Teams: Mission Accomplished

2009-11-21 19:00:00 -0500


I love seeing the change summary after a large and major branch is merged into the master branch. I think this is our best one yet:

282 files changed, 11893 insertions(+), 12129 deletions(-)

We successfully deployed the Tempo update “Teams” last night. There are a few lingering issues that we’re working hard to resolve. If you notice anything funny, please get in touch so we can get to work on it.


Tempo Maintenance: Saturday Nov 21, 9pm

2009-11-19 19:00:00 -0500


Tempo will be unavailable from the web this Saturday evening, November 21st, at 9pm EST / New York time, while we apply a significant update to the service. Time entries sent over Twitter or Email will be queued up and processed when the service comes back online. API access and the Mac OS X Dashboard widget will not be available while the system is unavailable.

We will post updates to the blog and the Tempo Twitter account about our progress Saturday night for those of you who wish to keep track.

If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!


Tempo: A Peak at the Team Views

2009-11-17 19:00:00 -0500


In anticipation of the upcoming update to Tempo, codenamed “Teams,” here’s a quick look at two new screens that we think add a new dimension and value to our time tracker.

First up is the Team view itself:


Tempo Team View

As you can see, it lists the members of your team by name, provides you an entry point to edit a user, to run a report for that user, info on the user’s last time entry, and recent stats. Of course, clicking that spark line will present you with a utilization bar graph for yet more information. It’s our hope that this view gives you a new tool to see how your team is doing!

See that ‘Team Status’ link in there? Well, while we were putting this screen together, we kept having an itch to build a supplementary view. Something simple and concise that shows you just what your team is working on right now. Thus, the Team Status view was born:


Tempo Team Status

As you can see, it looks a lot like a Twitter feed! It’s low noise, shows you what’s going on in your group right now, and there’s even a handy mobile view:

Tempo Mobile Team Status

We’re hustling to get ready for the update this weekend. Will post a notice here when we’re ready to set an exact time for performing the update, as it will result in some downtime Saturday night.


Tempo: Customize Your URL

2009-11-15 19:00:00 -0500


As we’ve mentioned previously, big changes are coming for Tempo in our next release, codenamed “Teams”. After this update you and your company will be able to login to your own private Tempo address, e.g zetetic.keeptempo.com. However, we’re not telepathic and we can’t tell what domain you’d prefer to use, so we have provided a way for you to choose the preferred domain for your account before the migration:

  1. Log into Tempo at http://app.keeptempo.com
  2. Open your preferences by clicking Account on the Left-side menu
  3. Click “Subdomain!” From the top Account menu
  4. Enter your preferred sub-domain
  5. Click “Save Changes”

If you follow these steps your account will use the new subdomain after the release. If you choose not to set a preferred domain the system will automatically choose one for you based on your login name, e.g. username.keeptempo.com. Don’t worry, you can always change it at a later date.

We are currently planning to release the new version of Tempo on Saturday, the 21st of November, late in the evening US-time. After the conversion, you and all of the users on your account will be emailed with the new URL so you can update bookmarks and widget configurations. We’ll provide an update here on the blog later this week to let you know exactly what time we plan to launch the new version.

Thanks so much for your continued business, and extra thanks to those of you who’ve helped us test this update, we really appreciate your feedback.


Responding to RFPs

2009-10-27 20:00:00 -0400

Since the topic is going around lately, I figured we’d chime in. Max Cammeron of Big Bang makes a strength-in-numbers appeal to consultants everywhere to abandon RFPs, while Carl Smith from nGen Works has a post up making a strong case that RFPs aren’t good for his clients. We don’t respond to RFPs either, and this isn’t because we’re starving artists/consultants. Many of the comments on Max’s article at Hacker News seem to be pushing this notion that responding to RFPs is the cost of business for a consultancy, and they couldn’t be more wrong.

We don’t respond to RFPs, and all of our business comes from repeat customers and referrals. And we’re not exactly making web sites for Jumpin’ Jack’s Chicken Shack, we’ve got some really big clients. Stephen gave a really good run down of why we don’t need ’em in a recent interview with Subvert.ca (emphasis added):

When we get a referral or start a new project for a past customer, there’s already a relationship in place. The client already knows that they can trust us, and it cuts out the entire “dance” that we’d otherwise have to do to prove ourselves. There are other benefits, too.

People only ask us to prepare a proposal when they are seriously considering a project. Plus, we rarely find ourselves as column fodder behind another incumbent company — we call it column fodder when you have no hope of winning a deal and your estimate is just filling in a cell on a spreadsheet for comparison purposes.

This level of trust also means that we can work more closely with our customers to develop requirements. They take our estimates and advice seriously. In the end it works out better for everyone involved.

We can talk ourselves blue in the face about the effectiveness or lack thereof in the RFP process, as I’m sure they will remain in the industry for some time, but in the end, nothing replaces good work combined with good communication, and trust. We only work with people we trust, and so do our clients.

Stay tuned, sports fans; later this morning I’ll post a run-down of where we’re going with Tempo, our time-tracker. Change is afoot!