Good work doesn't get done this way. Yet, portfolio planning, budgeting, and project management often do. Project managers, overseers, and financial stakeholders spend countless hours tallying bodies. They believe their centralized model of headcount-control is efficient. They are helping the company by shifting people from one project to another, adding, removing, and defending the status quo.
But, this neurotically obsessive focus on "resources" minimizes effectiveness.
- Treated as fractions, people doing real work lose purpose. A few hours on this, a few days on that, back to this again. No predictability, no consistency, and no opportunity to leverage experience to make a dramatic improvement.
- Work gets organized and prioritized by the availability of the various fractions, 2/3 of a tester, 1/4 of pm, 1.6 developers.
- Controlling the fractions becomes an exalted position that begets more positions - it's time consuming, you know!
- The numbers give "cost avoiders" the ready-made metrics they need for browbeating possibility into an expense line.
- And sadly, all lose sight of the real goal, the result they are supposed to be working towards: creating value for constituents of the organization they inhabit.