Staffing across the Project Lifecycle - Indus Net Technologies

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Staffing across the Project Lifecycle

December 31, 2007 by Mainak Biswas under CMMi Management Offshore outsourcing892 views
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I have already discussed how the progress of a project looks slow during the initiation and closing phases and what are the reasons behind that. Today, my point is to discuss how the staffing changes during the project phases. First, let’s understand what staffing means. For our purpose, we will assume that staffing means:

1. Personnel required for a project OR,
2. Utilization of personnel across the project lifecycle.

While the first definition means the physical quantity of people who are working on the project, the second definition means the % of time spent on project activities each person days (this is especially valid in case of small, single person projects that we do). If we plot in graph, the staffing of a project with respect to time, we will see something like this:













Let’s attempt to understand why this happens:

1. Each project goes through a cycle of Requirements, Product Design, Detailed Design, Coding and Unit Testing, Integration and System Test. For a typical 100 person-days project here is a breakup of effort that you may expect is 10% for Requirements, 20% for Design activities, 50% for Coding and 20% for Integration and System Testing. These activities can be sequenced or iterative and in either case, not all effort is spent at once. Since all effort is not spent at once, the resources are allocated in proportion to requirement i.e. effort is pulled based on the demands of the project.

2. The important thing to understand here that Allocation and Utilization may not mean the same thing. Even if someone has been allocated full-time/exclusively to your project, they may not be able to be utilized 100% on it. For instance, during the initial stages, only one person is required to do requirements analysis while during coding several developers may be allocated to the project. There is no point in allocating the full team at the time of project initiation itself.

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