Catastrophic mistakes

Untitled by LucKyL - WahoO from flickrConstrux has a white paper revisiting Stephen McConnell’s Software Development’s Classic Mistakes.

In it, they list ten mistakes most likely to produce catastrophic or serious consequences.

Half of them speak more to executive and product management than development:

  • #1 unrealistic expectations
  • #2 weak personnel
  • #4 wishful thinking
  • #7 lack of sponsorship
  • #10 lack of user involvement

Given my experience of organizations that means projects are marked for failure well before agile methods are even applied.

Under these circumstances, we can hope frequent delivery will either morph the project into something more valuable or cause it to die a quick and merciful death.

A better answer disperses transparency, collaboration and continuous improvement from the team room out to sponsors, stakeholders, support units, suppliers, customers and end users — from development and project management to economies.