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How I reduced by 50% the
duration of a project
Find opportunities in the details and be creative
Giorgio Marcenaro
The Task
 Deploy a new software designed to
manage test plans across 8 Product
Lines
 Have at least one project per Product
Line fully managed with the new
software
 Target duration: 6 months (26 weeks)
2
The quick and dirty math
 8 Product Lines (P.L.)
 53 trainees per P.L.*
 3 days per training class
 10 attendees max per class
 2 extra weeks (data upload) per P.L.*
 5 working days/week
 1 trainer (this will be omitted in the formula below)
53trainees/P.L.
10trainees/class
3days/class
5days/week
x
x
+ 2weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 41Weeks
The duration target cannot be met!... Or can it?
* We will clarify better this point on slide 4 3
A closer look
 Each Product Line included the following professional figures (53 trainees)
◦ 1 x Test Plan Manager (design the Test Plan)
◦ 1 x Planner (maintain the Test Plan, support Test Plan Manager)
◦ 10 x Test Engineer (perform tests, issue Problem Reports)
◦ 1 x Problem Administrator (Assign Engineers to Problems to resolve)
◦ 40 x Design Engineer (Address Problem Reports, Require additional tests as
needed)
It was recommended to train personnel as closely as possible to the time when
real project data would be available in the system, so that they could practice
the learned skills right away.
The Test Plan Manager and the Planner were therefore the first to be trained
(nobody else) and were given 2 weeks to upload the Test Plan data into the
system.
The other trainees of each Product Line would start their training at the end of
the 2 weeks data upload period.
4
A better math
Here is a representation of what the training plan for each Product Line looked
like:
If the Training of each Product Line requires about 6 weeks, the
expected total duration of the task is really:
6weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 48Weeks
Not good!
5
The opportunity
The various professional figures in each
Product Line had different roles and did
not need to learn the whole system.
We therefore reviewed the training
material so that it would teach each
professional figure exclusively the tasks
it was supposed to perform.
6
The Concept
The duration of the training for each
professional figure was re-estimated as
follows:
 Test Plan Manager – 3 days (the whole system)
 Planner – 3 days (the whole system)
 Test Engineer – 3 days (not the whole system, but more
practice in the class)
 Problem Administrator - 1 day
 Design Engineer – 1 day
7
The new plan per Product Line
Here is what the training plan for each Product Line looked like
after the review of the training material.
Now the duration of the training for each Product Line is 4
weeks! A 33% reduction!
This brings the duration of the whole task to
4weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 32Weeks
Better… But still not enough!
8
We had to be creative!
Could we use some flexibility and compress the timing further?
Yes! The new plan for each product line allowed to “stack” the
training of 2 Product Pines as follows!
6 weeks for 2 Product Lines! Which means:
3weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 24Weeks
We made it! 50% reduction and it
meets the target deadline! 9
The outcome
Obviously, as the story unfolded, we had to further adjust the
plan for national holidays and the usual things that happen in
the real world: vacations, sick days or people being required to
take care of higher priority tasks.
In the end all the adjustments came together well: we met the
target deadline and, because of the good work of the trainees,
we exceeded by 37% the target number of projects fully
managed with the new software.
10

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How I reduced by 50% the duration of a project

  • 1. How I reduced by 50% the duration of a project Find opportunities in the details and be creative Giorgio Marcenaro
  • 2. The Task  Deploy a new software designed to manage test plans across 8 Product Lines  Have at least one project per Product Line fully managed with the new software  Target duration: 6 months (26 weeks) 2
  • 3. The quick and dirty math  8 Product Lines (P.L.)  53 trainees per P.L.*  3 days per training class  10 attendees max per class  2 extra weeks (data upload) per P.L.*  5 working days/week  1 trainer (this will be omitted in the formula below) 53trainees/P.L. 10trainees/class 3days/class 5days/week x x + 2weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 41Weeks The duration target cannot be met!... Or can it? * We will clarify better this point on slide 4 3
  • 4. A closer look  Each Product Line included the following professional figures (53 trainees) ◦ 1 x Test Plan Manager (design the Test Plan) ◦ 1 x Planner (maintain the Test Plan, support Test Plan Manager) ◦ 10 x Test Engineer (perform tests, issue Problem Reports) ◦ 1 x Problem Administrator (Assign Engineers to Problems to resolve) ◦ 40 x Design Engineer (Address Problem Reports, Require additional tests as needed) It was recommended to train personnel as closely as possible to the time when real project data would be available in the system, so that they could practice the learned skills right away. The Test Plan Manager and the Planner were therefore the first to be trained (nobody else) and were given 2 weeks to upload the Test Plan data into the system. The other trainees of each Product Line would start their training at the end of the 2 weeks data upload period. 4
  • 5. A better math Here is a representation of what the training plan for each Product Line looked like: If the Training of each Product Line requires about 6 weeks, the expected total duration of the task is really: 6weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 48Weeks Not good! 5
  • 6. The opportunity The various professional figures in each Product Line had different roles and did not need to learn the whole system. We therefore reviewed the training material so that it would teach each professional figure exclusively the tasks it was supposed to perform. 6
  • 7. The Concept The duration of the training for each professional figure was re-estimated as follows:  Test Plan Manager – 3 days (the whole system)  Planner – 3 days (the whole system)  Test Engineer – 3 days (not the whole system, but more practice in the class)  Problem Administrator - 1 day  Design Engineer – 1 day 7
  • 8. The new plan per Product Line Here is what the training plan for each Product Line looked like after the review of the training material. Now the duration of the training for each Product Line is 4 weeks! A 33% reduction! This brings the duration of the whole task to 4weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 32Weeks Better… But still not enough! 8
  • 9. We had to be creative! Could we use some flexibility and compress the timing further? Yes! The new plan for each product line allowed to “stack” the training of 2 Product Pines as follows! 6 weeks for 2 Product Lines! Which means: 3weeks/P.L. x 8P.L. = 24Weeks We made it! 50% reduction and it meets the target deadline! 9
  • 10. The outcome Obviously, as the story unfolded, we had to further adjust the plan for national holidays and the usual things that happen in the real world: vacations, sick days or people being required to take care of higher priority tasks. In the end all the adjustments came together well: we met the target deadline and, because of the good work of the trainees, we exceeded by 37% the target number of projects fully managed with the new software. 10