I’ve had a number of jobs where time tracking was required, usually because the time was on-billed to a final customer. In these cases, managers were often keen to see as many hours as possible recorded as billable, even if time being spent was a business overhead. As I type that last sentence, I realise it’s probably a topic for another discussion that focuses on ethics! It was in my current job, with a view to improving my ‘leanness’ and stop myself working so many extra hours, that I started collecting data around what I was working on. Yes, I chose to add time-tracking to my day!
Those of us in IT managed services operate, live and work in a world surrounded by huge — often cloud-based — third-party systems which, by their internal nature, are opaque to both users and to each other. While these often unintegrated systems hold vast amounts of data, the UI, authentication, authorisation and logging of each varies wildly. We (generators of the data) and our clients (owners of the data) have little influence on how these systems integrate and little ability to apply business rules to the data. Yet, it is exactly this integration that is necessary to realise productivity efficiencies in the IT MSP industry, to provide opportunity for improved service outcomes to the end-customer.