Despite all our efforts to make every software development project a success, some are cursed from the very start. Here are 26 early warning signs-all, alas, real-world experiences-that an enterprise software development project is headed for a death march.
The project name changes for the third time in as many months.
The development manager decides that it is better to write a completely separate version of the software for the UK rather than to internationalise a single version.
The requirements definition is begun four months after development started.
The newly hired director of R&D proudly informs the board of directors that the project will be 99 percent completed six months ahead of schedule, and assures the board that the software can ship directly to clients without going through beta testing.
You are a Web developer. You open the ZIP file with the HTML documents the client produced for the site scripts you need to integrate with the Web application. And you discover the client's HTML documents are all Microsoft Word files, saved in HTML format.
You realise the reason the company hired you as a consultant is to referee a dispute among two competing departments over which technical platform to use.
The memo says you will develop a 64-bit application using a 16-bit platform.
The developer doesn't understand the spec document and continues to develop anyway. And the QA team doesn't know how to test, but they "test" anyway.
When you see the project budget, you realise that over half of it was spent on a Web designer to create a Photoshop mock-up of the home page-with no regard to whether that design is feasible. Or with any attention to the thousands of pages of content that will exist underneath that home page.
The user or client requests new features instead of focusing on bug fixing and performance enhancements.
You find a list of 16 software development best practices and realise that not a single one of them is being followed.
You are asked to port your project from Windows to MS-DOS.
The technical project manager asks you to compose the list of user requirements-without consulting any actual potential users.
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