Negative Manpower (nMP)

One of my friends is working on projects in a huge company with a huge amount of people since years now. He told me that he sometimes wondered why developments remained slow, even though the project put more developers into the project.

Thats what he said to me:

There must be something like negative manpower.

Have you ever heard that…

People saying you can do OO-development in C?

People hacking Java classes with 1000 lines of code, 50 static methods and colossal if/then/switch chains?

People don’t like training because this discourages them from doing their work?

People returning from a technology conference saying “there was nothing new”?

People are always available for your project (which is strange)?

These guys are working less than zero. They are working negative. They are a negative manpower, nMP.

Sooner or later we all have to invest some time to clean up their code. Sometimes this will cost the same amount of time that a nMP has wasted already. This is a nMP which is working 100% negative.

I have a formula for that:

r = e ( 2f + 1 )

r: real cost, e: estimated cost, f: nMP factor [0..1]

In other words: A software developer which is working 100% negative, needs triple money!!

Project review is always a good thing, so…

f = r/2e – 0.5

would calculate the nMP factor if you use estimated and real cost.


Well my friend, this is strange indeed.

And – I personally never hit my estimated cost 😉

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