Re: The non-learning organization?

Subject: Re: The non-learning organization?
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 14:58:34 -0800

Rebecca Stevenson wrote:

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....

I agree with other people who have advised trying to
relax and control only the things that you are
responsible for. And also that some of what you
describe is inevitable in the industry (projects
being cancelled late, new features added late, etc.).

However, one thing I cannot tell from what you've
written above: has anyone tried to propose/implement
standard project planning procedures and failed?
Has anyone presented an executive summary report
to the people in charge of this company laying
out common project planning procedures?

If they've refused to adopt common-sense procedures
that have been recommended that would save them from
some of the horrors you describe, then my feeling is
that it's time to look for a new job. However, if
it's a company that was founded by engineers or
marketers who are just going by the seat of their
pants because they don't know any better, then there
probably is hope if someone could let them know of
a better way to handle things, or convince them to
hire an experienced project planner.

-- Janice


Now Shipping -- WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word! Easily create online
Help. And online anything else. Redesigned interface with a new
project-based workflow. Try it today!

Doc-To-Help 2005 now has RoboHelp Converter and HTML Source: Author content and configure Help in MS Word or any HTML editor. No proprietary editor! *August release.

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

The non-learning organization?: From: Rebecca Stevenson

Previous by Author: Re: Documentation Review process - client feedback
Next by Author: Re: Specifics on the too-good-to-be-true job PLUS question
Previous by Thread: Re: The non-learning organization?
Next by Thread: RE: The non-learning organization?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads