Deadline, Chapters 8 & 9

New chapter, new kidnap case, to be honest I’m getting a little used to it but now they took it to another level. Best way to kidnap someone famous temporarily? Make it so he doesn’t know he was kidnapped.

Tomkins asks Rizzoli (the “kidnapped”) about moving the entire staff from CMM Level 2 to Level 3. CMM stands for Capability Maturity Model, its a 5 level process improvement model to determine how well defined, controlled and standardized a process is. If you are unfamiliar with this model I suggest taking a look at this small reading.

” There is no such thing as a short-term fix in our business. There is never a way to improve productivity in the short term”

One of the big lessons in this chapter in project management, is that as well as many things in life improvements and achievements don’t come overnight. As many people say: “Rome wasn’t build in a day”. Many times the search for that instant and effortless miracle becomes a waste of time.

“Software development is a risky business and managing that business is, most of all, an exercise in risk management.”

The truth is process improvement will only take you so far, and risk management is crucial for the survival of any project. Mistakes happen and being ready for them can make the difference between a quick fix and source of a huge problem in the big picture.

“You can improve overall performance more by containing your failures than by optimizing your successes.”

As much as you try to be ready for problems mistakes will always be done, and the idea of what it could’ve been if a project was successful can take us to try and fix something that is not worth it anymore, a big part of taking big decisions is also knowing when to give up on some things, even someone.

” You wouldn’t be hiring me as the manager, but the team that works for me.”

To be honest, this is the first time I have noticed this was mentioned, the book always mentioned the management part as if it was the most important part of a team, when the team that’s under is the one doing the project, of course a project can fall apart if there is no one managing it, but it is a small part of the team, super important, but still small in my opinion compared to the importance of the whole team below.

Getting a team in sync as one is one of the hardest things, at least in my experience I have had countless teams where I don’t feel comfortable, but a few times everything just clicks and I felt like part of the dream team. You can’t know if you work well along others by just meeting them, you have to work with them and that takes time, and at least a few projects, it is as if the projects themselves become the cost of getting a good team together.

Which is why once you have a good team, it does not sound wise to split it, as long as they work well together the main concern there is that they don’t lose that effectiveness and stay in sync at all times.

“There are infinitely many ways to lose a day . . . but not even one way to get one back.”

I feel like the main lesson here is that improvement is not about being faster, it is about being more effective, because what hurts is not doing things slow, but not doing anything.

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