Five ways not to fail a project … with a change

I found very interesting Joel Spolsky’s How Hard Could It Be?: Five Easy Ways to Fail .

Someone of you may think I write about this argument too often.

Please, follow me one more time:what if your new house’s price rise 10-20% a day after the mortgage contract ?
or house’s deadline will delay by weeks or even months ?

Now think what if that are your money … ok ok ok it’s always customer’s money … only money 😉
So, what abount thinking you are the customer that want the project done by time, by money, and without bugs. 🙂
Are customers dreaming ?

I don’t know how many software projects get the full score (time, money, bugs), but I know sometime we have to look carefully every single detail.

Five points list by Joel is very interesting, but from my italian experience I’d suggest one change.

Usually, a developer cannot be on a single project for a full 40h/week, every single week, for whole project’s life;
he/she will move among different tasks, be at meetings, etc, of course.
When you evaluate your deadline, please consider developer 100% as 30 hours/week, instead of 40h/week.
Of course every member of the team will work 40h/week, but time spent will be 30h/week, more or less;
that 25% missing represent unplanned new entry, meeting or some very hard bugfixing session; you might consider it some sort of parachute, but it’ll help you to define a more reasonable milestone.

25% !?!?!? @#%&£!!!!! It’s a huge amount of time, you wrong in some other place for sure.

You’re right, that’s orrible I know, but this is a reasonable value to me so far; maybe I met very very optimistic people 🙂
or it’s some sort of euristic estimate without too much analisys. 😀

disclaimer: this is based on my personal experience. 😉

Technorati tags: Planning, Estimating

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