The Death March
There is a famous book in our field written in the 2000’s by Ed Yourdon called “Death March“. In it he details the phenomenon in project management of death march software projects. He observed a trend in organizations who plan software projects to estimate so poorly that completion becomes overwhelming and unlikely.
More companies than ever before could be considered “software companies”. Project planning hasn’t gotten much better over time and we still have terribly managed projects. The best reason to explain this I found on Quora – Why are software development task estimations regularly off by a factor of 2-3? In particular, read the answer by Michael Wolfe midway through the page. It is both a humorous and scary analogy.
On this month of Halloween we are going to discuss our death march project horrors!
I invite you to share a story about a project you worked on or were impacted by that went horribly wrong. You do not have to have been a developer. Any role you played whether it was a sysadmin, DBA, business analyst, systems analyst, project manager, consultant, QA, etc. is entry requirements for this.
A word of advice – please change the name of the company unless you want to burn that bridge. For example: instead of saying “I worked for IBM…” you could say “I worked for a large technology consulting company”. I’m not trying to get anyone fired here!
Tell me your project horror stories – the worse the better.