Take Time to Make Time

[article]
An Inside Look at Schedule Reviews

answer, I asked "Has this schedule been leveled?"

I was greeted by blank stares by some, hostility by others. "Adding resources and leveling is too time consuming and complex! It's too hard to make the dates come out right!" they replied hotly.

I asked, "Well, how many people did you assume were going to work on this?" More blank stares. "Well, what's the budget?"

"Ten thousand man-hours," the estimator replied promptly.

"OK, that's five man-years. This project has a deadline one year from notice to proceed. But I can't get five people working on it right away. It will take at least two or three months to ramp up, and a couple of months to ramp down. That means for seven months, I am going to need to burn about twelve hundred hours per month. That's about seven an a half people per month, at the peak. I only have ten people on my team, and we have other projects."

"Can't you use contractors?" they inquired.

"What's the training budget?" Needless to say, there was no training budget.

Climbing Out of the Hole
At least I established that it was a death march right away. If you find out that you have schedule issues early enough, you may have time to recover. I could re-work the schedule, building in all the things that had been left out, assign dummy resources and level it. That would give me an idea how deep a hole I was in.

Anybody got a ladder?

About the author

Peter Clark's picture Peter Clark

Peter Clark has twenty years of experience in industrial automation. He currently manages teams working in materials handling, especially baggagehandling systems. A regular columnist on StickyMinds.com, Peter can be reached at pclark@jerviswebb.com.

AgileConnection is one of the growing communities of the TechWell network.

Featuring fresh, insightful stories, TechWell.com is the place to go for what is happening in software development and delivery.  Join the conversation now!

Upcoming Events

Nov 09
Nov 09
Apr 13
May 03