The Brook’s Law is very famous among the software developers and project managers, and has stood the test of time. It says:
“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”
That’s fine, but don’t you think that there must be a way to work around this law? After all, by adding more man-hours we are increasing the “available developer productivity” to the project! If I’m managing a project, I will go that extra mile and deploy only those developers who have experience in the technology that the project is working on.
But then this doesn’t really happen and many write-ups talk about how flouting Brook’s Law has backfired. Read one interesting case study regarding this – Changing Counterproductive Behaviors in Real Acquisitions.
It brings me to think that if Brook’s Law has proven itself correct many times, then there must be few substantial reasons for it to be so, and eventually, for the increased man-hours to not be able to deliver.
The case study mentioned above, says that following are the reasons why Brook’s Law doesn’t get defeated:
1. Geometrically increasing communication overhead that
- Reduces development productivity, and
- Reduces the time available for each individual to do development
2. A reduction in experienced personnel available for development (by using them for training of new personnel)
The key to understand, therefore, is to outsmart the above obstacles in order to defeat the Brook’s Law.
The communication overhead can be reduced if the right project management collaboration tool is used. For example, with BootStrapToday we offer collaborative features such as automation of recording similar tickets. It reduces the redundant communication that would otherwise be required for coordinating the knowledge sharing. BootStrapToday also intelligently identifies and assigns similar tickets and saves you a lot of time that gets translated into dollars for your stakeholders!
Once the redundant stuff is automated, the time required for training new personnel will grossly reduce. So, what is your take? Do you think the Brook’s Law can be defeated now?