I just wanted to ask about one of the persistant challenges in every project,unrealistic deadlines, somehow the developers find themselves commited to dates they know it's impossible to deliver on, and in such cases, project management has no way but push ppl to put in extra hours and not loose one minute... Is this concern handled in the book as well? could you give us a hint of how to handle this?
Originally posted by Mohamed Mabrouk: project management has no way but push ppl to put in extra hours and not loose one minute...
That tactic in fact doesn't work very well for knowledge workers, if at all. More hours mean less concentrated developers, which leads to more errors, which means rework -> less productivity.
What helps better is working smarter. And for that you need well rested team members.
And in the end it is management's job to manage the project (doh!), which, besides other things, includes managing the *scope* of the project so that the deadline can be held.
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
I included a chapter on schedule games, because so many managers (and team members) play them. If you manage the scope as Ilja said, you can do well. But you also can manage the date. Or you can manage the defects.
If you're given a deadline, your best bet is to implement by feature, most valuable feature first. And to sleep enough every night so you can do your best work the next day. Overtime might work for short bursts (one week), but it's not a long-term solution. If you repeatedly need to work overtime, the project is not being managed; it's managing the people on it. Bad idea.
Author of <a href="http://www.pragprog.com/titles/jrpm" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Manage It! Your Guide to Modern, Pragmatic Project Management</a><br /> <br />Coauthor (with Esther Derby) of <a href="http://www.pragprog.com/titles/rdbcd" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management</a><br /> <br />Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0932633595/ref=jranch-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hiring The Best Knowledge Workers, Techies & Nerds: The Secrets & Science of Hiring Technical People</a><br /> <br /><a href="http://www.jrothman.com/blog/htp" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Hiring Technical People blog</a><br /><a href="http://www.jrothman.com/blog/mpd" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Managing Product Development blog</a>