Another 25 employees? No thank you.

I recently read an outrageous claim from a company that makes software project management tools. I’m leaving the company name out of this post as I don’t want to either single them out, or to give them publicity.

[Product X] companies were 25% more productive.  That’s like adding 25 people to a 100-person department, free!

Let’s just set aside the notion that you can accurately measure productivity of software teams in a meaningful way (you can’t). My immediate thought take on that was, “No, it’s like removing 25 people from a 100-person department. Hasn’t anyone read the Mythical Man-Month?”

One thought on “Another 25 employees? No thank you.

  1. LC says:

    How do you measure a 25% increase in productivity in the software development context, anyway?

    Employing 100 (or 125 or more) isn’t automatically a recipe for disaster. These departments will inevitably coalesce into smaller teams which could, if managed correctly, do okay. They just need to be made into properly encapsulated project teams (technologically, not just managerially)–that’s really hard to do and limiting yourself to a smaller department will help to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot this way.

    Developers shouldn’t be hoarded like cats, because the results are frighteningly similar.

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