A forum for technical support discussion related to Fogbugz.
Joel discusses the Timesheet Reporting Plug-in development and expresses his concern over its potential for abuse here:
I agree that it certainly can be abused in the manner in which he states (and probably numerous other more creative ways as well!). However, a reason for the feature, at least the reason my team and I requested it, was for basic status reporting during team meetings. Twice a week we report to the team and our manager what we have worked on, what we have finished, and what we intend to work on before the next meeting. We don't state the number of hours we've worked on any given task. In other words, the developers use it to solve their "amnesia" problem.
As a suggestion, you may consider developing the feature in such a manner that it reports what you've worked on in a given timeframe (perhaps a date range entered by the user) but doesn't specify the exact dates, times, or cumulative hours spent on any given case. This would allow the developer to jog their memory about what they've worked on over the past week or so without providing easy ammunition to a substandard manager.
Having been part of the meeting mentioned in the post, and being the person largely tasked with justifying externally our philosophy-driven (some less generous souls have said paternalistic) approach to design, I was surprised when opening timesheets went through without a hitch.
Whatever FogBugz has been in the past, FogBugz 7 is a drive toward extreme flexibility and openness. It's been my impression that, where philosophy conflicts with openness and flexibility, openness and flexibility are winning out.
All I've got to say on the rumors of a Timesheet reporting plug-in in FB7 is 'Ugh!'.
Sounds like another example of the pitfall of letting a minor product feature slowly start to shift focus away from the mission the application is supposed to be supporting.
I've already got a really nice timesheet system. What I need is a system with really nice features that enhance my ability to track my outstanding development tasks.
Here's to praying that we don't get another FB6 that contains everything except enhancements to the core functionality (Wiki, Discussion boards, Timesheets, etc.)
Don't get me wrong. They are cool features, they just don't really help me perform the tasks that I bought FogBugz to do, and SharePoint works better for most of them anyway.
If it does what I get from Harvest then great. Interesting timing of this article... It sounds like Zach is looking for something similar to what I am looking for. Once a month I want a report for a client on what I worked on, completed, and is 'on the list'.
If the timesheet reporting plug in does that, great. And if it lets me keep track of time separate from time associated with a case (because those are different), then I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Flexibility and openness are good. But easy would be nice too. Joel's article sounds like easy isn't something that he looks for.
Joel's article applies to "in-the-box" use of Fogbugz.
We're using Fogbugz and we're not a coding shop. We are a consulting company, and we use Fogbugz to assign tasks as tickets (i.e., more of a project management tool). Because we are a billing organization, timesheets are very useful and important to us.
Because the way we're using Fogbugz probably puts us in the minority, I would be content if the API handled timesheets a little more comprehensively so that I could integrate with Harvest.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
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