Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx, Inc., has put all his wisdom about time tracking into a book called All Your Money Won’t Another Minute Buy: Valuing Time as a Business Resource. It’s not that long and it’s quick to read and while I wouldn’t rate it as one of the top business books I have read this year it did change my perspective on time tracking, which I think is the point, and rather took me by surprise.
The first section talks about the tracking time and how this impacts project risk. The next bit then looks at SOX and DCAA compliance, neither of which are relevant to the organisation I work in. The third section considers the build or buy decision for time tracking tools and how to select a product and working with vendors. This is a well-written bit that doesn’t flog Journyx products, so don’t worry about the whole thing being a big sales pitch. Finally the book looks at software as a service and the future of web tools.
The reason I say I wouldn’t put it top of my list is that it is very US focussed, and a lot of the concepts – tiddly amounts of holiday, compliance – are not relevant over here. For a US reader I expect their experience of this book would be very different.
The best bit for me of this book was the first section, and while the content on compliance and regulation wasn’t relevant to me I could at least see how this linked into the premise of the book. The final section about web tools was more of a struggle. There are four chapters that don’t seem to tie into time tracking at all – they are about the benefits of using web-based software and how this can provide opportunities for reuse, lower cost of entry and so on. All useful and interesting information, but not pertaining to tracking time. In the prologue, Finch writes:
Section Four looks to the future in terms of technology and where we are going. It’s important to consider because it affects all that we do as businesses, including tracking our time.
I felt that he could have made that sentiment clearer as I was working my way through Section Four as I certainly missed the point.
So, my revelation. I’m not a big fan of timesheets (if you listen to my webinar on managing money on projects you’ll hear more about this), as I have never worked for a company that used them effectively. But after reading Finch’s book I had a discussion with my team and we’re going to do a couple of months of time tracking to see how we get on. Amazing. I never thought I’d be advocating filling in timesheets, so for all its flaws, Finch’s book works – I do value time as a business resource!
You can buy the book here or wait until Wednesday when I’ll be telling you how to win a copy.17/05/2010