How many ways do you track progress



  • Today's homepage article mentioned filling out "multiple timesheets" and reading it made me realize that I, myself, in jobs past, have had a hodgepodge of ways to track progress on a given project. Sometimes because the different departments don't really integrate with eachother one has to fill out a timesheet for payroll purposes, another for project tracking purposes, and yet another for some other purpose. What crazy time tracking schemes have you had to juggle around and ensure are all accurate?

    My previous job, which had a number of WTFs that I don't have time or patience to get into, had a grand total of 5 ways to track during its zenith.

    1.) We used Harvest to track hours that we actually send to the client. These were very "generalized" hours, e.g. billable vs warranty vs a myriad of others.

    2.) We used JIRA to track hours on specific tasks against estimates.

    3.) We used a Google doc to track hours against a project plan that wasn't tied to JIRA (even though it should have been)

    4.) We used another Google doc to track commits to source control, even though our source control history could do that for us, plus there were hooks to JIRA available that would do that for us.

    5.) We used Sharepoint to track hours against the same project plan, which exactly duplicated the Google doc. We had to maintain both this and the Google doc because Sharepoint often crashed and lost our data, due to the "sheer amount of server traffic to Sharepoint that we didn't anticipate... all of 40 employees who we knew were going to use Sharepoint.

    All of these methods could be combined into one, even if we might want to use different methods of attaining data (e.g. a hook to Sharepoint, JIRA, and source control could give us project activity info from one data-entry source; one colleague even offered to get such a system perfected in a couple days but management insisted that this 5-point solution was good as it was). The amount of overhead to maintain these sources was to the point some people would actually include "time spent tracking time" in their timesheets.

    TRWTF was there was no checks and balances as to whether one source was accurate against another. You could enter 8 hours for a day in Harvest that corresponded to only 3 hours of work on JIRA, a 5 hour day in Sharepoint with no source control commits recorded. So you could bill the client for 8 hours while in reality only 5 hours were actually done and the other 3 were either forgotten or spent on non-billable meetings or whatever. I'm also not counting the additional HR portal where we track sick time and PTO, although technically that's another time tracking method that's at least done for a different purpose than the 5 listed above, which essentially track the same work hours.

    Does anyone have an even better project tracking clusterfuck?



  • Not sure it's better but in a previous incarnation I had the following...

    1. Agresso to record my weekly hours with a line item per project/activity or absence type (sick/annual leave/public holiday)

      1.1) Any line items that were "Support" needed an exactly corresponding entry adding into an Access database

      1.2) Any line item for a Time & Materials external project needed an exactly corresponding Excel timesheet creating and forwarding to the customer


      All the marrying up of times was done manually.


      Compared to you I think I had it easy. (We now have one place to record our time.)



  • You are complaining about check and balances already in place. The people who design tracking mechanism wanted to be absolute sure that you were tracking it correctly. So they gave you a lot of systems to track. Since we're in a capability mature model, (CMM), we just track it in two ways.


    1> Track our entry time and exit time.

    2> Track the time put against the project.



  • Normally, I will track my time and tasks. I'm always trying to break up my work by doing multitasking. Sometimes, a little bit of everything gets done, but it doesn't look like any real progress has been made. I need to do and finish one thing at a time.

    Hence, I started to search for some good time management application to manage my routine schedules. I found many applications such as Replicon, time tracker, Rescue time, etc. Out of those apps, I've read some good feedback and suggestions about Replicon Suite.



  • @Shenoi said:

    Normally, I will track my time and tasks. I'm always trying to break up my work by doing multitasking. Sometimes, a little bit of everything gets done, but it doesn't look like any real progress has been made. I need to do and finish one thing at a time.

    Hence, I started to search for some good time management application to manage my routine schedules. I found many applications such as Replicon, time tracker, Rescue time, etc. Out of those apps, I've read some good feedback and suggestions about Replicon Suite.

    The trouble with apps is you have to still do data entry. User don't like doing data entry.


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