We have occasionally experienced customers that are familiar with consuming courseware but don’t really know how long it takes to produce it. This is similar to people reading a book or watching a movie but not realizing how much time and effort went into producing it. In other instances, the customer’s downstream customers demanded the courseware as soon as possible, resulting in a very aggressive schedule.

To help resolve this, we have sometimes increased the development teams. We recommend caution with this. Read the book called "Mythical Man Month." This is not a press-the-easy-button solution. Adding people adds complexity that adds transaction costs to the team. Here is where Lean-Agile can help and make it more manageable too. The daily synchronization meetings that we call daily standups and that Scrum calls daily scrums really helps reduce time spent by anyone waiting to be told what to do next. The Kanban board with their avatar or picture on their cards aids accountability to the entire team for their work.

You will still have issues like ensuring that the courseware has a single voice, and other challenges, but it is easier to execute such accelerated work with Lean-Agile than without it.

We have had buyers ask for even larger-sized teams so we can bring in the delivery time even more. At some point, you may have to push back. Using the Theory of Constraints, we ask about SME capacity as a potential bottleneck. You can easily overload SMEs and create a SME bottleneck if you make the development team too big. You also increase the risks to the producer if the customer asks to stop development for any reason. If on fixed-price, too large of teams adds risk that you need to mitigate.


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