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timesheet-lifecycle

timesheet - Lifecycle

A colleague desperately wanted me to write about time-sheets.  Disclaimer: This is pure fiction (and so is the stuff put in a time-sheet)

Groan! Oh No! WTF, sucks man, crap, this is seriously crap, abey kya hein. These are some of the expressions by Indian software guys, when they must fill in a Time-sheet.

What is a time-sheet?

When management is confused about your work/tasks, you are asked to fill a simple spreadsheet, with your daily tasks and the time spent on them. That in itself is not bad, but then the 8 hour rule kicks in.

8 hour ruleWe , the company expect thee, the puny Software engineer, to create,develop and test value for at least 8 hours in a day. Anything less shall be considered against you. It is humanly impossible to create value in less than 8 hours. So in light of this revelation, understand the purpose of life (of a S/W engineer) and contribute to the human lines of code.

Time-sheet is an excellent opportunity for engineers to creatively come up with value-added-task jargon .

For example:-

Analyzed problem.

Brainstormed with so-so engineer.

Explored different methodologies.

1 hour Knowledge transfer session

Meeting, Meeting, Meeting

Watched results!!?

These adjectives (!?) are picked from the vast databases of S/W resumes.

Sample Time-sheet

Date

Time Spent

Task

Feb 1

3

Analyzed 3 issues

1

Interacted with other engineers about complications

2

1 hour knowledge Transfer session

1

3 Meeting s

1

Brainstormed for ideas

In reality the above looks like…

Date

Time Spent

Task

Feb 1

3

No analysis required, I already know these are 3 issues.

1

Chatted up with colleagues over coffee

2

10 minute overview of module; 50 minute knowledge gossip

1

2 meetings and 1 cancelled

1

Came up with creative & useful looking tasks for time-sheet

The top 5 favorite 1 liners engineers love to use in their time-sheet

1) Meeting or better, company wide meeting

2) Knowledge Transfer session. The more people involved here, the more genuine it looks.

3) Setting up environment.

4) Responded to customer queries (aha the ideal employee, who is brilliant enough to help customers directly)

5) <I could think of only 4>

Buzz words

Analyzed, explored, optimized, re-factored, shared, tested

Saying all this, I know for a fact that engineers love time-sheets when they worked hard & long on a particular work day. Time-sheet is an excellent medium to officially brag about your value-added-services to the team. On such a day the engineer will gleefully enter all the tasks, the number of issues solved, and more. He would proactively inquire with his lead if he did receive the time-sheet. If the lead did read, appreciation is expected.

Engineers love to hear “Hey. Good Job! That was hard work

So that they can say “No Problem. It’s not a big deal” (Oh it is big, it is the biggest deal of this unproductive week)

and then other engineers think “Oho Good Job..eh? Wait till my edited time-sheet becomes public

and yet others can’t decide if they are happy that more work wasn’t given or envious that they can’t decorate their time-sheets in a similar fashion (as seen above)

If engineers dislike filling time-sheets, then they absolutely hate not filling them up when working on a weekend. Unfortunately time-sheets have a design flaw, they are built for 5-Day work week.

Pros

– bring transparency

– improve productivity

– improve creative writing

Cons

– they SUCK!

People once said – The world is flat.

Now they say – The world is transparent. (because of time-sheets)

Coming Soon

Me, Myself and my timesheet by Abhishek Garewal

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