- How many times do I need to use the same person on each project? Do I have a scarce resource in the test group? Have I planned to deal with the problem of a scarce resource?
- What kinds of flexibility do I have in staffing projects? Can I trade off senior people and less time against more junior people and more time?
Even if your company is in the midst of layoffs or if you have no open positions, you can still plan your hiring strategy and write job descriptions, so you can hire the most appropriate people when things ease up. Do it now, when you're not distracted with the time it takes to hire people.
Staff Retention Strategy
Not everyone wants to stay in testing for a career. Some people want to move into support, development, project management, or people management. No matter what people want to do, if you've hired ambitious self-starters, you're going to have the problem of retaining staff. Some measures I use here are:
- How many people have voluntarily left the group during the past six months, one year, two years? Is there a trend to people leaving? (If there's a trend, it's time for me to discover if I'm contributing to the problem.)
- How many and what kinds of perks do I offer the testing staff to ensure they will want to stay in testing?
As a manager, you deliver value to the organization based on how well you manage the work you have to do on all of your projects, by how well you staff projects, and by how well you retain the people who work with you. Consider these questions, measure the answers to those questions, and see where you have holes. That's your measurement and value to the organization.