As a systems architect, I must concern myself with project management issues. Every now and then, I like to check my head and reread a wonderful blog post from Reg Braithwaite on What I've learned from failure
. I printed up a copy and keep it in my notebook so that I can pull it out and read it on my train ride.
This is a timely topic for me as I now find myself only a week away from the big Japanese Golden Week holidays facing the ugly and imminent possibility that I will have to drag my carcass into the office during the holidays to assist another project team that are in the unenviable position of being smack dab in a "project out of control".
This project is rather high-profile and very important for my current employer. Being an outsider to this project, I don't know anything about how it got to this state. Only three weeks before going public, with a large string of national holidays right at the end... Doesn't that sound like project management wasn't working properly? And it always just slays me when I see that the only solution upper management can come up with is to toss more people at the problem by asking them to come in over the vacation. Urgh, I am having flashbacks of Lumbergh in Office Space
: "m' yeah, I'm gonna need you to come in on Saturday..."
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and repeat this mantra after me: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later
. Fred Brooks is spot on there. I feel like I should bring my copy of The Mythical Man Month in to the office and start whacking people across their faces with it.
So here's the punchline for today... what have I learned from failure?
People just never
learn, that's what.
Closing note: It just so happens that there was a recent thread on /. on project management
. Great comments, especially from myvirtualid.
Originally posted on my other blog post here