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In consulting industry, accurately logging time is a part of the business. Sometimes, in the case of payment dispute, a client may ask for a detailed log of hours spent on its project. In your case, writing note in both system and on whiteboard might not be for billing purpose only.
I feel your pain, replace PHP/Symfony2 with C#/Sharepoint (rant for another day) and add a Scrum Master who acts more like a project manager on a waterfall team and you've got my life. We're trying to get some dedicated team space in our building so we can put up a 32" screen and use that to display out JIRA "board" so we only have to update our tasks in one place but that's been "in the works" for over a year now. I understand why logging time to a task is important but I prefer to log time spent once the task is complete but that doesn't work so well when management values hours over story points for tracking (hence the waterfall feel to the "agile" team). I know there is a lot of documentation, whitepapers etc on combining waterfall and agile but, at least in my experience, it ends up feeling more like a bait-and-switch.
First, I hate time logging, but I have to do it. I bill up to 5 different clients every day, depending one what I am working on. Many days are a blur, so you have to keep some kind of notes. Luckily I have 1hr increments. 15 minutes would totally suck, and I would fight it.
Personally, I would do a brown bag lunch with the 7 guys, and ask them if they enjoy updating the board. Because, IMO that is the first thing to go. I would rather spend a day on the weekend writing a screen that produced something similar in the software (or more time). Get that killed.
Next, realize that counting the time is also a way for people to realize that they are getting paid for their time. Even if they spend it at the water cooler, or getting a coke. So, whatever task I am doing, if I get a coke, that time is billed to the task at hand.
Also, I have no requirement to bill 7.5hrs per day. I will be honest, on many days, I barely get 6 billable hours in, and I am at the "office" for 8-9hrs. I give the guys who work for me a Continuous Improvement account. They can bill up to 2hrs a day to that account. I do. Some days I get like 3 days of work done, and others, I suffer to see 1/2 a day.
I guess the best way to look at it, is to OPTIMIZE it for you. Do as little as you can to meet the requirement, and enjoy the work. And CERTAINLY calculate the time spent ADMINISTRATING this, and find a way to log it.
I've worked for (and am currently working for) a company that does time logging. (To the point we are using a 3rd party app - Toggl - to track it, but there are others).
Time logging falls into a couple categories: 1) Management is worried you're not working on your job.
This indicates a problem with Management itself (and there are better tools, including ones that take a screen shot every X number of minutes). Unfortunately, not much you can do about this.
2) Management is required to track it.
Some government contracts (and others) require time tracking. It sucks. Sorry.
2) Management is tracking time for economic reasons.
Management is tracking time because they this is a capital project. Hours spent here can be written off of taxes. (So, it's required too).
Now that said, most management (except for case 1) aren't going to freak out if you make a phone call or talk to someone. The idea is to get good general hours that will withstand an auditor's scrutiny.
As for the WhiteBoard....someone has been reading about KanBan boards, and it's a pain in the neck. (You're supposed to use JIRA or a KanBan board, not both). Ask if you can (at least) use a virtual KanBan board. (JIRA might even supply something similar to a Kanban board).
Strict time logging, and you might be a crybaby...but given the Kanban board and JIRA and you might be dealing with a Situation 1 - in which case you're justified.
Jira is pretty crap, but that board is a complete piece of s**t.
What you describe is an inditement of who-ever is in charge there. They either don't know what they're doing, or they have caved to the anal pen-pushers upstairs.
I would LOVE to be able to afford seven programmers. If I had a machine that cost around a million bucks a year to lease then I would very careful to make sure I got maximum value out of it.
What I do is assign Task tickets to my developers and let them go. Those that are time-critical I mark as such, and when I really need something quick I go tell them that.
At the end of the week my developers must "apportion" their time up among those tickets. I expect that time taking a dump, or talking crap at the water cooler, or showing the latest funny youtube to the rest of the office will be spread over those tickets.
I expect they will spend no more than a half hour a week filling in those times. Luckily for me, they spend most of the rest of the week doing what I want them to do: cutting code, fixing sh*t, or blowing smoke up the users asses.
My reasoning is: a developer, in a 40 hour week, produces x amount of output. While producing that output he also scratches his butt, and figures out ways to annoy his boss. So the cost of the output includes the cost of that stuff. If my clients don't like that, its a free market, go deal with Sonshu's company. See how they go there.
Time tracking without tools is a real bummer. I really hate it because i want to create software without distractions. We're using Deskzilla for tracking the time we spend on diffent tasks. This allows me to track my time with a single mouse click: screenshot Deskzilla It's possible to change the recorded timespans later (sometimes i forget to switch the tracker).
With a one-click-tool like this it's ok for me to log my time, but by hand is a no-go for me.
I'm glad I program with a keyboard - coding that with a file and a big hammer would be...um...entertaining...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it. --- George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952) Those who fail to clear history are doomed to explain it. --- OriginalGriff (February 24, 1959 – ∞)
Cool! We had a slightly newer model in college, built with vacuum tube operational amplifiers and programmed using potentiometers and jumper wires. I don't know that they ever got that thing to work, because the hundreds (or possibly thousands) of vacuum tubes failed so often that there was never a time when all amplifiers were working.
We did have to program the latest and greatest solid state models, using transistor-based operational amplifiers configured as integrators (capacitive feedback) or differentiators (capacitive feedforward), along with adders (summing junctions) and potentiometers for scaling stages of the equation solutions. Like the vacuum tube models, mathematical functions were interconnected with jumper wires. Being a true analog solution there was no quantization error, and accuracy far greater than anything digital could achieve was possible. Great fun, but tedious!
Its ablaze apparently. Pier fires are quite common at least in the UK, why with all that water around don't they add a few high pressure/high flow pumps that can be switched on to extinguish such fires?