have to made up, unless the manager 
had no work to give that person...

this is simplifying it, but it's all there in concept... it's not a device 
to watch workers, it's a device to watch projects...

> And as a friend of mine pointed out, some people may interpret timesheets 
> as a sign that a company distrusts its employees and needs to keep a 
> constant watch on them.

that needs to be addressed by management

> I prefer a weekly report that summarises the week's happenings.

we generate weeklies, too...

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