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Posts Tagged ‘analyst’

Robert HalfIn a presentation entitled “Staffing Strategies for the 21stCentury” by Katherine Spencer Lee, Executive Director at Robert Half Technology (September 18, 2008), the following IT staffing metrics were presented:

A Robert Half Technology* survey asked 1,400 CIOs to compare …
Actual versus ideal ratio of internal end-users to technical support employees at their company

  • Mean response for Actual was 136:1
  • Mean response for Ideal was 82:1

Technical Support Center staffs are 40 percent smaller, on average, than optimal.

Mobile vs Static staffing ratios:

  • There is a baseline ratio around 90 customers per analyst.
  • Technical and mobile user bases earn a lower ratio due to higher complexity (1:80-110)
  • Fewer analysts required for non-technical and static users (1:120-160)

Organizational goals should help set staffing levels:

  1. Compete at the cutting edge of innovation (25:1 to 50:1)
  2. Compete on full service and overall value (60:1 t0 100:1)
  3. Compete on thin cost margin and scalability (125:1 to 200:1)

A complete copy of the Robert Half presentation can be found here.

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According to Tim Bryce (Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates),

If systems analysis is performed correctly, programmer productivity should improve as analysts should be providing good specifications for application assignments. In the absence of systems analysts, considerable time is lost by the programmer who has to second-guess what the end-user wants. Inevitably, this leads to rewriting software over and over again. Good data and processing specs, as provided by a systems analyst, will improve programmer productivity far better than any programming tool or technique. This means programmers are the beneficiaries of good systems analysis.

This brings up an interesting point, what should be the ratio of Systems Analysts to Programmers in a development organization? Frankly, I believe there should be twice as many analysts than programmers. By concentrating on the upfront work, programming is simplified.

Source: Bryce, Tim, “The Ratio of Analysts to Programmers”, Toolbox for IT, August 24, 2006.

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