Sunday, January 18, 2009

Negative impact on software development from changing direction

There is no doubt that some projects need a change in direction, but the one thing to always remember is that no matter the intent or the reason for the change, there is a definite negative impact due to it.  It's pure physics - the object causing the change and/or the project impacted has some significant energy changed from movement to something else (heat?? I forget the law of physics...but there is one)....

What you need to consider is, if the change you are making will have an overall positive result upon the project.  Will the change correct the issues in a significant enough way to, not only address the short term issues, but ensure long term success.  Minor or major corrections have impact, making changes on a hunch or whim will increase overall project risk...choose your changes wisely and make sure you keep your focus on the big picture and not some ascetically pleasing one.


  1. I'd treat the subject a bit broader. The change always brings some negative impact. If nothing else that's because of hassle needen to implement the change. And the bigger the change is the more effort you need to complete the process.

    That aspect is often underestimated whenever changes are planned. Lately I've seen a couple of examples when there were only some changes in management and the productivity fell flat on the face. One would say developers and project managers haven't changed their rutines, things should work as they used to but the switches were really painful.

    I'm yet to see if the overall impact will be positive at the end of the day but at least in one case I believe it won't. That's because the negative impact of the change was vastly underestimated.

  2. Not all the projects will visit every stage as projects can be terminated before they reach completion. Some projects do not follow a structured planning and/or monitoring stages. Some projects will go through steps 2, 3 and 4 multiple times.

  3. Once padded, the original estimation disappears. There is no way to hold the estimator accountable for their original estimates.