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I've been wondering for a while. I guess I have been adapting to the circumstances but I am in desperate need of some clearly defined workflows.

Ok, so say I am working with one other person and I have 2 projects come up both of equally large size with LOOSE deadlines. What should I do:

a) turn down one, work on other exclusively

b) take both on and develop both simultaneously

c) assign one person to each project

I have done c in the past which works fine. As a manager also, I've simply had to manage that project while I work on another. No big deal. But what is the ideal option above?

I'd hate to do a because I am turning down work either though deadline would permit working on both projects.

Any input?

Following things should be taken into account:

-) all members have same expertise in design & development and can effectively function as freelancers

-) timezones may not be the same so they would not be working at the same time

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3 Answers

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Like John said ... this is a matter of preference. If it were me I'd go after both projects because of the loose deadlines, but then again, at the time of this post, I'm in need of extra cash to do some foundation repair on my house so if I have to bust my hump on 2 projects (I.E. working a healthy amount of overtime) then I'll do it for the much needed cash. Sure juggling two projects is a headache but it's worth it in terms of profit and future business.

This can also be a business building opportunity. If you get both projects and work overtime to get both of them done on time and budget, you'll impress the clients which could lead to more business and then you can hire extra devs to handle the increased workload.

Once again, this is a matter of choice but if I were a small business I'd get input from the developers asking if they would mind putting in overtime (for some extra pay) and cranking out these two jobs in an attempt to further the business.

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Thanks! Ok, so in that case, would you follow (b) or (c)? Assuming each team member is competent enough to do an entire project by themselves. –  Damien Roche Dec 18 '10 at 3:13
    
@Zenph assuming that each developer has an adequate degree of competence, I'd go with option (c). If there are issues, they can support each other or bounce ideas off of each other, but I'd get one man on each project. –  Scott Vercuski Dec 18 '10 at 9:57
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With no team experience: Personally, I think b would be the worst choice as you each have to keep up with multiple projects, their requirements, recent changes, etc. I guess it's really just a matter of preference, but I would work on one exclusively until it's done. Then work on the other.

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At my job I work in a small team and everyone is assigned to all projects for a couple of reasons:

  • If someone gets hit by a bus, there is someone else to step in
  • Even if all team members are equally experienced, people will still have preferences or experience for certain tasks
  • It keeps the team more involved
  • Context switches can improve productivity (when applied carefully)

I have to say though that sometimes I wished I had just one thing going on to focus on, and nothing else, while other times I welcome the relief of being able to have something else to do.

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