Sunday, April 25, 2010

Classic Mistakes in Software Projects

I am Reading “Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules”, this book talks about Four Dimensions of Development Speed
  • People
  • Process
  • Product
  • Technology
It talks about classical mistakes ; here i have list out mistakes from book and some from my own experience, do add to it..we need to learn from others mistakes

People Related Mistakes

1.   Undermined motivation
2.   Weak personnel
3.   Uncontrolled problem employees
4.   Heroics
5.   Adding people to a late project
6.   Noisy, crowded offices
7.   Friction between developers and customers
8.   Unrealistic expectations
9.   Lack of effective project sponsorship
10.  Lack of stakeholder buy-in
11.  Lack of user input
12.  Politics placed over substance
13.  Wishful thinking
14.  Lack of team sprit
15.  Communication gap , No knowledge sharing
16.  Lack of Assertive communication

Process Related Mistakes

17.  Overly optimistic schedules
18.  Insufficient risk management
19.  Contractor failure
20.  Insufficient planning
21.  Abandonment of planning under pressure
22.  Wasted time during the fuzzy front end
23.  Shortchanged upstream activities
24.  Inadequate design
25.  Shortchanged quality assurance
26.  Insufficient management controls
27.  Premature or overly frequent convergence
28.  Omitting necessary tasks from estimates
29.  Planning to catchup later
30.  Code-like-hell programming
31.  Poorly managed critical path or critical chain
32.  Poor task prioritization or Sequencing

Product-Related Mistakes

33.  Requirements gold-plating
34.  Feature creep
35.  Developer gold-plating
36.  Push-me, pull-me negotiation
37.  Research-oriented development
38.  Not using value engineering

Technology-Related Mistakes

39.  Silver-bullet syndrome
40.  Overestimated savings from new tools or methods
41.  Switching tools in the middle of a project
42.  Lack of automated source-code control
43.  Lack of Automated test tools 


  1. Could you please explain a few of these terms, like silver bullet syndrom, lack of assertive communication etc., or explain all the terms, thanks...

  2. Hi,

    Here i try to explain these terms...

    Silver-bullet syndrome: When managers or developers expect any single new tool or methodology to solve all its productivity problems

    assertive communication: Is communicating what you feel in a effective and clear manner with confidence.. Lot of material available on it.

    Do let me know if you have follow-up question..