[thelist] Filling up timesheets - good or bad?

aardvark roselli at earthlink.net
Thu Jan 11 13:23:34 CST 2001

> From: "Warden, Matt" <mwarden at odyssey-design.com>
> > 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...
> Maybe it was just a problem with the time-tracking application we had, but you
> couldn't do this, and they refused to create a "project" called "Helping
> Coworkers" or whatever.

yeah, that's a problem with the bosses and the system... training 
occurs all the time... you have to constantly re-educate yourself, 
and when there's no way to track that time (i look for 10-30% of my 
staff's time dedicated to education), it penalizes the employee... 
very poor implementation, and the psychology of that is self-

> > > 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...
> Couldn't do this. You could only log hours to projects you were assigned to.
> I'm beginning to think that it isn't the fault of timesheets themselves, but
> just the way they were implimented.

eewww... that's just lame... that would need to be fixed, as well, to 
have a viable time-tracking system...

> > > 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,
> for lunch? i'm not talking about lunch.

me neither...

> > or it cuts into your other 8 hours, then enter it... bosses will see
> > that you are either stressed or grumpy...
> enter it as what?

well, we have a task here called 'Time not Worked'... people 
usually enter details like, playing unreal, trying to clean the mouse, 
finding my color wheel, throwing slinkies at steve, etc...

> > > 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...
> tell that to the boss when he comes around asking what you're working on or
> how you are planning to attack a certain problem...

yer boss is not a project manager... sorry to hear that...

> > let the reports do that for you... don't have
> > a project meeting until the boss-man has read the reports...
> Ummmm... what? Maybe you're used to small companies, but I had at least three
> or four "bosses"... and a few others who like to act like they were my boss.
> Only one of them was concerned with time. The others were concerned with the
> projects themselves and how we were going to do things.

i've been inside 1,500 person companies and 5 person 
companies... i had 4 bosses at one point, and those days were 
horrible... but using a good project manager and time tracking tool 
alleviated a lot of crap, no matter the size of the company... after 
all, we're talking individual projects, not the entire company (which 
is hard to grasp for some boss-men)...

> > 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...
> Yes. The bossman was notified... quite a number of times. He called her
> "green" and said she just needed to "get acclimated with the environment".
> Since there was no where to log this time, that bossman just told me to forget
> about it... and that was the beginning of the crumbling of that hours system.

yeah, that would erode any time entry system, and the authority of 
the boss-man to expect you to use it...

> > 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...
> You're lucky. This never happens to me. I try to work on one thing at a time,
> but shit seems to revolve around the bossmen/bosswomen/bosspeople's schedules.
> I'm working on Project A and they schedule a meeting for project B, stop me to
> talk about Project C, ask a question about Project D that was finished last
> week, etc., etc., etc.

it's not as hard as it seems... you ever tried refusing a meeting 
appointment?  it's fun when all 4 of your bosses wonder why, and 
your reason is that you have real work to do... of course, i know 
that i was a bastard of an employee, and i don't think you want to 
be that...

More information about the thelist mailing list