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Using External Resources to Eliminate Product Development Queues

Overview

By Don Reinertsen, Reinertsen and Associates
Experienced product developers realize that there is a heavy price to be paid for operating a development organization at 100 percent utilization.  Unless we could perfectly predict the work content of design tasks, when these tasks arrive, and the productivity of our individual development workers, such high levels of loading will cause queues in product development.  Internal capacity is only one of a variety of paths to increase the capacity of the development organization.  External capacity is a powerful alternative.  However, using external capacity to support product development can be a little trickier than it first appears.  In this commentary, Don Reinertsen discusses one of the common pitfalls of managing external capacity – the tactic known as “peak-shaving” – and how to avoid it.
(3 pages)

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