Mythical Spreadsheet Month
Mythical Man Month is a series of thoughts on two very big projects - the IBM 360 series of computers, and the 0S-360 operating system. These were comparable in size to the big failures we see today. One simple rule is if you have a big-ish project and it is slipping, the more people you add, the worse it gets. However there's much more to it than that, and it should be mandatory reading for all IT Managers. Unfortunately since it was written we have seen the rise of spreadsheet/plan-driven IT. Nowadays as projects slip, the big SIs just add in more spreadsheets, plans reports etc. One reason is you can charge say £400 for someone who produces working software whereas you can charge £1000 for a project manager who doesn't. And you can have as many project managers as you like. You're only limited by desk space and number of toilets. Having worked with EDS, Accenture, C******** and Fujitsu and doubt we will get away from this multi-billion waste. It's not just their fault by the way. The Public Sector ties them up in counter-productive bureaucracy and mind-bogglingly labyrinthine contracts. I don't see a way out until the world embraces Agile, and it won't happen any time soon.