Tiempo example

Aug, 12, 2014: After writing this post, I was invited to invest in Tiempo. I've accepted the opportunity and any future posts will include the disclaimer that I have a stake in the business.

The data entry portion of time-tracking generally isn’t value-added time in our work. In my #SummerOfWorkDesign, I’m interested in finding tools and tricks that help people focus on their work, and not the transaction costs of that work. Y Combinator participant, Tiempo, and other new approaches to time-tracking help speed up pay processes, accounting, and even personal monitoring.

Tiempo co-founder and CEO, Tad Milbourn, is an entrepreneur and intrapreneur I’ve been following for a while. (His Intuit Brainstorm project is the focus of the last chapter of my book, The Plugged-In Manager: Get in Tune with Your People, Technology, and Organization to Thrive.) With Tiempo, Tad and his co-founders (all Intuit alumni), Kyle Kilat and Peter Terrill, take Intuit’s focus on helping people manage their finances and run small businesses and extends it to the time-tracking process -- and integrates it with the Intuit suite -- with more integrations to follow.

Tad recently described Tiempo’s approach to me:

We're trying to create a world where service businesses can get paid instantly for the work they do. No more waiting to track time, waiting to create invoices, and waiting to get paid. Our first invoices that we processed were paid in an hour!


This isn’t just about cash flow. It’s also about motivation and engagement. Yes, I hope we all work at something we have a passion for -- feedback from the work itself is a great motivator (and one of the levers of work design I mentioned in an earlier post). However, motivation comes from a combination of outcomes and the tighter all the outcomes, including pay, are tied to the work, the better the motivation. Economists and management faculty alike will agree on that one.

In Tiempo, pay is the focus, but there is also a “Kudos” button you can click on as you are approving the time someone entered. Tiempo user, Joseph Graves of Workshed says, "Even though my coworker and I work so closely together (literally sitting next to each other), it's a good reminder for me to give praise for a job well done."

Tiempo has competition, which signals to me that other people see the need to take the friction out of this piece of our work design. No more watching my friends scramble as they realize they are about to miss their timecard deadline -- and no more having to listen to them grumble about what a waste of time it is.

Do you have a suggestion for my #SummerOfWorkDesign? A tool or trick that helps you or your organization do better at designing work that is valuable, provides feedback from the tasks themselves, and helps you get the collaboration you need?

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