Understanding Your Dev and Project Management Team

Story in the New York Times: Some Protect the Ego by Working on Their Excuses Early:

Every ugly exam score, blown deadline and failed project provides the opportunity to try out new excuses. It was a blowup at home. A sick cat. An emergency at work.

Not to mention the roadways: if only they hadn’t been so icy.

This kind of talk is so familiar that most people quickly dismiss it, even when it comes out of their own mouth.

This is one reason that genuine excuse artisans — and there are millions of them — don’t wait until after choking to practice their craft. They hobble themselves, in earnest, before pursuing a goal or delivering a performance. Their excuses come preattached: I never went to class. I was hung over at the interview. I had no idea what the college application required.

You know, dev teams and companies I’ve worked with often have this sort of self-limitation built into them.  You get hours and hours ignoring good quality practices like tight specs, proper communication, reasonable timelines, and tolerable levels of testing, and then they make up that time with lessons learned meetings at the back end compiling useless rationalizations for one-time events and confluences of circumstances that caused this failure, this time.

Then they’ll do the same thing the next project.  Or the next company will only do as much as the last company, because the other companies seem to tread water with known issues in their products.

On the plus side, they all get paid for the self-defeating, and will get paid in their next, higher, positions of self-defeat.

(Link seen on Instapundit.)

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