Many local software companies expect their employees to log the time they spend at work against tasks in some time recording software. This is usually to track how long employees take to complete specific tasks, but is often also intended to see that tasks remain within the expected estimates.
Can these objectives really be achieved by the use of time recording software? Arguably, time recording software can greatly constrain developers who need to be dynamic in the face of changing requirements, cross-cutting concerns, design decisions, function points with unknowns requiring research, etc.
In my experience it is simply not possible to categorise every little thing, nor is it possible to accurately estimate every little thing, especially where unknowns are involved. Rather than forcing employees to get in line with the estimates, such software tends to show that the estimates were wrong in the first place.
How effective is time recording software in reality, especially within the software development industry?