Browse Prior Art Database

Project Tracking Using Icons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099459D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-14
Document File: 2 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Jensen, JR: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article presents a way to generate billing information using the icons of a graphical user interface. Emphasis is placed on the ease-of-use aspects, as well as on the possibility of providing more timely information.

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Project Tracking Using Icons

       This article presents a way to generate billing
information using the icons of a graphical user interface.  Emphasis
is placed on the ease-of-use aspects, as well as on the possibility
of providing more timely information.

      In industries and professions where billing relies heavily on
time spent on the project, it is a tedious and (ironically)
time-consuming task to keep track of the time spent on the number of
concurrent activities.  The common remedy for this is to substitute
the real allocation of time spent with an estimated one, made up at
the end of the day, week or month as the case may be.  At best,
this results in inaccurate results, and the information is never
completely up-to-date.

      The first step to devise a solution for this problem is to
recognize that most people only work at a limited number of tasks in
the short run. Although the number of tasks that make up a whole
project might be substantial, it is very seldom that any one
individual works on more than a very limited subset of this total.
Moreover, this subset can often be further grouped into several
orthogonal categories, so that each task will, in fact, be defined by
the combination of several disjoint components.

      An example from the world of accounting may clarify this.
Accountants charge based on the amount of time they spend on a given
task for a given client.  The two variables here are the clients and
the task.  A large accounting firm in a large city may well have 300
clients and 200 different task codes; however, an individual
accountant will seldom work for more than 10 clients, and will seldom
use more than 10 different task codes.  Thus, instead of requiring
60,000 (300 times 200) different client-task categories, we are, in
fact, able to make do with 20 (10 + 10) categories to describe the
average accountant's needs.

      The second step is to make use of th...