Sunday, November 16, 2008

When you decide not to plan - you just did

I've been reading and hearing more about the idea that if you have the right developers you don't need to plan.  These high end developers are so good, follow cutting edges methods (Scrum followers are notorious for this) that the team guides itself and deliverers the highest potential value without the project management costs.  I totally agree that top developers following top methodologies add greatly to any project, but by not planning, you just did.  The team made a conscious decision to focus their efforts and attention on other risk areas (or decided to accept the risks).  They may not realize it, which is a risk in itself, but the decision not to do something is a decision.  What are some of the risks when this approach is taken..??:
  • not delivering the right thing
  • not delivering what was requested
  • not delivering timely (some other group/company makes it to market prior to you)
  • running out of $ prior to delivering anything
A team might decide that task assignment, time lines and detailed documentation is not needed (and if this risk area is not high I would agree), but a team that starts down a path without any clear objectives, idea of what success looks like or knowledge of how they are truly progressing is a team that's extending effort with a low probability of delivering any value.

A good leader (or project manager) will help set the focus, manage risks (ATM - accept/transfer or mitigate), monitor progress and adjust direction as needed - aka project management.  Things do happen on their own, and sometimes those unguided things are beneficial, but not all the time and most likely not as beneficial as they could have been.

That was a Wonderful Remark
I had my eyes closed in the dark
I sighed a million sighs
I told a million lies - to myself - to myself

-Van Morrison

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