A lively discussion is underway at Sunrise Software, where you are a project manager.
The main question is whether the person-days concept has limitations. In other words, if a task will require 100 person-days, does it matter whether two people in 50 days, five people in 20 days, ten people in 10 days, or some other combination that adds up to 100 performs the work? Two programmers on the project seem to think it doesnt matter. On the other hand, one of the projects systems analysts says it is ridiculous to think that any combination would work. To support his point, this extreme example was offered: Could 100 people accomplish a task estimated at 100 person-days in one day? Is the systems analyst correct? If so, what are the limits in the people versus days equation? Taking the concept a step further, is there an optimum number of people to be assigned to a task? If so, how would that number be determined? You need to offer some guidance at the next project team meeting. What will you say?
The project management team at Parallel Services is having a debate about how to define tasks in the WBS. The project manager wants to break tasks down into the smallest possible units. For example, she objected to a broad task statement called Develop a training schedule. Instead, she suggested three subtasks: (1) Determine availability of training room, (2) Determine availability of attendees, and (3) Select specific dates and training times. Another project team member disagrees. He feels that the broader task statement is better because it allows more flexibility and will produce the same result. He says that if you break tasks into pieces that are too small, you risk overmanaging the work and spending more time on monitoring than actually performing the tasks. As a member of the team, which approach do you agree with more? What are the pros and cons of each?
You are a systems analyst at Just-in-Time Software, a company that specializes in short delivery cycles for its products. The current project is running behind schedule, and the project manager wants to bring a few extra programmers onboard to help with the work. You are familiar with Brooks Law. How can you best explain to the project manager that adding more people to the project at this late stage may make things worse? You dont want to be seen as a negative team player, but youre convinced that if you dont speak up, the projects schedule will slip even more.
NOTE: All the 3 questions should not be more than 1,1/2 pages.