Microblog What You Bill

Those of us who bill manhours or mandays know the tedious drill at the end of every day (or if you’re lazy like me every week): write down what you did for whom for how many hours. Most of you will probably have a system for that, connected to some ERP system, with projects being identified by numbers etc etc. The system I work with also got a commentary field where I can input further details about what exactly I have done during these hours. 

Now I challenge you to think of this commentary field as a microblog. Like Twitter – or better yet Yammer or Co-op (since the information is clearly only intra-company). What would be the benefit? Clearly not following 100+ people – quite dull information. But you could use it like the Twitter search in order to find out who has billed hours on a specific topic before. I often see the case that people research on a topic, a colleague next door had just spent time researching on last week. 

The scenario is: I need information on a specific topic. I type keywords for the topic into the search function of the time recording/ microblogging software and I get a list of people who have that topic in their time recording comment; ordered by number of mentions mixed with recency and vicinity of the colleague. I’ll call the displayed phone number and receive (tacit!) knowledge in the area of his expertise.

A last thought on privacy / secrecy and work’s council issues: You probably should be able to mark some posts private. Or at least be able to define groups.

Update: I have found a time recording web application (mite) on the net that have recently announced the support of posting your billable time via a microblogging service (Twitter), via a messenger (Jabber) or Firefox new Ubiquity. Not exactly what I was talking about – but microblogging has been picked up.

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Filed under Billability, Knowledge

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