October 26, 2007

Software : Finding Right person for the Job .

Filed under: Software Management — khangharoth @ 2:02 pm

This is a hypothetical case study based on my experience in software industry.

Disclamor : Whatever i am discussing below is based on my experience which i admit is very limited ,but intention here to make you think about this aspect of Software Life Cycle.

BackGround : Any Software Work which we do has these inherent factors associated with it.

  • Complexity : How complex the piece of Work.
  • Resource Competence : how competent are the people who will work on this.Compensation for the resource depends upon competence level.
  • Time: What are the time lines.
  • Cost:Total cost which incur to company for this piece of Work.

We will rate all the above parameters on the scale of 10, ten being highest.

Requirement : We have a piece of Work , which say has complexity of level 3.

Resource and Time Planning :

Scenario 1:

We take a Developer with competence level of 3.Now let’s assume he will take 3 unit of time.This means for the work we have to wait for 3 unit of time and it will cost :

Developer Compensation * Unit Of time = Cost To Company.

In our example as compensation is proportional to competence so ,

3*3=9 this is the Cost .

Scenario 2:

Now say Manager wants to hire a person with higher competence so that quality should be higher and work can be finished before time.

So he hires a Developer of Competency level 8.Now to have same cost this guy needs to finish the work in

Cost/Competency=Time 9/8= 1.125 unit of Time.

Everything is fine but this generally don’t happen in real world.

What actually happens is this Developer is not Sufficiently challenged by the work he is doing and so he invariably thinks of more than necessary aspects of the given Problem and would now make given task of higher complexity ,say of level 8.

As now the task is of more or less same level of complexity as developer competence so time will again be of similar magnitude , say 3.

Now let’s calculate the cost 8*3=24.

More than double the cost of original cost.

So if you are Project Manger and you feel that your resources are over competent for the given work , than keep close eye on Scope of the Project.


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