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Time Cards should start at the Top

SM Farmer Squares

Today we were going over our time card design. It is really coming along nicely. We’ve been strongly influenced by a few assumptions that we made early on and I’d like to get them out there and see what our blog readers have to say about ’em.

One of the primary assumptions that we made was that there are really two kinds of people in this world

    1. People who want to time card and already have time card software
    2. People who don’t have time card software and don’t want to time card

This makes integration with existing systems like FreshBooks, Harvest, and others a fairly high priority for us. Nobody wants to have to enter time in two systems when those systems could just talk to each other.  Right?

Also, we are assuming that either the majority of an organization needs to be filling out time cards or pretty much nobody in the organization does. This means that at some kind of high level you need to be able to force the time card interface for everyone in your workspace. If it is not mandatory it should still be optional on a person by person basis.

On a related but tangential aside, when we rolled out time cards at Expedia we did it initially using a small product called ClickTime. We were quite happy with it at the time as it did pretty much everything we needed.  Expedia now uses CA’s Clarity and at least several of their folks have referred to it as “the most f**ked up system ever.” But that’s not my point at all.

What is my point is that the time we rolled time cards out I think we made a big mistake. We said that people at the Director level and above did not have to track their time. I now think that this sends completely the wrong message.

Look, if the whole idea of time cards is to get a better handle on where your valuable resources are being spent, and your highly friggin’ compensated execs are highly compensated because… well… they’re so friggin’ valuable, then it follows that they of all people should be tracking their time via time cards. Time cards should start from the top down.

Okay…breathe, Bruce, breathe….

Anyway, what do y’all think of our time card assumptions? Comment early, comment often.


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