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Using fully-partitioned virtual workspaces combined with a strict/enforced working methodology in combination with a computer program to record the accrued time performing any number of computer-based tasks.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016622D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Jul-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jul-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

A system for implementing automatic time-tracking for computer personnel involved in multiple tasks.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 39% of the total text.

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  Using fully-partitioned virtual workspaces combined with a strict/enforced working methodology in combination with a computer program to record the accrued time performing any number of computer-based tasks.

A technique is disclosed that allows for automatic time-tracking for computer personnel involved in multiple tasks.

    The technique being disclosed is embodied by a specialized computer program (written expressly for the task), coupled with a strict working methodology of partitioning related work items between virtual workspaces, allows for the accurate collecting of data showing time spent on different types of activity.

    The technique being disclosed allows accurate, granular data to be collected showing cumulative time spent on a related group of tasks.

The technique being disclosed makes the following assumptions:
1) That the individuals operating the computer system perform the majority of their tasks whilst using the computer system solely.

    Note however that the technique being disclosed does make some allowance for those tasks that are not performed whilst interacting with the computer system.

    However, time-tracking for these non-computer-based tasks cannot be tracked granularly (ie at the task level) - only an aggregate figure can be provided.
2) That the user has a computer system that supports "virtual consoles" or "virtual workspaces".

    An example of a computer system that offers the facility of virtual workspaces and virtual consoles is the Linux* operating system.

    The technique being disclosed is now explained in detail. Individuals who spend their time interacting with a computer workstation (henceforth known as "users") to perform a wide variety of tasks whilst in gainful employment are not able to easily or accurately establish what proportion of their time is spent on each task. Computer programs do exist to keep track of time, but they rely on the user informing the program when they change the task they are performing by, for example, clicking a button. This tends to be highly ineffective, since users, being fallible, forget to click the button, and this results in the data collected being of questionable value.

    If such data could be collected more reliably, it would be valuable both to the individual and the employer for a variety of reasons. For example, it can give an insight into the efficiency of the way the user handles their time and performs the tasks they are instructed to perform. It can be used to ensure that the user is indeed working for the number of hours they should.

    By carefully considering the tasks to be performed, and grouping the user-interface programs used to perform these tasks into task-specific virtual workspaces, and by combining this structured working methodology with a program that monitors switching between virtual workspaces, it is possible to accurately accrue data on the amount of time the user spends on each type of task.

    A virtual workspace is a software facility that allows a...