Adding People to Late Projects Makes Them Later

5
964

Adding people to late projects makes them later.  This can be counter-intuitive.  In Requirements-Led Project Management: Discovering David’s Slingshot, by Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson explain how adding people to late projects makes them later.

The Least Knowledgeable People Prevent the Most Knowledgeable People from Working
According to Suzanne and James, adding people to a late project, makes the project later:

The problem of adding people means disrupting the rhythm that your existing team has established.  It increases the number of communication paths. New people penalize the existing team.  When new members arrive, they almost certainly have to ask questions.  And the most obvious people to ask are the most skilled – and therefore the most valuable to you –people on the team.  So you end up with the least knowledgeable people preventing the most knowledgeable people from working.

Key Take Aways
I’ve lead many projects over the years, and I have found that adding people to late projects does make them later. Here’s my key take aways:

  • Adding people can disrupt the rhythm.
  • Adding people increases the number of communication paths.
  • Adding people can slow down the existing team.
  • The least knowledgeable people prevent the most knowledgeable people from working.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Sometimes adding people and making projects later is done on purpose in order to milk some more budgets. Sad but true… like you once called out – context precision. What’s your context?

  2. Hey John –

    I wonder if Web 2.0 back then would have helped capture/share the timeless lessons?

    It’s funny how much of the great knowledge is spread over “threads and heads” and “time and space” and treasure-troves of timeless book nuggets.

Comments are closed.