Tired of being pressured by managers into taking more work on even while other tasks are already slipping? Sick of being forced to “agree” to non-realistic deadlines? How about your clients are wanting more for less because it's such a simple idea? Ever hear on Friday afternoon around 3:00 P.M, “Mmm... ya... I'm going to have to ask you to come in on Saturday. ... It seems that we didn't make our quota of 60,000 lines of code this week and we need you to pound out another pointless 1,000. Ya... thanks.” Better yet, how about the mandatory 50 hour work week and then spending at least 5 hours a week in meetings that do not apply to your discipline (ex: corporate budgets when you're a software engineer or a roll out of a new “work area cleaning procedure”).
The cases above (and many others) have become the reality of the workplace. For whatever reason, we the masses accept this. However we shouldn't! Enter Syoaami.
What is Syoaami?
Syoaami (Save Your Own Ass Against Managements Ignorance) is a cross platform application suite for predicting, planning, measuring, and reporting time spent on activities. Specifically intended to provide the user with factual information to identify unrealistic work (capacity) requests from management and to combat unrealistic deadlines. Syoaami can also be used for personal profiling and self improvement.
Syoaami accomplishes all of this by using tracked time as feedback. Tracked time can be compared to the original effort estimation, the original effort schedule, and/or the tracked time itself. Additionally, the user will be able to custom tailor equations to further drive metrics of their own.
Syoaami is to support Linux X11 (Gnome & KDE) and Windows XP.
The Syoaami base implementation will use:
Programming Languages [ C/C++ ]
Programming Libraries [ wxWidgets, OpenGL ]
Data Storage [ XML ]
Languages [ English ]
Coding Standards will be defined
Some Syoaami visionary extensions include:
Data Storage into other databases (example: MySQL) as a compile option.
Shared sections of data storage among teams via a network connection.
Support for additional languages [example: Spanish, German]
An abbreviated list of Core Syoaami Features include:
Differentiation between budgeted time and scheduled time.
Data instantly saved (eliminates need for “save”).
Multilevel undo and redo.
XML Support (visionary optional compile time MySQL support).
Customizable Date Format. Example: [ 09/17/05 ], [ Sept-17-2005 ], [ September 17, 2005 ]
Customizable Hour Format. Example: [ 1:44 P.M ], [ Example: 13:44 ]
Ability to search data.
Syoaami Effort Estimation:
Three point estimates.
Quantification of effort uncertainty.
Use of standard deviation to create probability to complete plots.
Exportable estimates. [ ASCII Text, HTML, (visionary MS Word, Excel, Open-Office, etc) to send for billing purposes.
The ability to compare (view) differences of estimate to tracked.
Schedule generation from effort estimate.
Gannt Chart and resource loading.
The ability to compare (view) differences of schedule to tracked.
Syoaami Time Tracking:
Customizable data view. [ Day, 2 Days, Week, Month, Year, User Defined Range ]
Customizable fields (search-able) for personal metric gathering.
Bookmarks for frequently used activities.
Automatic scheduling of work hours, breaks, holidays, and normal leave.
Automatic (Built in formulas) for:
Equation engine for programming formulas for personalized metrics. Example [ productivity = SUMOF(project_time) / total_time ], example: [ e-factor = uninterrupted_hours / body-present_hours ]
Chart Reports (2D and 3D views of metrics). Basic charts will include: [ Line Charts, Pie Charts, Bar Charts ]
Exportable reports. Formats include [ ASCII Text, ?MS Word?, ?MS Excel?, PDF, HTML, ?Open Office? ]
Who is Syoaami for?
Professionals who work near or at a computer and have need of being responsible for their time. Then there's always the engineer who is simply tired of being asked to pinch this one “last” small thing through the “docks”.
Why use Syoaami?
Well, how much crap can you fit in the septic tank? Don't know? Well, we all know you don't want that bad boy to overflow.
Your time, like the septic tank, can easily fill up with trivial client and managerial crap. Also like the septic tank, the more crap in the tank, the less the capacity there is to take on new duties (get it, duty).
Syoaami allows you to take your experience and record it, display it, and present/understand it, thus creating a personal profile. When managers and clients ask you to take on more task... finish more here...
A gain in efficiency cannot be understood
Engineers can not become more efficient (faster, quality, etc) until they understand how they're currently performing.
Additionally, as managers become more demanding, it becomes even more important for the engineer to understand what time they have avaialiable and how that translates into what they're promising to deliver to the customer and the manager. This will also provide yourself with some hard evidence of no, I cannot achieve your obnoxious and arbitrary schedule and I will not promise that.