IT Deadly Project Lust

May 9, 2008

NSFW, meaning that most IT projects aren’t safe for your workplace that is.

For whatever reason, an IT honcho or a line-of-business manager continues a dud of a project with the persistence of a bulldog holding onto a piece of meat. They just won’t unclamp their jaws, even when all signs point to symptoms of potential disaster—

Projects are just pieces of meat

The “cool factor” can be a big impetus in cultivating IT’s irrational desire to put a new technology or new software in place that may or may not help the business.

I always knew that IT was irrational

Long ago he stumbled on the phrase “fact-free planning,” which he says perfectly describes when senior management insists on an unfeasible IT project plan. This happens when business leaders dream up a project’s scope, timeframe and budget, and tell IT to have at it.

Fact-free zones anyone? No reality based communities at the mgmt level?

I definitely know of Wall Street banks that have a tendency to just kind of let programmers get away with murder in terms of rewriting everything every two years in the most popular language,” he says, “and to some extent, they know perfectly well that there is no business case to that, but that that’s what it takes to recruit good people.”

Companies can only overpay the best programmers a certain amount to do things that they would rather poke their eyes out than do, Spolsky (note: Joel on Software guy) explains

Help, I can’t see anything


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