RE: Time keeping

Subject: RE: Time keeping
From: "Higgins, Lisa" <LHiggins -at- carrieraccess -dot- com>
To: Bob Morrisette <writer1 -at- sabu -dot- EBay -dot- Sun -dot- COM>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2000 12:39:53 -0700

> Starting today the writers in my group are required to
> fill out a web-based form showing how much time they spend
> on each document during the day.

I've had to do this in the past, and it can be very difficult. When you're
working on several projects, it can take a lot of time to keep track of when
you're doing what, and it's a judgement call what you document for this.
What if you're working on one thing, and someone calls or stops by with
information about a different project? Do you note that? Is there some time
limit?

From a distance, I can see how this seems like a really great idea. In
practice, though, it's a huge time and motivation suck. Fortunately, it's an
inherently self-destructive process once you start accurately accounting for
all the time you spend accurately accounting. When I first did this, I was
laughed at, but I made it clear that I was being honest in my recording, and
if they were looking for things that wasted time, there was one staring
right out at them. After a couple of meticulously accounted-for weeks, we
got to use broad estimates of the time we spent on each project. These
worked quite well, and were probably at least as accurate as our previous
system.

(And no, I really don't think it's appropriate for anyone but MAYBE the most
junior level writer. Anyone with any experience has probably figured out the
most effective way to work, and I can't imagine what they'd want to do with
this information except dictate some oppressive, inefficient, soul-sucking
working model. Or maybe it's a contest to see who goes to the most
meetings.)

Lisa.






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