[thelist] Filling up timesheets - good or bad?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 12:35:30 CST 2001

> From: "Warden, Matt" <mwarden at odyssey-design.com>
> My employer used to require this. It's not a good idea, IMO. Or, maybe just
> they way they wanted every second to be accounted for. Unfortunately:
> 1. Co-workers ask for help

then you log that time... it's important for managers to know who is 
doing informal training, about what topics, and for how long... that 
way they can institute proper training, or allocate more time for you 
to train people, or whatever...

> 2. You get grabbed into meetings that have nothing to do with a project you're
> working on, but they need your expertise

then you enter that time to that project... no biggie... let them worry 
about whether or not it's in their budget, they shouldn't have asked 
you if they couldn't take the hour hit... and they'll be smarter in the 
future and either budget it or not ask you...

> 3. You take breaks every so often to keep yourself from going nuts

yeah?  so what?  if you're taking more than the hour you're allowed, 
or it cuts into your other 8 hours, then enter it... bosses will see 
that you are either stressed or grumpy...

> 4. Managers are dumb, you spend time filling them in

properly documented time jives with the project plan, so there's no 
reason to fill anyone in... let the reports do that for you... don't have 
a project meeting until the boss-man has read the reports...

> And there are a few other items that really don't fit anywhere. This went away
> at my company because they hired a bunch of moron developers and there were
> about 3 of us veterans who spend 50-75% of our day (literally) helping them
> (one lady was a "Java Developer", and she couldn't even understand
> JavaScript --- at all! --- I had to explain what an if... then... else
> conditional was.).

training... see above (response to your point #1)... i would want to 
know, as a manager, that the Java person is getting an hour of your 
help a day or that you're time is being taken from projects for this... 
that would allow me to re-examine your or her duties, and take 
steps to fix it...

> You say: Well, why not just record things as you do it?
> I reply: When I code, I get into "the zone". It takes 15-30 minutes to get
> into a state of total concentration where you tune out everything else. Tell
> me, how will anyone get into the zone if they are using X% of their brain
> power keeping track of hours here and there? That's not how I work at all. If
> I was an employer, I'd want my employees working the best they can work the
> best WAY they can work.

i only work on stuff in blocks... i do my best to keep one project in 
the forefront of my brain, even though i have 10 on my plate... so, 
for instance, this afternoon is dedicated to the french project, so i 
know i've allocated 4 hours... if i use it all, i enter it all... if i work 
past 6, then i know i've put more into it, and by how much...

and, worst case scenario, i look at when i checked files in and out 
of version control, and that gives me a pretty precise time...

be glad you aren't a lawyer -- 6 minute increments...

> Not to mention that I was minimally insulted at what seemed to me as a lack of
> trust.

that's a function of poor explanation by management... nobody here 
feels that we are auditing them, just the projects... and since i 
catch shite when one of my people goes over on a project, they 
don't worry too much...

More information about the thelist mailing list