More Developers

Yet another common solution to another well-known problem.

The software industry is known for its tight-schedule projects. Numerous projects exceed their expected schedule, and some never come to completion (see: Deadline).

In a book published in 1992 called “Show Me the Way to the Closest Open Elevator Shaft: Thoughts about Software Project Management?, the author came up with a bulletproof solution to this problem. A project should start with the minimal personnel that might have a slight chance to do it on time. Then, as time passes and the project is expected to be late, more developers should be added to the team.

The author, Mark Mywords, claimed that the new developers on the team seem to motivate their colleagues into working harder and making an even greater effort to make it on time. The best recorded results, the book continues, are expected when 20% of the development team is added during the last month of development. Project managers were surprised to witness an increase in productivity of developers, in their motivation, and even in their general sense of happiness during this allegedly stressed phase of the project.

Since the book was published, many have tried to adapt this methodology to other domains. The most noticeable one was the attempt to add more people to the QC staff just before products should have been released. However, this attempt was not approved by project managers, since they found themselves in need for even more developers to fix the new bugs found by the additional QC people.


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