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How Productive Are You?


How Productive Are You?

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item How Productive Are You?

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Sorin Petcu
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Hi there,

I have days when I am overwhelmed with solving bussiness-like issues from technical point of view. But I have days when I have so much time, this time I am not wasting it. I am continuously learning about SQL Server, I read your articles, browse this site or other technical sites. I think we are both the same age.
About efficiency or productivity in software environment, I think, this issue should not be as it is defined in other domains like building or transportation etc.

In Theory, theory and practice are the same...In practice, they are not.
Stewart Joslyn
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Wrong metric ! It matters not how long you work but how much you produce - and of what quality. Tired people make mistakes. Increase your costs by paying overtime this week and then pay again next week to fix the bugs! A more relaxed atmosphere leads to improved morale and higher quality; and allows people time to think and innovate resulting in continuous improvement.



Sorin Petcu
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Same thing as I said (no wrong metric). Smile

In Theory, theory and practice are the same...In practice, they are not.
hodgy
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I will probably get somewhere between 4-5 hours of solid "work" out of an 8 hour day. However, the time when I am not heads-down coding, testing, documenting, etc, my brain is able to think about problems that I have been struggling with.

I have lost count of the number of times that a beautiful, simple solution has popped into my head at the most bizarre of moments, because I have been able to let it tick away in the back of my head without much conscience thought to muddy the waters.

Tom

Life: it twists and turns like a twisty turny thing

AndrewMurphy
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This year.....< half a day a week.
Am on a "business transformation project".....very poorly organised overall, with a severe lack of communication and flow of work.

"Mushroom management" seems to be the order of the day....plenty of darkness, plenty of sh*t, output expected to occur magically. Loving it!Wink



P Jones
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Likewise about 5 hours and I'm probably one of the most productive in this office. Fridays are the most distractive as everyone is winding down for the weekend- right now there's a conversation behind me on boob jobs!
Sometimes you beaver away trying to get something to work but spend a day or so just going round in circles. I had one of those this week with the .net2 objectdatasource and went back to my code way to get on with the job.
Andy Warren
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I disagree that it's the wrong metric. It just shouldn't be the only metric. There's a natural entropy that occurs in the workplace that seems to decrease the real work time that is available. It's made of up meetings that you don't really need (some you do), admin overhead, blog reading, SSC reading, water cooler talk, task switching, etc. From time to time it's useful to look at where you time goes and ask yourself (or your team) are those things in the right proportion? Are we doing enough 'real' work?

As a manager I know that you can't get eight hours of real work in eight hours. My goal has been 6-7 hours a day, where 6.5 is the sweet spot and 7 is laser focus. That leaves an hour a day for some chat, a meeting or two, and all the other stuff that creeps in. Now in that 6.5 hours I might do one task or ten, write thirty lines of code or three hundred, but it's time when I am focused on whatever real task(s) I needed to be done.

It's easy as an employee to say that you don't want to be measure on hours of productivity but only on tasks completed. The problem with that is that in general you're paid based on hours. Imagine hiring a plumber at $75/hour and watching them stop to answer a few instant messages, or knock out a blog post because they just learned something really cool while fixing your problem. Would you have a problemw with that? Yeah! On the other hand, if you were paying them a flat fee to fix it, you'd be a lot more tolerant of the time it took to get done, other than if it turned into all day and you had to sit there with them.

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I use MS Project to plan most of my jobs (design/implement/maintain/document a database application with a web front end - about 800 objects in the db and 1200 files in the website) and have a set of 'rules-of-thumb' to estimate time to make changes:

1. Estimate how long each task will take based on past experience. Double it. If uncertain, double it again.
2. Change working time from 8 hours to 6 (my manager keeps reminidng me not to assume 8 hours!)
3. Add in known meetings, etc.
4. Look at the result and see if it look reasonable.
5. Add in the minor tasks you forgot about the first time.
6. Adjust as needed.

Even with the above, it's still sometime hard to hit deadlines! Smile

I find that if I get 6 hours work done in a supposed 8 hour day, I've done well, typical is probably about 4 hours of real work.

Derek
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I agree especially when preparing an estimate, try to create a checklist of things involved.
Example: In a software environment you might plan the coding.

But before issuing a quote you should include:
- Analysis/understanding of current system;
- Coding;
- Testing;
- Peer review;
- Bug fixing;
- Implementation etc.

Try to make checklists of things to be done before development, DB etc.

Derek Dongray (11/14/2008)
I use MS Project to plan most of my jobs (design/implement/maintain/document a database application with a web front end - about 800 objects in the db and 1200 files in the website) and have a set of 'rules-of-thumb' to estimate time to make changes:

1. Estimate how long each task will take based on past experience. Double it. If uncertain, double it again.
2. Change working time from 8 hours to 6 (my manager keeps reminidng me not to assume 8 hours!)
3. Add in known meetings, etc.
4. Look at the result and see if it look reasonable.
5. Add in the minor tasks you forgot about the first time.
6. Adjust as needed.

Even with the above, it's still sometime hard to hit deadlines! Smile

I find that if I get 6 hours work done in a supposed 8 hour day, I've done well, typical is probably about 4 hours of real work.




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