Dual time tracking systems



  • So... in order to get paid, I'm required to report both my time worked total and time spent on each project into a custom-designed time tracking application created by my employers. Some projects also require you to subdivide your project time into more detailed time blocks.

    While this application has many WTFs, that will/may be another post I make later.

    No, the WTF in this story is that, starting on the pay period ending September 28, everyone in my division are now required to enter our time and activity into a second system named ChangePoint. A system that was purchased (presumably at great expense) in addition to the system we already enter time/activity into.

    They've configured ChangePoint to use the same project tracking codes as our primary time tracking app (the one that controls payroll and has auditing controls and all that fun stuff).

    So, why have a second system? Because project managers weren't happy with the reports from the first system. So, instead of having our developers change the existing application, they simply purchased a new one and use both...



  • Are there plans to go wholly with ChangePoint? Maybe they just aren't telling you that bit?



  • @boomzilla said:

    Are there plans to go wholly with ChangePoint? Maybe they just aren't telling you that bit?

    As far as I'm aware, no. We're part of a much larger department and the director of IT hasn't said anything about it... only the management level directly above me has mentioned it.


  • :belt_onion:

    @powerlord said:

    So, why have a second system? Because project managers weren't happy with the reports from the first system. So, instead of having our developers change the existing application, they simply purchased a new one and use both...

    Only 2 systems?

    Let me guess the real reason for this change... a new manager must exist somewhere that requires this new reporting ability. Each new manager will invariably introduce their own pet system as an addition to what needs to be used.



  • @darkmatter said:

    Only 2 systems?

    Well, there are 3 if you're assigned to an agile project, but I'm not currently assigned to any of those.

    @darkmatter said:

    Let me guess the real reason for this change... a new manager must exist somewhere that requires this new reporting ability. Each new manager will invariably introduce their own pet system as an addition to what needs to be used.

    Management has been shuffled around a bit, but this seems to be coming from the project management office, which has been run by the same manager since I started here a few years ago.


  • :belt_onion:

    @powerlord said:

    Well, there are 3 if you're assigned to an agile project, but I'm not currently assigned to any of those.

    That's more like it.

    Now you just need a mother system to combine the reporting from those 3 into a single mega-report.


  • SockDev

    With a lovely waterfragile background.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @powerlord said:

    Some projects also require you to subdivide your project time into more detailed time blocks.

    Are you making the figures up like what sensible folks do, or are you wasting time on making everything correct?



  • @dkf said:

    Are you making the figures up like what sensible folks do, or are you wasting time on making everything correct?

    Making figures up. Except just recently they changed the project code I'm using to a different one that has employees working on different projects, so now I'm required to put the project's acronym in for all my hours.

    I'm not sure wtf is up with that decision... that one's a management wtf as this is an internal project so we're not billing another department either way.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @powerlord said:

    Making figures up.

    Ah, good.

    I have to fill in timesheets occasionally for different parts of the system that sees me getting paid, and they're highly fucked up. One part wants everything in months, another in days, and yet a third in hours. Matching the values up is non-trivial, because there is some cross-checking but moronically. (“Yes, I didn't work so many hours that month. Because it was February and it only has 28 days in it in 2013. You can check a standard calendar if you don't believe me.”)

    But at least we do it all in Excel.



  • *changes dkf's workplace to use the Thai Buddhist calendar*

    There, better now?



  • I have found the best way to deal with this kind of shenanigans is to report at least an hour each week for filling in these silly numbers.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @tarunik said:

    *changes dkf's workplace to use the Thai Buddhist calendar*

    There, better now?

    No, but only because the Thais aren't giving us any money. ;-)



  • @martijntje said:

    I have found the best way to deal with this kind of shenanigans is to report at least an hour each week for filling in these silly numbers.

    I've seen a few WTF time tracking systems in my time, but one of them was so slow and byzantine that it did take an hour a week to fill in the timesheets. Almost two decades later I can still make colleagues from that time cringe reflexively by saying "Trax".



  • I always tell clients that I'm happy to perform any time-tracking and accounting or whatever other metadocumentation they like, but that it will happen in billable time.

    Funny enough, that tends to cut down how much they want. Shame it's almost certainly ineffective on corporates.



  • @VaelynPhi said:

    I always tell clients that I'm happy to perform any time-tracking and accounting or whatever other metadocumentation they like, but that it will happen in billable time.

    Fascinating. I guess this is a small customer sort of thing, where project management isn't figured into the cost?



  • The most common contract model I use is 25% down on start of project, 25% on review, 50% on delivery, and clients get time estimates weekly. I don't often do hourly work unless it's very small stuff where flat rate doesn't make sense. Most of my clients wouldn't know how to manage a software project anyhow. Usually the only two things they care about are how much it costs and when they can have it, which is why I discourage micromanagement by telling them it costs more. Heh.

    More explicitly, I use project management for myself, not the client. Though I usually tell them they're welcome to review my commits. Funny enough, even the ones who are well-versed in version control usually don't even look.


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