Re: Why TW Projects Fail. Was Pizza Process.

Subject: Re: Why TW Projects Fail. Was Pizza Process.
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Anthony Markatos <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2000 15:59:48 -0800 (PST)

> Tony Markatos responds:
> I'm not guessing. The problems were VERY evident - and known by all
> involved.

Yeah, Tony, you are guessing because you are not God and therefore it is
impossible for you to know how all tech writing projects fail.

Furthermore, if these problems are so evident, as you suggest, then why on
earth does your company keep making them? Clearly, you have bigger problems
then merely knowing what your problems are.

Projects fail for billions of different reasons. A project is like an
organism. Some organisms thrive in an environment, others wither and die, some
mutate into slime molds. Biological processes, like that of all human
organizations, are governed by the principals of chaos. Chaotic systems are
far, far too complex for our puny brains to comprehend. Therefore, any
postulates we have about why those systems fail is pure guessing.

In very general terms, systems fail because it is pre-destined that all things
will fail. When energy is expended to create structure - some of that energy
is wasted (glad I took that physics class). Eventually, all structure is
returned to the chaos from which it arose. Life, Windows NT, soft fuzzy
kittens, dinosaurs, and your documentation project are all doomed to eventual
failure and destruction. This is the nature of the universe - not a "problem"
with companies.

You only perceive success in relation to another point in time. However, the
success of today, is the dismal failure of tomorrow. Sucess is totally
dependent on your perception and not on some divine "objective reality" that
governs the business world.

Therefore, the fact that a team lacks a specification, a process model, or
whatever acronym is cool this week is merely one factor in a sea of issues that
neither you or I can truly understand. Personality differences, financial
considerations, availability of resources etc. All of these factors and many
more can kill a project. To suggest that the ONLY thing that kills companies or
projects is the lack of a process is absurd.

It is especially absurd considering the overwhelming number of high-tech
start-ups there are in this country that have tremendous growth and never use a

Andrew Plato

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