Anyone know someone who needs a few hundred dollars extra per month so he can crash on their couch?
1. Estimation improvement.
Most companies suck at estimation. You can increase the utility of this exercise 10 fold in the following simple manner:
a. Track everyone’s time against all projects by phase.
b. Figure out the average percentage the first phase (usually called ‘requirements gathering’ or something similar) takes up.
c. Use that ratio as a predictor of overall project length going forward.
For example: Your company finds that the ratio for the requirements phase of a project to its overall project cost is 10%. You just spent 100 hours doing a requirements document. This project will probably cost 1000 hours.
Simple right? So why is no one doing it?
2. Per-customer profitability
Some customers are huge money makers. Some are profit drainers. If you know with a fine level of delineation where your profits come from, you can fix or fire the customers that are bringing you down. And you’ll also find that everyone’s intuition about who the winners and losers are out of your customer base is frequently wrong. Just because a customer is difficult, doesn’t mean they’re unprofitable. So having project timesheets filled out, accurately (that’s the hard part) gives you deep, data-driven insight into which markets and which customers you should be serving, and which you should send to a competitor.
3. Burnout detection
Your best employees often work the most hours, refuse to take vacation, burnout, and quit. The slackers take all their vacation and get their timesheets in on time. The answer is to get everyone tracking their time, and then force the rock stars to take a vacation once in a while. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk can burn the candle at both ends forever, but mere mortals need a break once in a while. So get your people to take a break.
― Herman Melville, Moby Dick
maybe herman was a vegan at heart
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Curt Finch is the CEO of Journyx. Founded in 1996, Journyx automates payroll, billing and cost accounting while easing management of employee time and expenses, and provides confidence that all resources are utilized correctly and completely. Curt can be found on Twitter at @CurtFinch and on Google+ at +CurtFinch.
- va techcs, 1982 - 1987