Sunday, December 9, 2007

Being Out Of Control

Managing a software project that is out of control is a miserable experience. It seems as everyone looks at you with anger or pity.

Many times senior management does not know when a project is out of control, or why. Too often they think that it is the project manager's fault, even when it is not. A project can be out of control for many reasons: senior management, appeasing the stakeholders, no rigor to the development cycle, etc.

Determining if a project is out of control is not always easy for in-house personnel to do. Many times it is best to bring in an outsider, much like a marriage counselor, to help evaluate and pose emotionally neutral conclusions and suggestions.

Once this has been done, the project can either be sorted out and re-started with a fresh set of goals and a new focus, or it can be shut down entirely.

Having a solid set of criteria with which to evaluate an out of control project, and the right evaluator, are paramount to the success of this process.

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