Random Stew It seemed like a good idea at the time.

25Feb/081

Flagellating a Deceased Equine

I recently blogged about a small software project with which I'm involved that is saddled with using a waterfall project methodology; I have never been a fan of the waterfall method but, on this project, I am being engaged through another consulting company that is providing the project management, so I have no choice.  I've estimated that the software development portion of the project will entail 120 man hours of effort -- a very small project. Yet, for this small 120 hour project, I've seen 3 major revisions of project scope documents and four weeks slip by while the project manager attempted to "nail down the requirements" with the client.

Flagellating a deceased equine.Now it appears the client has signed off on the "final" project scope document and is ready to begin the project. So the project manager met with us on Friday to kick off the project and discuss the project plan.

A 105 step project plan!

For a software project that is estimated for 120 man hours.

"Never in the face of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few."To paraphrase Churchill, never in the face of human endeavor has so little been tracked by so many to so few.

At this point, the client has many pages of requirements documents and an exhaustive project plan, but not a single line of working software code. The management structure of the project has already consumed more time and effort than the actual development of the project's ultimate deliverable -- working software.

Somebody please explain to me how anyone can still place any value on this style of project management.

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  1. Your customer must be a governmental agency. This reminds me of my days working for the DOE when major changes could happen to a project plan during the 6 work-hours between a morning and afternoon planning meeting, often negating days of work. On the same project, a weekly status meeting might carry the following for an update on a weeks worth of progress on a line item; “Made a call to ‘whomever,’ No return call.”


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