Every month do you write a monthly report in a monthly Microsoft Word monthly file every month?



  • So I'm asked to write my own monthly report containing what I had planned and what I have achieved.

    It's a MS Word file and it has a table of the days of each month.

    I have to change the colour of the Saturdays, Sundays and any other holidays to red manually.
    So I had to flip the calendar to figure out which dates were Sundays, Saturdays or national holidays.
    I found that very annoying.

    Now, I didn't know how these people write their monthly reports so I asked for a sample.

    They simply put

    Monthly Plan | Monthly Achievement(whether you achieved what you planned for)
    finish feature A | finished feature A
    finish feature B | finished feature B
    finish feature C | finished feature C

    I find this quite pointless and wasteful of time.

    I also have to look back at the SVN history to figure out what I had done since they don't give out written objectives every month but rather requests to modify/fix are made verbally as they find some errors or hear from their clients.

    I can see which files I modified.
    I don't know why I modified them unless I open every single one of them and compare them to the previous version.

    Do you have to do this too?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election Banned

    I do not, but occasionally someone above me asks that I give them a report of what I've done since the last time they asked, or, rarely, what I've done since I was hired.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    I'm currently working (from home, after hours) on a presentation to the director team about what my "team" (me and some contractors) have done this past year.

    It sucks.



  • @Yamikuronue said:

    It sucks.

    Ugh. This pointless waste of time(those monthly reports that I have to write) is so irritating.

    I don't see a point when I just have to write

    Plan : Finish Feature A
    Achievement : Finished Feature A

    There is actually no plan.

    They(Company N) just write what they did this month and say that's what they planned for at the beginning of the month.



  • Most East Asian companies require some sort of monthly report as the investors/stakeholders are usually very traditional and "enterprisey".

    I, too, need to submit monthly reports but thankfully, the company that I am currently contracted to, prepares the relevant Google docs with the formatting for me to just key in every day and they will extract it every month. It is more like an online daily work log for me.



  • Still sucks πŸ˜›


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Oh yeah, and monthyl I have to submit a single slide about my team as well.



  • At least, I don't do the language formatting and summarizing. I just spam in bullet points on what I did during the day. And they can summarize/omit for me and generate that report.



  • That sounds reasonable.



  • We're developers, not middle management. Middle management are the ones that are supposed to do this shit. If they do not do it, what is the point of having them in the company?



  • i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb



  • @Ascendant said:

    I have to change the colour of the Saturdays, Sundays and any other holidays to red manually.So I had to flip the calendar to figure out which dates were Sundays, Saturdays or national holidays.I found that very annoying.

    Tips: Try embed an Excel object in your Word doc and let the coloring be done with formula formatting. And then on the open event, use VBA to download holiday data from a subscribable ICS and change the color accordingingly.

    Ask your PM / Team Lead whether you can use a Project Management Tool to generate it for you. Tell him it's ineffective use of your contracted time this way.

    If your company use Team Foundation Server, MS Project can automatically generate report for you based on the check-ins and workitem marked solved by you. (The workitems can be project function points or bugfix tickets entered by the OA of your department, the manhour cost is cheaper this way)


  • β™Ώ

    @Ascendant said:

    Do you have to do this too?

    Yes and no. I leave a history blazed across Jira. My bosses can look at that if they cared (mostly they don't, at least for me). We provide a quarterly report to the customer for hours worked, but it's just across all of our tickets. No specifics.

    I know that my boss looks at stuff at annual review time, because my review ends up with comments like, "@boomzilla resolved 40% of all Jira tickets this year."


  • β™Ώ

    @cheong said:

    Tips:

    Add goals about filling out this report. Odds are that no one actually reads the details.



  • @WPT said:

    what is the point of having them in the company?

    Make you write the report, show it to the CEO and courier the insults back to you.



  • Actually we did add "time spent on filling timesheet" daily when I need to fill timesheet. That makes 0.5 hours (minimum unit for the timesheet application) for each workday and approximately 10 billable hours for workdays in a month.

    We no longer mandated to fill the timesheet after half year. Not sure if I should count this as a undefined . πŸ˜›



  • @Ascendant said:

    @WPT said:
    what is the point of having them in the company?

    Make you write the report, show it to the CEO and courier the insults back to you.

    If that is the case, refer to fbmacs tips



  • @WPT said:

    fbmacs

    Assistance! please? fbmacs?



