EppsNet Archive: Schedules

How’s That WBS Working for You?

Michael James posted this annotated job listing in the Scrum group on Yahoo . . . [Redacted] is looking for a dedicated and experienced application developer [blah blah blah] to ensure delivery of high quality artifacts, to adhere and to follow [Redacted]’s SDLC. This is an excellent opportunity [blah blah blah] well-known Fortune 50 company. Tasks and responsibilities [clip] Provide accurate and timely estimates (work breakdown schedules) Must have proven ability to provide project estimates and work-breakdown schedules And you know these guys are getting great results from their precise WBS and SDLC because of these lines: Must be extremely responsive, able to work under pressure in crisis with a strong sense of urgency 24/7 on call responsibilities on a rotational basis Read more →

Time and People Shortages

High-tech workers fervently believe in time and people shortages. Much of the time, you have no idea whether a shortage really exists. You assume that the shortage is real, instead of carefully examining the situation. Many explanations based on insufficiencies arise from unexamined assumptions. — Jim McCarthy Read more →

Foundations of Mediocrity: Scheduling

My primary complaint about scheduling is simple: that people are willing to proceed as if they can look into a crystal ball about the future. They act as if they can plan out the future. As if they can control the future. It’s the control part that really gets to me. It bugs me because it’s a false belief. It’s simply not true. You can not control the future, and the belief you can is just so destructive of creativity, teamwork, spontaneity and interaction among one another. This false belief is just a complete energy zapper, an unwholesome energy sink. — Michele McCarthy This transcript of a Jim and Michele McCarthy podcast is the best discussion of scheduling I’ve read today, maybe ever . . . Read more →

Three Reasons for Software Project Failure

Jerry Weinberg‘s top three reasons for software projects going over budget or failing to meet their original requirements: The original budget, schedule and requirements were totally unrealistic, due to the inability of people to speak truth to power. The original budget, schedule and requirements were totally unrealistic, due to the inability of people to understand and acknowledge their own limitations (which we all have). Even in those rare cases that people pass those first two hurdles, they lose emotional control during the project when something goes wrong — and something ALWAYS goes wrong. In 50 years, I’ve never seen a project where something didn’t go wrong. When it does, the project’s success is determined by the leaders’ ability to manage themselves emotionally. Read more →

Man Plans, God Laughs

Man plans, God laughs. — Yiddish proverb A VP has asked me to review a Microsoft Project schedule printed out on 16 legal-size pages. The first thing that jumps out at me is that the level of detail in the schedule far exceeds the quality of information we have about the state of the world and the project at the future dates and times represented. I don’t see how you can break tasks down to this level of detail, add in dependencies, and state that Task XYZ is going to start at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on some date 14 months from now. And I would say that if the success of your project depends on your ability to forecast the future to that degree of precision, you are DOOMED from the outset . . . Thus spoke The Programmer. Read more →