Thursday, August 8, 2013

Project "soft stuff"

From time to time, we pick up a few things that are the grist of project "soft stuff" (I'm not talking about squeezing the Charmin!) Here are a few items you may have missed:
  • Are you just returning to the project after maternity leave? As a guy person, I've had to manage others doing this but have no personal experience. However, at "A Girl's Guide to Project Management" we learn about "5 Tips for Returning to Work after Maternity Leave"

  • And, in a recent article, we get one Chinese version of Silicon Valley diversions: roller skating to relieve stress! 

Planning impacts
All humor aside, the question ought to be: how to reflect stress relief and the usual living issues in the project planning. I put it all in a bucket and call it "Labor Loss"; I routinely plan for a 15% loss over a year's time.

So, 100 hours on the wall clock has a throughput of 85 hours on the project. Or, a 40 hour week (does anybody only work 40 hours in a week?!) yields about 34 hours on the project.

Do the math the other way: if your project demand is 100 hours, then you need about 117 hours on the clock.

Is this tax too high? It might be; but here's what's worse: not planning for labor loss at all. It's far better to set an anchor (100 per 117) than to drift about with no anchor. At the end of the day, those increments of 17 hours add up.... and then what do you do?

Check out these books I've written in the library at Square Peg Consulting