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I was recently in a position where I requested an additional resource for a short term - 5 week - project. In discussion with the product manager who is knowledgeable about the scope, I requested an additional resource, based on how the team has been missing targets to date. The product manager would only consider my request if I could provide a list of tasks for each weekly sprint adding up to significantly more hours of effort than I have available from the current resources.

Is there a better way to show an additional resource is needed?

closed as off-topic by Masked Man, gnat, Chris E, Dawny33, The Wandering Dev Manager Feb 29 '16 at 15:59

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    It's already been shown if the team is missing targets. Are there other reasons he/she might think it's the team failing to work efficiently rather than the hours? I know when I manage a project I have a pretty good idea of what it needs. If I'm asked for more then like this chap I'll want to know why. I'm open to being shown something I missed, but not spending money because the team is not up to scratch. I'd rather replace a team member. – Kilisi Feb 28 '16 at 4:34
  • You would probably be better framing this question over at project management.SE. – Jane S Feb 28 '16 at 12:19
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    @JaneS It doesn't look like he's a project manager, and he may get swatted down for asking a "n00b" question like that over there. – Richard Says Reinstate Monica Feb 29 '16 at 13:56
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The request of your product manager really means that she/he wants to review your plan.

The fact that the team missed deadlines already means, that something is wrong on the estimation, planning or execution side of the project.

It is normal to plan for the activities of each sprint in details in advance.

Every task in your sprints should have a complexity and cost factor associated with it.

If I were the manager I would be interested to learn if adding another resource will really solve the issue and delivery will happen as planned. The best way to see this is to look at the plan, identify the issues and bottlenecks.

There could be several things wrong with a project plan. All tasks may be underestimated due to lack of information and gray areas during planning, another reason may be some hidden complexity discovered during the project, or a steep learning curve, lack of skills, uncooperative third party teams, unexpected dependencies and I could go on.

Most managers drive based on facts, and this is exactly what they get with the plan review. This is where you can explain where the issues are and wether adding more people is the right step.

I don't see another way to convince your manager after she/he explicitly asked for these facts.

  • So will you do the plan review? :) – Mark Feb 28 '16 at 19:15
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There's an old saying in Project Management that additional resources added to a late project make it later.

For such a short project, this will be true because you will need to pull a resource to get the new one up to speed, which means more missed deadlines.

This sounds like more of a botched project plan, and beyond your scope. Your best course of action is to document all of the reasons you are falling behind. What you may need to do is request OT, which they may be more amenable towards granting.

If I were running a five week project, that would be my approach if we were behind. No time to interview or grab an internal resource, just authorize OT and get it out the door.

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