I have seen both good and bad (very bad) project managers. The one most common thing that I found in these BAD managers is that they usually think like this:
“If a single mother can give birth to a child in 9-months than 9 mothers will give birth to a child in one month”
This clearly shows that you are not fit for the position. There was one project manager that I worked with. She used to manage the QA department. Every now and then QA missed to execute some of the most critical test cases and the build that we gave out to the customer didn’t work as expected on the very first run. Naturally the manager was asked questions as to why were these cases missed. Gues what answer she gave?
“I don’t have enough resources for the workload that is on QA. So I need more resources.”
She got the approval and she went on to hire 6 more resources. After 6 months we had a big customer. He had some particualr usage for our product and they were good enough to make it part of the contract that the will only accept the release if the outlined basic criteria were met otherwise we were liable for a fine. This one was a big deal so our support department came up with the detailed basic acceptance test cases that needed to be verified before certifying the release. So this time there was no chance of things going wrong but never underestimate any one. We screwed up again 🙂 and the release wasn’t accepted and we not only had to pay a huge fine but this was also a very strong blow on the company’s reputation. During the post mortem meeting everyone was pointing fingers at the manager and no extra points for guessing what answer she gave? Yes, your are right. I don’t have resources.
This time she decided to hire 6 more resources. Two for handling the patches (bug fixes) that we sent out to our customers and rest of them for the funtional tests. Even after that there was no end to the mistakes that were made. We kept on screwing up again and again 🙂
Usually I have seen Developer to QA ratio to be around 3 : 1 but it seems like the manager had her own ideas. She managed to changed the equation and the ratio went on to be 1:1.5.
This shows one of the two things:
The developers are very good at producing tons of features in very short amount of time that the QA cannot handle the workload OR the QA departmant and their processes are so incompetent that they can’t handle the workload no matter what.
In short hiring is not the solution of every problem. It is not like that I see for now I have a huge workload and I won’t be able to manage it w/o more people so lets hire more people. You also need to think about the future. Maybe the situation is just temporary and in future you won’t be having this much load. Usually these situations arise during the release time and can be handled with proper work planning and distribution. Also the resource you hire won’t start producing goods right away. There is a transition period, in which you train the resource, she gets familiar with the processes and product and after that they start producing goods. So think before you hire instead of making decisions like the ones that this manager did.