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Human resource utilization?

By bittoo_m ·
I am a project manager at a (software :) consultancy. We're expected by the senior management and clients to have an average human resource utilization rate of 70%.

Now, we're also going in for a CMM assessment soon. Along the journey we've ended up adding many processes needed for compliance. From a customer perspective, this has resulted in a reduced utilization rate!

So my question: Is 70% a fair expectation for utilization? We're a mid sized company (about 100 technical people) - any opinions about a similar sized company from associates of or customers of a similar company will be great.

I've read reports about some companies in India having utilization as high as 85-90%! Any ideas on how they manage it?

Thanks a ton for your help!

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by j.lupo In reply to Human resource utilizatio ...

Well, the first issue is training. When ever companies go through massive changes (and your did by implementing all these policies) then you need to make sure EVERYONE understand and can comply with the policies.

Another issue is CMM. It's great you want to do something like that, but I find that CMM forces utilization and productivity down because everyone is too busy with all the paperwork and procedures to actually accomplish anything.

You will find that CMM and similar processes are not always used overseas. I have a colleague that worked at overseeing an offshore project that was shipped to India. The minute he attempted to impose our CMM procedures and policies, utilization and productivity went down.

I am not saying it is not possible, but I believe that you have to keep the customer first, train your people, and very slowly move towards whatever methodology you ultimately want to use.

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Any numbers?

by bittoo_m In reply to Utilization

Thanks for your reply. But any ballpark numbers on a reasonable utilization expectation ?

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by j.lupo In reply to Any numbers?

If you are referring to the overseas operation that my colleague was working, I would have to speak with him to get an idea.

In general, I haven't done any actual studies regarding it so any numbers would be my view from personal experience. Just wanted to put that disclaimer in. :)

From my own experienc with CMM used in Software Development, I saw projects that normally would have tanken 6 months go to 1 1/2 years due to the changes. Of course once everyone was up to speed on the policies and procedures prductivity went back up, but never reached the same previous levels.

My only real suggestion is that you don't want the paperwork to get in the way of the actual work. Feel free to give me specific questions, and I will happily attempt to get you some answers.

Good Luck.

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