Wednesday, December 8, 2010

get work done on time -- GS time booking

A developer position is created by business, and funded by business. Why wall street pays sky high for developers? Because business generates high profit and business wants more IT guys to help them shorten “time to market”.

In my GS system, code quality is low priority[1]. But many GS people say productivity is higher than other banks. I believe “productivity” is measured by the number of many-hours actually spent and _booked_ to the project. But how is GS time booking different from other banks?

For a developer, the number of man-hour in a year is a fixed 1920 man-hours. I typically book into 20 - 40 projects each year. I feel at least 6 levels of managers above me (up to MD and partner) look at my time booking data to manage their budget and expenditure. Unlike other banks, GS line managers look bad in front of very senior managers if developers overbook time. Developer is a scarce resource in GS and many levels of managers watch their burn-rate. Other banks are less burn-rate-conscious.

Suppose a project is budgeted 40 man-hours but is expanding to 60 due to scope increase, then other projects must shift to the next year. Business don’t like their project postponed, so they push IT managers, hard. IT managers want to please the business, so they push developers. Other banks are less determined.

In GS, there’s real resistance to postponing projects to next year. Most employees and consultants endeavor to deliver in time even though requirement often change. In other banks, IT guys say "we aren't machines or supermen", but in GS many developers are expected to be 80% more productive than other banks. This is achievable if a developer knows her system inside out.

If I say “My project is booking 50% more time because requirements changed drastically”. Manager would come down to scrutinize and ask “Every project has changing requirements, but they don’t exceed budget this much. Why are you slower?” I feel other banks don't say this.

I feel GS is more productive because business can really push IT. Both business and IT are motivated by promotion and bonus

[1] “Finish your work on time, with reasonable quality”

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http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin