Saturday, February 17, 2007

Project Variation

Just how different are projects that we work on? On why is it that each needs such significant management? If we abstract out enough, shouldn't all projects look the same? Think - Plan - Work - Cover you Butts for what wasn't done ....that represents most projects I've worked on. Let's focus on software development, since that's what I'm most familiar with - and see if we can isolate what makes one different from the next...each one has something that needs to be developed, some level of uncertainty, some user interface, so much data to store-manipulate-report on...if the underlying systems remain the same such as the OS, development environment, delivery system, level of documentation, sophistication of application, same group of users and same group of developers, etc. - what makes one, to a significant degree, different from the next? I think the answer to this is 'There is nothing that makes one project significantly different from the next if all the components remain the same'. Is this a round about way to getting to the definition of insanity? The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. - either stated by Ben Franklin or Albert Einstein. So, if we want to make a dramatic change in the outcome of the projects we work on, we need to make dramatic changes in the components of the project. Let's focus on what level of change on which components will produce the most dramatic change to the outcome....spending about 5 seconds on this thought, I'm pretty sure that any change to any technical component (OS, development environment, etc.) will have only a marginal impact to the result - so moving from Windows to Linux might be a positive, but will it dramatically impact the outcome - probably not. I guess the answer is something we already knew - a change in the human element will have the most dramatic change....(to be continued at some later time)

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