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Do you know how to describe the work you have done (while avoiding the word 'Bug')?
  v7.0 Posted at 8/11/2013 5:09 PM by Ulysses Maclaren

Clients want to know how you spend your time, and how you word it matters.

Tip: Avoid doubling up by using your TFS check in comments, that flow through to timesheets - use TimePro.

On your timesheet entries, there are a few rules you should follow on how to best explain the value you have created for the client:

  • Use standard terms to describe the work you have done e.g. 'Build', 'Investigated', 'Resolved', 'Enhanced', 'Created', 'Optimized', 'Experimented with', 'Improved' or 'Fixed'.
  • Use the word 'bug' only if it fits the definition of a bug.
  • The term 'Investigated and changed' is better than 'Fixed bug'.
    The word 'bug' gives the impression that the problem was solely the developer's fault, when often most fixes are to do with changes as a result of unspecified work (extra validation, extra testing or gold plating).
    'Fixed Bug on customer form'
    Figure: Bad example
    'Investigated and improved the validation on customer form to enable saving when Customer Name is > 100 characters'
    Figure: Good example
  • Be specific about what you did. e.g. 
    If you create a new form, write 'Created Client form'.
    If you are adding a button to a form write 'Client form - Added button AddNew'.
    If you are trying to find a bug write 'Investigated error on ClientDiary form'.
    If you fix something, write 'Resolved'.
    If you are making something faster, write 'Optimized procClientDiary'.
    If you are writing stored procs, write down their names.
  • Use capital letters appropriately - if it is a Proper Noun use a capital - e.g. Adam Cogan, SQL Server, Toyota is ok, Website is not.
  • Start a new line for each new detail. It makes it more readable. However, don't go overboard and take up half a page for one timesheet.
  • Use past tense e.g. 'Updated web page' rather than 'update web page'
  • Avoid abbreviations. Use 'version' rather than 'ver'
  • For public holidays, timesheets should be entered as "Leave". 
  • For customers from other states, travel time is usually billable and should be recorded separately on the timesheets so that the customer is fully aware of the exact time spent travelling to/from the client site
  • Non-Billable time - If you do any work that is related to a client that you would not usually bill for (such as going to an initial meeting or travel within Sydney ), you should still enter it under that client - when it comes to invoicing time, this rate will be set to zero, but still show on the invoice, so the client has a record of all the time that was spent on their project.

 

'Apply changes as per Tony's request for FRDCAPP'
Figure: This is an example of a bad timesheet note

 

'CaterPRO! Version 8.3
Fixed Sales Reports (Sales Dashboard). It now reconciles correctly with Food Sales Summary.
Fixed Function Counts (was doublecounting)
Fix to DiaryTemplate Updates
Attempt to run CaterPRO! In the old Windows 7 with Alan
Figure: This is an example of a good timesheet note

 

 

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