Thinking back to my days at UVM with computer lectures about waterfall model vs agile as well as my economics class about digging a hole: people or shovels…You have a limited amount of resources and tools to do a specific job with, but how detailed in time do you really need to track. You dug a hole for 45minutes, went to the bathroom for 4, held a meeting regarding creating a larger hole in the afternoon, etc. Think about the process at hand and how to optimize and become efficient. How much time do you spend recording the time of stuff you do at the work place? I guess I just keep hitting my head against the wall when it comes to understanding why so much time is spent time tracking.
Now before I dive too deep, please understand that time tracking and payment for time worked is completely different. I think everyone and anyone who works a solid day of work should be paid a solid day wage.
The motto goes “A solid days work for a solid days pay.”
The problem I have is when so much focus, time and energy is spent for something that either you can control, don’t reflect on or make changes on, or better yet can’t make change as it takes X months to bring someone up to speed or by laying off someone you use X months/years of IP.
Okay, so maybe I am thinking too much into this. I just know for a lot of businesses and people I talk to, time tracking is a consuming tasks that is almost always estimated. Unless you have punch cards, why track it? Focus on getting things done and just accept paying X for Y people you have on staff.
Back to the days of basic economics. Say you have shovels and people, with 1 person you can dig a small hole, and with 2 people you can dig a larger hole, but when you have 100 shovels and 10 people or 100 people and 10 shovels you get the same results. Even if you have 100 people and 100 shovels you will reach a point where adding on that extra person doesn’t provide as much output or could even HURT digging a hole as that extra person requires the other 100 people to spend a day meeting and showing the “ropes” to that new 101 person. Think about how this relates to time tracking, you could spend so much time detailing what you worked on that you are now spending more time, tracking time and worrying about the process then getting things done. It’s the same when you have 100 people and 10 shovels, you can only dig a hole so deep or get so many things accomplished.
The only place I see timetracking as essential is when your billing it to a client or customer, not internally. Time internally should be more of an acceptance that the person is working on a specific task. If I hire a web developer, I am not going to ask for a time sheet of which code project he worked on for me or how they spend 3 hours refactoring X code. I just want to know that things are getting done and improved.