In my article ‘Plan to do New Mistakes’ published here, in this blog in Feb. 2008, I had listed ‘Classic Mistakes’ from Steve McConnell’s book ‘Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules’ and mentioned that a Project will definitely be a success, if the Project Manager ensures that the team doesn’t do the ‘Classic Mistakes’. Towards the end of the article, I had also mentioned that by doing new mistakes, a Project Manager can also contribute to the history of software engineering, in jest.
Well, Steve McConnell and his team have actually revised the classic Mistakes and updated the list. :)
The following Classic Mistakes were added.
- Confusing Estimates and Targets
- Excessive Multi Tasking
- Assuming Global development has a negligible impact on the total effort.
- Unclear Project Vision
- Trusting the map more than the territory
- Outsourcing to reduce the cost
- Letting a team go dark
The addition had produced a total list of 42 classic Mistakes.
I have listed the Top 10 Classic Mistakes here from the updated list. These are also called the ‘Most Damaging Classic Mistakes’.
- Unrealistic Expectations
- Overly Optimistic schedules
- Short Changed Quality Assurance
- Wishful Thinking
- Confusing Estimates with Targets
- Excessive Multitasking
- Feature Creep
- Noisy Crowded Offices
- Abandoning Planning Under Pressure
- Insufficient Risk Management.
It may be funny, but nothing related to ‘Technology’ figures in the top 10 list. I believe it sends the message to people that Good Project Management Practices along with good technical practices alone will lead a Project to success. The relationship between ‘Technology and Project Management’is an AND condition not an OR condition.
If you want to know all the 42 classic mistakes, their definitions, how these mistakes rank and the methodology used , please refer to the paperhere. ( note registration is needed).