Thursday, March 30, 2006

Vista Chicken - System/360 all Over Again

Discontent at Microsoft. "What I saw in MS was PM's pushing hard for features:
* even if it meant that the test combinations would be very large, so the product couldn't not be tested properly.
* even if it couldn't be done properly in the time allocated. After all an estimate of time was made, now all of those features mus go in the product evne if things are taking longer than expected.
* even if the product was falling apart at the seems b/c every other pm was doing the same thing.

In fact, people often played schedule chicken. It didn't matter if you were running late by the metric of the day as long as another group was running later."

"WinFS is a great example of a file system designed by lunatic engineers and inbred GPM teams (led by a totally lunatic DirPM) without a clue as to what a real customer even looks like. Complexity in the design for complexity sake is the kiss of death. Complexity without a clear, or even muddy, picture of the problem you are actually trying to solve for the actual customer is the kiss of death. Not having customers involved at every step of the design and development process is just arrogance. Believing you know better than the customer is just stupid."

Also, Exceptions to Brooks’ Law "Brooks’s Law: adding manpower to a late software project makes it later...It depends who the manpower is...Some teams can absorb more change than others...There are worse things than being later...There are different ways to add manpower...It depends on why the project was late to begin with...Adding people can be combined with other management action."

Fortune interview with Fred Brooks: "One is to officially slip the schedule. And officially doing it has many benefits over unofficially letting it slip...That is, if you're going to take a slip, get everybody onboard, get organized, and take a six-month slip, even though you may at the moment feel as if you're only four months late."
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