North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Engineer headcount calculations

  • From: Luke Parrish
  • Date: Fri Jun 24 09:24:14 2005

Yes I agree, this is a topic that comes up time and time again in my conversations with other network managers, however I have yet to hear a clear way.


I don't think it is the greatest approach so I am curious to hear if
there is some better ways of doing it.


On 6/23/05, Luke Parrish <[email protected]> wrote:
> Measuring a customer service rep's time on a daily basis is a pretty easy
> and straightforward task. You can get down to the minute by minute level of
> how a CSR spends their time each day. You can also easily relate that back
> to customer growth which gives you how many CSR's you need for your next
> budget year. CSR's have a set of tasks to complete that rarely change day
> to day.
> However, what about a network engineer?
> A day in the life of an engineer:
> outage resolution
> proactive projects(some 2 hours and some 300 hours)
> reactive projects(some 2 hours and some 300 hours)
> customer escalation
> escalated network issue
> maintenance windows
> writing/researching change management
> time spent in lab researching network issues
> turning up new service
> planning for new service
> turning down old service
> taking phone calls from internal business units needing support
> configuring interfaces for new dedicated customers
> ip administration(sometimes 3 minutes per request sometimes 2 days of
> justification on a request)
> equipment upgrades
> TAC research
> equipment evaluation
> reports
> shipping equipment
> boxing equipment
> meetings
> etc etc etc etc etc etc, everyone knows where I am going.
> So the million dollar question, how do you account for their time to prove
> in a business case that you need to add additional headcount. If you plan
> on adding 110,000 DSL subs next year then we all know that we have to add
> engineers to support the network that will have to be built. However, how
> do you prove that with numbers?
> I can say, I have to turn up 250 new DSLAMs, 60 new routers, 18 new
> internet drains, etc etc which I can easily relate back to manhours for
> turnup. However how do you allocate manhours to maintenance of the network?
> There are some easy ones, 1 IOS upgrade a year times number of devices on
> the network, 1 bandwidth upgrade per year times number of CO's, etc etc.
> But what about the day to day that I listed above?
> We have to sell this idea to accountants, not other engineers, they only
> see numbers on paper. Its easy to all of us, we know how many people we
> need, but how do you put a business case together to sell it?
> Can anyone out there share what type of system they use to account for
> engineers time, or really any insight at all would be helpful.
> One answer would be a system that the engineer would open and close time
> based tickets everytime they made a move during the day. However I dont
> know many network engineers at the enable level that are restricted this
> way, however it is an option.
> luke
Luke Parrish
Centurytel Internet Operations