This Focused Performance Weblog started life as a "business management blog" containing links and commentary related primarily to organizational effectiveness with a "Theory of Constraints" perspective, but is in the process of evolving towards primary content on interactive and mobile marketing. Think of it as about Focusing marketing messages for enhanced Performance. If you are on an archive page, current postings are found here.
"'If costs in Bangalore are about 1/4 those in Seattle then all you need to do is improve productivity 4 fold to compete.' One of the developers was stunned by this. He is a hard working, smart, diligent guy. How could he possible work 4 times harder? Good question.
"I replied that if you have an initial quality metric of 3 bugs per Feature and you cut that to say 0.5 bugs per Feature by spending 15% of your effort on design reviews, code reviews and unit tests, then you will increase productivity 4 fold - easy! And this is just scraping the surface of what is possible. Eliminate all sorts of waste such as - queuing and waiting time, conflicts, use automation on repeating process and non-value-added activities such as reporting, improve analysis techniques to focus just enough and no more, improve flow in the value chain and reduce work-in-process. With all of these things it is possible to see up to 10 fold improvements with initially immature teams."
Actually one of the former units of Lucent -- one of the units with enough value to attract a buyer at a good price a while ago -- tripled their project throughput by with no significant increase in resources by implementing effective (TOC/Critical Chain-based) multi-project management in the first year, before any further continuous improvement efforts, which were now feasible due to the lessened overload stress.
Two of the items that David mentions -- queuing and waiting time, and conflicts -- are huge capacity killers in most project environments. Their major sources -- multi-tasking, Parkinson's Law, mismanagement of resource expectations, ineffective pipeline management, and unclear and conflicting priorities are things that management can deal with to make outsourcing an unattractive alternative. Add in a bit of common sense at the technical task level, and David's prescription of a 4-fold improvement in productivity is well within reach even of relatively mature team.
It's not a matter of how to do it. That has been demonstrated in a range of environments.
It's a matter of the will to question what hasn't really worked to date...
...before the people to whom you outsource beat you to it.
posted by Frank - Permanent Link -