Buffer Size

How do we determine the size of the skill buffer?

The following facts will impact on the buffer size:

    The financial benefit of maintaining a buffer for a particular skill group.
    How quickly the skill group can be replenished when demand increases, or staff members have to be replaced.

What can staff in the buffer group do?

    Re-training to keep a suitable level of expertise in changing technologies.
    Quality control of other peoples work in their area of expertise.
    Temporarily step in to help projects that are behind schedule.
    Fill in for staff that need to be away from work suddenly, and for more than a few days.
    Help with training new staff.

Who should be in the Buffer Group?

    Staff that have experience in the products and customers that a provider is working with.
    New or inexperienced staff will not get up to speed quickly enough to be of benefit to the projects they are helping.

For the first 50 programmers there is a buffer size of 10%. Thereafter aggregation allows a buffer size of 5%.

Simple buffer calculation for a skill group

How does the buffer size relate to the diagrams for buffer levels?
In the diagram for balanced demand and supply, the green area will represent your Buffer size as a Buffer level. If you have 22 employees in the programmer group then the base buffer level will be 2. For 118 programmers the base buffer level will be 8 staff members.