ChallengesLonnie Franks, the Director of Engineering for a major software engineering firm, was asked to do a project estimate for a firm in Hong Kong. As an experienced project manager Lonnie had completed over 200 project assessments previously. The project was 2-3 million lines of code with a multi-phase development plan and the company had an aggressive time constraint to complete the project. The customers’ solution was to put a staff of 100 people on the project.
SolutionThe SLIM analysis from Lonnie revealed that a project of that size only required 25-30 people, showing they had grossly over-staffed the project on the first phase of development. Because Lonnie was able to show quantitative evidence provided by SLIM, the decision makers at the Chinese firm agreed to cut the team size by 50% to finish their first phase and to complete the second phase. Without the SLIM analysis there was a good chance that the customer would not have completed the first phase.
OutcomesDownsizing the team meant a huge money savings on the project and Lonnie could ensure that he had the best developers working on the project. Also, reducing the team size meant an improvement in the work environment. Previously they were in a small noisy space with very little privacy. With the smaller team they were able to move to a better space, which lead to overall higher productivity. The second phase of development was completed in 2/3 of the time, even though it was 50% larger than the first phase! In comparing the cost per line of code, the first phase cost $45 per line of code, while the second phase only cost $18 per line of code.