Time tracking - Documentation - Riter

Documentation of riter.co — project management tool

Time estimation and tracking

Riter allows you to estimate tasks and track time spent on them. Planning and monitoring of the terms are necessary for the successful project completion. In connection with this, many factors need to be taken into account during time estimation and tracking. Riter AI is aimed to make estimates more accurate, using collected statistics of user effectiveness, collective assessment of tasks and automatic tracking of working hours. However, while Riter AI is still being developed, we have created a simple time tracking system that allows you to consider both clean and dirty time spent on work.

Time estimation

Before you start working on a story, you or some other team members should estimate it. To estimate a story, open its page and on the right, you'll find a special section with FACT/PLAN time. The last one value is underlined. this is "clean" time you plan to spend on the task. Click on it to input your value and press 'Enter'. Now the story state can be changed to estimated. The value on the right ("FACT") shows how much "clean" time you have already spent on the task. It is calculated automatically when you add time intervals.

Estimation story

Estimation types

Clean hours - time that a user spends directly on a task. Estimated clean time ("PLAN") may slightly differ from the real clean time ("FACT") spent on the task depending on the accuracy of the developer's evaluation. On the story page, you can see only clean time (both estimated and spent). As a rule, a developer can provide a fairly accurate estimate of clean hours but it will be different from a dirty one.

Dirty hours - time that a user spends on a task as a whole. This evaluation includes any kind of interruptions, solving technical problems, discussion common questions with the rest of team members, reading manuals and so on. This time is specified and shown on the "Working hours" page. Dirty hours estimation can coincide (in ideal conditions) or be greater than clean hours.

The ratio of hours clean and dirty, as well as the ratio of spent clean hours to estimated clean ones allows you to assess the developer's performance and accuracy in estimating tasks. In the future, these estimates can be refined and used by Riter AI to determine more accurate deadlines for each developer to complete a task.

You can track dirty time spent on tasks on the Working hours page available in the main menu for each project. To track clean hours, use the Time interval section located on story pages. Of course, you can use only one of these time estimates, if you like, or do not use time tracking at all depending on the needs of your company.

Timeintervals section

When working on a task, you may need to record clean time spent on it. You can use time intervals to this end available on each story page. You can create any number of time intervals for each task. The total number of clean hours spent on the task ("FACT") is displayed on the left of the estimated time ("PLAN"). Try to keep these values as close to each other as possible.

To add a new time interval just open a necessary story page and click on the "Add timeinterval" button. Each interval occupies one row in the "Timeintervals" table. To the right of each value, you'll find icons that allow you to edit or delete it. All interval parameters can be changed at any time. Intervals are sorted automatically by their day and time.

Time intervals

Time interval parameters

To add a new time interval you can specify all possible parameters or miss some of them. Riter is designed in such a way as to exclude the possibility of error and to predict the intentions of users with a half-word. The new time interval is specified as a string, all parameters are listed with a space. All possible parameters in the required order are given below along with default values.

  • Nickname (or several nicknames separated by a plus sign `+`) - identifiers of the users who were involved in this working process. If the parameter is skipped, the current user will be set by default. If the parameter begins with a plus sign followed by a list of other users (`+your_teammate_nickname`), a current user will be added to a list of specified team members. Although when creating an interval you specify just nicknames, full names of the users will be displayed in the table after that.

  • Day of the interval - a date of this implementation time interval in format 'yyyy.mm.dd'. If it's absent, the current date will be used by default.

  • Spent time - clean hours, time spent directly on the task during a certain working interval. You can specify it in one of following formats: 'hh:mm', '_h _m', '_h', '_m' or just a number which will be treated as a number of minutes. You can use 'hours', 'hour', 'hrs', 'hr' instead of "h" to designate hours, 'minutes', 'minute', 'min' instead of "m" for minutes, as well as any combination of these definitions. For example, all next values are possible and mean the same: '2:5', '2h5m', '125m', '125', '2hours 5minutes' and so on.

A full time interval string can look like john 2018.12.12 1h Development of the site layout if a user with a nickname 'john' was developing the site layout on December, 12 and had spent one hour directly on programming. If you need to leave an annotation to your time interval, just use the comments to the story.

Working hours

You can find the "Working hours" page in the main menu – a separate and single for each project page where you should record dirty hours spent on the project (on all its tasks in total). On this page, just choose a weekday (and a week if necessary) and click on “Add working hours” to specify your working interval. If you are working with a group of projects, you will also have to choose a certain project from a dropdown list to record your hours. You can specify any interval in the past, including hours and minutes. By default, the last bound of the interval is your current time but you are free to change this value. If necessary, you can configure timezone from the profile settings page to record time intervals according to your local time.

My working hours

For example, if today you were working on 3 tasks (of the only project), for 2 hours on each of them, and were at work from 8 am to 5 pm, you can add the single "dirty" working hours interval (8:0-17:0) and 3 separate "clean" time intervals for the tasks (2 hours each).

The “Working hours” page includes two tabs:

  • your working hours (where you commit your dirty time spent on the current project)
  • all working hours of your team.

The latter one is similar to the statistics table which demonstrates gross working hours grouped by users and weekdays.

All working hours