Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Adding More People Decreases Productivity and Quality

The more people you add to a project, the lower your per-person productivity and the higher the defect rate.

After fixing all the defects, the quality of the code written by the larger group will be much poorer, resulting in long-term increased maintenance costs.

Since software spends the vast majority of its useful life in maintenance, getting the first version out faster at the expense of all future releases is a bad business decision. Throwing bodies at the schedule today will actually increase the cycle time and costs for all future releases.

The fewer developers the better.

Less is more:
  • Don't substitute quantity for quality. Learn to question offers for more people, as tempting as it sounds. Push for better people instead.
  • Look past the deadline. Think about how the decisions you make today will affect the future.
  • Do the math. Is it really worth adding many man-months to save a couple calendar days for the first release--then pay premium maintenance costs for the rest of the software life?
Read the complete article "Less is More" by Linda Hayes at


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