  • It just shows that the management realized that timesheets in Software development is a undefined



  • @fbmac said:

    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    Be creative



  • @WPT said:

    It just shows that the management realized that timesheets in Software development is a undefined

    Yeah... don't we work in software development? where we would put in a system that does the repetitive work for you?



  • @Ascendant said:

    @WPT said:
    It just shows that the management realized that timesheets in Software development is a undefined

    Yeah... don't we work in software development? where we would put in a system that does the repetitive work for you?

    Glad that you realised that. 😁
    I am sure no one else in my company realised what I actually do with my timesheet.



  • That could be a "project cost control" thing, where lies have to be align with other lies.

    Be creative can wreck the train.



  • @WPT said:

    @fbmac said:
    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    Be creative

    Be careful. If you get caught, you'll be the one fired for falsifying company documents, not phb. Even if you have incontrovertible proof that he ordered you to lie (which is unlikely), it probably won't help you; it just means he will (maybe) be fired, too.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @WPT said:
    @fbmac said:
    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    Be creative

    Be careful. If you get caught, you'll be the one fired for falsifying company documents, not phb. Even if you have incontrovertible proof that he ordered you to lie (which is unlikely), it probably won't help you; it just means he will (maybe) be fired, too.

    Hey guys, I meant that as a joke...

    But it is true that I automate my timesheet filling, hooking it up with the time that I log into my system and the time I log out of my system.



  • Wait, have you ever heard any company fire people based on timesheet data with false information? I haven't heard any.

    I think most company accept that the timesheet is not to be accurately filled if they're only filled in the next morning (or even next week), and these are not tied to payroll anyway.

    IMO this is nothing when compared with providing incomplete / incorrect data dictionary / program specification that is an actual part of deliverable.



  • @cheong said:

    I think most company accept that the timesheet is not to be accurately filled if they're only filled in the next morning (or even next week),

    I know it's not your fault but the question is,

    Why do you do it then?



  • @Ascendant said:

    I know it's not your fault but the question is,

    Why do you do it then?


    Merely because I'm told to.

    IMO, any project management tool that requires developers to put extra effort to fill is a undefined .

    We have issue tracking system, we have source control that keeps track of our effort, and we also have weekly phone calling report generated by the PBX system, why make us fill the same data again and again?

    Most companies that can't affort a real project management tool but have department head smart enough will assign the OA be responsible for filling it to satisfy the upper management, and let developers with expensive billable hours do their real work.


  • BINNED

    Looks like a Changelog. Maybe you can write a changelog and commit it to the repo, then a script to parse it and generate a .doc file , complete with snapshots and all. Invest little time in it and reap the benefits for an entire year. Don't forget not to add Changelog generator to the Changelogs.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Meanwhile at WtfCorp, lies are standard practice and openly discussed.



  • nah, ceo is aware, they are intended for the parent company

    they are slowly getting more acurate, as they tighten these controls



  • I've had a job where they had something similar to this, but it was the one featured in the "how to demoralize employees" thread, so.

    Normally this is done in the ticketing system, but since you don't have one you're just in a constant muddle of nobody ever knowing what needs to be done and what was recently done and what was done but hasn't been QAed yet (which is moot because there's no QA anyway).



  • @boomzilla said:

    I know that my boss looks at stuff at annual review time, because my review ends up with comments like, "@boomzilla resolved 40% of all Jira tickets this year."

    When I worked at the "how to demoralize employees" company, I had resolved something like 80% of all open tickets for the team I worked on, and ALL BUT ONE were stuck waiting for QA.



  • So is not having a ticketing system as WTF as not using a version control system?

    Is a ticketing system a necessity or a nice addition?



  • Depends on whether the goal is to produce quality software or not.

    If you're just scamming gullible government employees, and the software's mostly incidental to that purpose, I suppose a ticketing system isn't very important.

    Remember that big noise the Slashdot crowd made a long time back that "Windows 2000 was released with 63,000 open bugs!" Here's a protip: what makes Microsoft an excellent software company is you could ask them "exactly how many open bugs are there in Windows 2000?" and they have an accurate answer. That's probably a capability reserved for only the top 5-10% of software companies.


  • β™Ώ

    @Ascendant said:

    So is not having a ticketing system as WTF as not using a version control system?

    Yes.

    Is a ticketing system a necessity or a nice addition?

    Necessity, as is time-tracking software (I've mentioned elsewhere the undefined of using said ticketing software for time-tracking,) even if it's only you using it, which can reference the tickets.

