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I have heard the term "staff" week. I know that calendar week is the actual calendar days but what is a "staff" week?

2 Answers 2

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TL;DR

The only way to know for sure is to ask someone at your company what the term means at your company or within a given project-related context. Even if there were a standard definition, that doesn't ensure that's how it's being used within your project.

Guesses and Practical Advice

I don't know if there's a widely-accepted definition, and it's not one I've ever hear used professionally. Depending on company culture, I would guess that it's either:

  1. The total hours of all staff on the project for a week (either a calendar week or a work week).

    • This might be used as a number used for estimating team capacity.
    • Alternatively, it could be the average run-rate for labor within a given project.
    • On the other other hand, it could also mean something no one outside your company or project would guess.
  2. As David suggested (and I'm paraphrasing), it could simply be a poor attempt at replacing the industrial-age term "resource" with "staff member."

    • Some companies are currently attempting to attract and keep people by treating them less as fungible resources. Whether or not this is sincere is largely irrelevant to the goal.
    • Some companies still have red/blue badge syndrome. This could be an attempt to differentiate between staff labor and contractor/vendor labor.
    • It might mean the estimated capacity of an individual or group of people based on expected or contractual labor agreements, such as 40- or 60-hour work weeks being standard for that company or project.

Ask, Don't Guess!

In any case, the real solution is not to guess. Since every company has its own culture and set of self-generated acronyms and shorthand, just ask someone. The next time someone uses that term, asking:

Can you please clarify what "staff week" means in this context?

would be perfectly appropriate. Some people don't realize how non-standard their company's terms are, and not every company or project defines a glossary (although many should). Don't be afraid to ask questions at work, because it's the only way to find out what a term means at your company rather than from random strangers on the Internet.

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  • Curious - what does "red/blue badge syndrome" means? Couldn't find any reference to it (I'm not too desperate to search page 2 of Google results :P)
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Feb 14, 2022 at 15:01
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    @TiagoCardoso Some companies use different colored badges to differentiate between "employees" and "contractors." From an organizational culture perspective, it's a problem where employees and contractors are treated differently or given different levels of access even when doing the exact same job. The actual colors used are irrelevant; it's a mindset and a culture.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Feb 14, 2022 at 19:15
  • Got it, thanks!
    – Tiago Cardoso
    Feb 15, 2022 at 0:05
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It's likely a new term for resource week since "resource" is no longer the right term to describe an employee. It should mean a planning parametric to load employees against a task. For example, some firms would use 38 hours a week per staff so that you can compute duration and costs.

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