The non-learning organization?

Subject: The non-learning organization?
From: Rebecca Stevenson <rjstevenson -at- sprynet -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 07:58:14 -0500 (GMT-05:00)

How do you cope when you see your organization making very, very, basic errors?

Like adding a major feature to a release halfway through development, without changing the schedule or personnel, with the entirely predictable result that everyone works like crazy for six months, some people quit (schedule still doesn't change), and the product as released is barely stable enough to call a beta?

Or having *no* requirements defined for a project and no one in charge, so that the design phase fiddles on for an extra two months while everyone and their brother chimes in with what they consider to be an important capability, all of which get in because no one has the authority to say "no"?

It seems to me that the software industry, and many individual companies, have now been around long enough that there's no excuse for this. There are entire libraries of books written about how to plan a software project. Companies hold project post mortems and "lessons learned" sessions all the time. And still the same mistakes....

I find this very frustrating, even when it's not a project that I'm on. I don't like the waste of time and energy, or the half-baked products, that inevitably seem to result from poor planning. What do you do to combat the problem, or the frustration?

It's been a long week, I'm sick, and it's Friday....

Rebecca Stevenson
Technical Writer
AIM: RJSWriter

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