Saturday, October 11, 2008


Are Project Managers at the Root of Bad Software?

The project is lagging in implementation, and the apparent cause is usually a programming bottleneck - too few or too slow programmers. Project Managers need to demonstrate progress or enlarge their span of influence; at worse, they want to be able to pretend to make progress...

Outside parties promise to take a portion of the work, work on it in absolute privacy, and emerge with complete code. Outsiders want money (as usual), control over the project, or to be credited with saving it. Hire an Indian outsourcing firm to complete a specified (or worse, unspecified) portion of the work. On delivery from India, dictate that the work is complete and only needs to be integrated by the main team.

Lack of communication, lack of skill, lack of disciplines such as testing and reviews, and other problems cause Indian outsourcing firms to create best practices repeatable masses of useless code. The code is unchecked and assumed finished, out of optimism, as soon as it is delivered; or, even worse, as soon as it is promised. The useless code causes bizarre and unnerving schedule slips, since it was already marked as "done".

Have you observed this phenomena within your enterprise?

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