    Since having them has more advantages than simply completing whatever bastardised 'monthly timesheet' your monthly report consists of.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Ascendant said:

    I can see which files I modified. I don't know why I modified them unless I open every single one of them and compare them to the previous version.

    This is where detailed checkin comments can be very helpful.

    It takes very little effort, and in 4 years when someone (finally) notices a change in the behaviour of the software, it's good to have a decent checkin comment to remind you what was done, why it was done, and (sometimes) who asked for it. It's also useful when investigating bugs, and will also help cover your ass.

    @fbmac said:

    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    I misread that as @PJH πŸ˜†


  • β™Ώ

    @DoctorJones said:

    @fbmac said:
    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    I misread that as @PJH πŸ˜†

    I don't exactly have a lot of H to be P in that context...


  • β™Ώ

    @cheong said:

    Wait, have you ever heard any company fire people based on timesheet data with false information?

    Yes. This is a very big deal when you bill customers based on time sheet data. It can turn into a criminal matter even.


  • β™Ώ

    @Ascendant said:

    Is a ticketing system a necessity or a nice addition?

    Definitely a necessity. For pretty much any project. A simple personal project even. I mean, at that stage, you can probably get by with a spreadsheet or something, but you need a way to stay organized and track issues, whether they're bugs or features or whatever.



  • @fbmac said:

    i fill a sheet with lies as instructed by phb

    Know the feeling... the project we're doing has its timesheet done exactly the wrong way. Something like:

    • Displaying product A - x days.
    • Displaying product B - x days.
    • ...
    • Editing product A - x days.
    • Editing product B - x days.
    • ...

    Given that there are only minor differences on the products, we're basically doing all of them at once since having a working product A means a working product B, C, D and possibly several others, so it's impossible to distinguish.

    So we just stuff the hours wherever as long as they don't go over per-feature budget and the total matches. Funniest thing is that everybody knows that, nobody really needs the per-feature info, but it's there anyway.



  • That's it, we only bill customers based on the amount quoted on contract so unless that's a service request, the time spent doesn't matter.

    When we do onsite service request, we print a copy of service request form and ask the customer to write the on and off time, plus chop there. Also, not related to the timesheet system.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Meanwhile, at WtfCorp, if you are the #1 support ticket closer in the company, singlehandedly beating the entire corporate Helpdesk combined, you have to extract that data yourself and present it at your own review.



  • Pffft... were you expecting a manager to get that data?



  • @Ascendant said:

    I can see which files I modified. I don't know why I modified them unless I open every single one of them and compare them to the previous version.

    Do you have to do this too?

    Yes, I have to do it as well. My reports are weekly and then a summary monthly. Same basic idea, and yes I have to just go through the existing sources like you do to compile everything. I consider it a giant waste of time as well, but I also just copy+paste most of it. When working for large enterprise organizations, though, it is the kind of stuff that is fairly unavoidable.



  • I had to do this at a job I was let go from because the (new) manager had it in his head that I wasn't able to do the work despite being one of the most active committers and had several major features of mine launched without issue. It was his way of trying to force me out, by asking me to do inane work that he could easily compile on his own. Since none of the things he tried made me quit on my own, he ended up firing me anyways. So maybe start looking for something else. This was a small-ish startup though, not a corporate behemoth.

    I wrote a script to help me remember what I did so all I'd have to do is copy-paste when they asked what I did all day. It requires a significant amount of work to maintain, literally writing down everything you do as you're doing it, but once you get into the habit it's not that bad. It's the only way I've been able to remember what I worked on, what the issues were, what interrupted me, and why.



  • I had to fill an excel sheet at a previous job. Current employers would require it, but my team and I are contracted to another company, on site and cut off from the intranet. The company we're at doesn't want us wasting our time filling sheets anyway, so we're spared. They can see what we do in the ticketing and source control systems, plus the regular meetings and such.



  • Going back to the topic, it is undefined to actually use Microsoft Word for timesheets and likes. At the very least use Excel or something that is tabulated by default.



  • @Ascendant said:

    This pointless waste of time(those monthly reports that I have to write) is so irritating.

    Just make sure you use the new cover sheet.



  • @Ascendant said:

    They(Company N) just write what they did this month and say that's what they planned for at the beginning of the month.

    [quote=Seymour Cray]Five year goal: Build the biggest computer in the world. One-year goal: Achieve one-fifth of the above.[/quote]

    <!-- fuck off, dicksores -->

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