Monday, October 16, 2006

Time Tracking for Team Member Accountability

As much as I feel strongly about employee motivation and appreciation, I see the accountability and extra effort that comes from employees who have to account for every hour of the day via timesheets (I should add how important that these timesheets are actually reviewed).

I have seen exponentially more effectiveness when an employee realizes that they have to not only account for where their time goes each day, but that there is accountability for how much time is taken for each task and some responsibility for whether that task was the appropriate priority. If there is no consequence for not working, not working hard, or not working on the right things, then what is the motivation to work diligently on the right things? Generally there is no more consequence than “you should have asked me: for more work/if that was the priority/how long I expected that task to take.” If so, every day spent doing what the employee would rather do is its own reward.

I’m seeing now that new employees generally work quite hard in the first week or two, not because the want to impress, but more often they are concerned about consequences for not working hard at the right things. Once they are sure there are none, they quickly adjust to the acceptable (palatable) pace of those around them.

Think of the additional gains of a time tracking system: real time actual costs of projects, estimates-to-actuals by project, team size, team members, real bell curves of resource usage in order to intelligently schedule overlapping projects.

1 comment:

John Wilker said...

You know. I still use and have expanded, the Time Management Console I developed for DirectFit. It now generates invoices, tracks my time, I can send time reports to clients. Love it.

I hate the concept of strict enforcement, since usually "thought about a cool AJAX App" isn't a popular entry. When it's on a report for the boss. When "You need to show 8 hours" is the guideline, that's when it's not just accountability, but about control.