Let me be direct and confess my opinion and intention first. I see time reporting as just a waste from an engineering organization point of view. Even though I honestly expect to be proven wrong any day, considering how many intelligent people consider time tracking to be really important, I haven’t been provided with any solid proof or evidence yet. I am writing this entry to help me clarify my own thinking and with the hope of getting some comments back and learn from them.
I expressed my opinion to an informally gathered group of engineering managers. They strongly disagreed with my point of view, so I asked them to present the group with the change or improvement performed in their teams based in time usage reports or statistics during the last year. Unsurprisingly there was none. Nobody in group has ever used the reports or data coming from the enterprise time reporting systems to actually manage her teams. They agreed this was partly due to the reports not representing the complex reality of time usage within a product development or engineering team. If it’s really important and it can provide insight into our teams and processes then we are missing the opportunity. It’s practically useless even if it could have some theoretical potential.