Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Development process

Anyone who's been a developer for any decent length of time (say 5+ years of nothing but development) can tell you that some things are the same no matter who your clients are and no matter what the project is that you are working on. I ran into something today that demonstrated that I haven't learned as much about managing a project as I might wish I had. You talk about these types of things with other developers and even make light of them when you're discussing things like business requirements and scope creep and deadlines and sign-offs but then you're in the middle of it with pressure (and even imagined pressures) to produce X, Y or Z functionality and next thing you know you've let a principle slip on managing a project and before you know it, the project is managing you. That's how I feel. I'm not mad at my clients (business users) nor my manager or co-workers. I'm disappointed that I feel like I should have known better and handled this situation better. I should have set some parameters through my own adherence to project management principles and put the burden of producing the necessary materials squarely into the demenses of other people with whom I interacted in this project. If I'd handled this differently I think I'd be at a different place in putting this into Production. As it stands we're looking at backing up the implementation date on the project I'm working on by 2-3 weeks now. That's not the end of the world but it does belie my beliefs that I had been through similar processes previously so I would know better next time. This time I was alone in the development so some portion of this falls totally on my shoulders and I hope I learn through my own disappointment and dissatisfaction (and concern for my continued employment) to follow a more disciplined approach in managing future projects. Most smaller places don't seem to have the luxuries of fitting themselves into such a structured project management cycle but at this level its more fitting to say that you don't have the luxury of not using a more structured project management cycle.

Thanks for reading,


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