Thursday, December 23, 2010

GS workload -- squeeze-in

Here's another reason GS developers get _2_to_3_ times the work done per man-month compared to other companies on Wall Street.

Say at beginning of Jan I start a 4-week project in GS. Need to release by end of month. Then scope expands by 30% -- fine we can absorb it in the same timeframe. Then some unrelated production issue pops up. No one else knows it better, so I let it squeeze into my workload. It is taking many hours, but manager won't extend the deadline. Then other mini-projects squeeze into my workload. I end up spending only half my time on the main project. However, deadline stays the same. I'm now expected to double up my effort to swallow all the new stuff squeezed in.

You may think it's unreasonable, but the hard, cold fact is, the other team members could cope, so must I too. Sometimes they look just like sponge with unlimited absorption.

Mind you, the initial 4-week estimate is not fake -- It's a reasonable estimate by all accounts. But GS managers know they can squeeze in more stuff later, so they do.

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