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Coping with staffing delays in software project management: an experimental investigation

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3 Author(s)
K. Sengupta ; Naval Postgraduate Sch., Monterey, CA, USA ; T. K. Abdel-Hamid ; M. Bosley

A key factor in the management of software projects is the ability of the manager to handle delays in the hiring and assimilation of staff. This study examines how decision makers cope with staffing delays, and how their decisions affect the outcome of software projects. We report the findings of a laboratory experiment in which subjects managed a simulated software project that entailed delays in the hiring and/or assimilation of staff. The performance of the subjects was ascertained in terms of the cost incurred and time taken in completing the project. While decision makers performed poorly in the presence of delays in either hiring or assimilation, subjects who had to deal with delays in the assimilation of staff performed worse than those dealing with hiring delays. Subjects who had to contend with both hiring and assimilation delays performed considerably worse than those who had to cope with just one type of delay. We suggest process explanations for the results, and discuss the implications of the results for managing software projects

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics - Part A: Systems and Humans  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 1 )