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Tools for tracking time spent for work items

Keith Attenborough (1368) | asked Mar 19 '14, 10:59 a.m.
Some of the folks on the team want to closely track how much time they actually spend working on a particular task.  Goal is to get a better sense of their personal velocity.  Challenge is that the team is subject to a lot of interrupts (and no, can't make those go away), so an individual might start to work on a task, spend 20 minutes, get interrupted, be able to restart 30 minutes later, work on the task for another 40 minutes, get interrupted, restart and work 10 minutes, etc., etc.

By the end of the day, they've lost track of the total time spent on that task.

A simple paper list can capture the info, but then the analysis gets hard

I have not found anything in RTC to do this (don't think I missed it, but may have).  I have found a number of Apps (both iOS and Android) that would help.

Polling the community to see if there are recommendations, things they've found have worked to track actual time spent.

Thanks in advance.

Canberk Akduygu commented Mar 19 '14, 11:14 a.m.

Millard Ellingsworth commented Mar 19 '14, 11:43 a.m.

Are you just looking for some sort of tool to accumulate effort? A timer that you start and stop throughout the day and take the reading of at the end of the day? Or were you hoping to track the number of interruptions as well?

There's nothing in RTC that will help you do the data gathering, but you could add a couple attributes to the task/defect work items to record the data. 

Keith Attenborough commented Mar 19 '14, 12:08 p.m.

Looking for the timer, that can stop and start (and ideally can track multiple items)

Not surprised it's not in RTC.  Wondering if other folks facing the same issue have found alternatives/have recommendations for a "timer".  There are several out there.

Ralph Schoon commented Mar 19 '14, 1:03 p.m. | edited Mar 19 '14, 1:05 p.m.

Would the timer of the smartphone or a chess-clock a better solution than asking for something in the tool?

I can imagine angrily slamming the hand on the chess clock would also deliver the message to the interrupting person.

There was a great talk at one of the innovates I was attending where, to minimize interruptions and to maximize awareness of it, users had a jar with marbles and would drop a marble into another glass with each interruption. They would be collected and measured.

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Keith Attenborough (1368) | answered Mar 20 '14, 5:18 p.m.
Thanks for all the inputs - it looks like the option is for a separate time tracking app.  We'll look into the suggested ones.

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Shenoi Victor (6) | answered Mar 20 '14, 11:13 a.m.
Time tracking is certainly part of the challenge. For time tracking, I've been using Replicon's time recording software with great success for the past six months. It helps to keep track of multiple projects for multiple clients and made it all much easier.

It combines time tracking with other project management features for companies who need a more comprehensive app. It works very well with quickBooks for both time and expenses. I've also looked at intervals and clicktime, but I'm not satisfied with the features.

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