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resource availability

we're currently letting our group manager estimate each developer's workload to report who's available for additional assignments.

so something like "Frank can take on 30% more workload."
anyone has a different or better way to estimate availability?

Paul Marr
Friday, May 7, 2004

How do you measure workload?  Do you plan on finding an effective formula for distributing an amount of work throughout an organization?  Do you want to be able to, say, take some amount of 'workload' off of employee A and give it to employees B and C?

I've found that asking team members to just say when they feel like they're mostly running idle is a good approach.  It tells you how much 'workload' that person thinks he/she can handle.  This might now work well on all teams, of course.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Read the book Slack by Tom Demarco, its worth it ;)

Friday, May 7, 2004

I love Slack.  Unfortunately Management doesn't.  Hard to keep up that bottom line if the consultants aren't billing 120%.

Unfocused Focused
Saturday, May 8, 2004

OK, on the first question -
How about asking your team members?  They know their workload, and if you trust their answers you work should be easy.  Of course if you don't trust their answers - why don't you?

Unfocused Focused
Saturday, May 8, 2004

There's a side to this thinking that I hate.  For me, when I'm asked, "Hey, how much availability do you have?" I want to know just what my options are. "Availability for what?" I hate blindly signing up for stuff. All too often it's some f*cked up design with a stupid deadline, but because I said "Yeah, I've got a couple hours a day, a little more next month." then I suddenly own some crap project. I work for a consulting co so there's usually another dimension in terms of clients, industry and location, so not only can it be some hopeless project but it could be in some heinious part of the country for dismal employer in an industry I despise. I've learned the hard way to be very, very careful under what terms I'll advertise or admit availability, I'm not adverse to dragging on something that's essentially done; which when you get down to it is an illustration of how idiot managers cripple their own group's productivity.

I think a good way to handle this is for the manager to have a list of all the things the group needs to do, let everyone see it, get everyone together and let them take the things they want. Make it clear that everything needs to get done, but let people sign up knowing what there getting into. Let those who take the real ugly stuff to do it in front of everyone so they get credit for taking one for the team and everyone know they havce a chit to cash next time aorund. The basic idea is self-organizing teams. 

Jim S.
Saturday, May 8, 2004

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