David A Barrett wrote:
> I think the part-timer issues are a probably a bit of a red herring. To
> me, a part-timer is a full member of the team who only has a limited
> of hours to devote to the sprint. We're really all part-timers in that
> respect since we're only going to spend 40 hours a week doing sprint work.
> To me, the key differentiator is that the part-timer is still a pig, and
> not simply a resource devoted to a particular aspect of the sprint. We
> talked earlier about our web developer, who we usually need for some
> aspects of our scrum work but who wouldn't be used for anything else and
> wouldn't be expected to help do documentation for some other sprint
> item (or whatever) if the sprint was falling behind. We also have users
> doing UAT, communications people vetting web content, business department
> SME's and the like that we need to use from time to time. We just treat
> them like a resource and put a real team member in charge of them who
> reports back to the team in the scrums.
Actually, we are all part timers in that we all have just 15 to 20 hours
of actual time per week directly on work tasks! That is part of the
difficulty with including someone who has only half nominal time to
apply. The hour per week in scrum meetings plus the one day monthly
planning session are overhead that are doubled for the unfortunate who
has been applied to two projects. Switching between tasks is a bother,
opening different documents, answering two sets of mail, switching
trains of thought, possibly changing the work environment. You end up
with about 0.8 persons applied to two projects. Another problem is
conflicting project needs. Unless there is a strong spirt of cooperation
between the projects, one or the other will usually dominate the part
timer's time. Then the smaller number of applied hours make for a
smaller sample size and progress becomes more difficult to evaluate.
I recommend against part timers where possible, but given the reality,
strictly limiting work scope and carefully monitoring progress makes the
best of the situation. I've had most success where the part timer is
either a consultant or applies full time for short bursts.