If 20% of your time is on one project, where is the rest of your time
supposed to go?
People tasked simultaneously on 3 different projects is a very big
problem... it slows down all 3 projects and introduces task-switching
overhead to the extent that people are only 60% effective compared to
what they could do if they were on only one project.
"Becoming a great manager: five pragmatic practices" for more on why
multi-tasking people is a bad thing.
On 11/7/06, mi97ki <mi97ki@...> wrote:
> The organization I work for has decided to adopt Scrum on a pilot
> project. The plan is to see how well Scrum is going to cure the
> current problems the organization is facing (late, buggy products,
> etc.). The Team who I have the privilege to coordinate is on this
> pilot. We have been through 2 iterations and we are approaching the
> end of the third. We can (and will!) improve on few things but overall
> I can say: "So far so good!".
> Yesterday the PMO mandated that for projects up to 1 year duration or
> 1 million dollar budget PMs cannot be tasked more than 20% of their
> time. The pilot falls within this bracket. My experience, which is
> limited to the 3 months we have been on the pilot, tells me that 20%
> utilization for the PM/ScrumMaster is too low. Perhaps because I sign
> up for tasks when I see the Team struggling to keep pace (which
> happens often because the organization seems unable to understand that
> people cannot be tasked simultaneously on 3 different projects and be
> very effective at the same time...). When I raised my objection I was
> told that I should get an extra (cheaper) resource to do the technical
> work (which I enjoy, since I have a technical background) and focus
> exclusively on PM tasks.
> I concede that I do not have much experience and perhaps my uneasiness
> of being tasked for only 20% of my time on the project is due to the
> fact that I like doing technical work. However, I would like to know
> from the veterans out there if you can afford to work only 20% on
> your projects. Or, in other words, how many projects a ScrumMaster can
> tackle at the same time?
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C. Keith Ray