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Simple tips on how (not) to plan a project

Have you been recently put in charge of a big software project?
May be you have been given a large team, a long list of stakeholders and some pretty complex subsystems to develop and you are feeling that butterfly in the stomach?
May be you wished that a perfect tipsy topsy timeline milestone oriented project plan would fall from the sky right in to your lap?
But that’s not possible at all, is it? So you have to buckle up and do it yourself, unfortunately! project management is not difficult or scary after all.
Here some of the tips of how (not) to do that!

Not identifying the capability of each resources: After all; you have recruited them saying that they must all be “full stack” developers, right? Who cares if one of them is better in front end and someone else is prolific in backend? If the job description says they have to be “full stack”, they have to be “full stack”!

Focusing on technology rather than the user need: We are a software company. Our holy target is to practice and implement latest and greatest technologies and trends there is! Who cares about what the end users are hoping for and at what timeline? What do they know about latest industry trends; right? Do they have any idea how much their prestige would go up if the project have latest untested beta version of the framework which might increase the project time by 30-50%?
Absolutely not!

Not allocating time for refactoring: Refactoring is for the weak! The alpha developers just write the code on top of old code and it works? Besides; we are not going to stay at this company forever; right? So what if the next guy that comes after me pull out his/her hair in agony while fixing bug in my code? Tough luck! Besides; the time that we spend on ultra super cutting edge technology just crept on us and now the customer demands to finish the project in such a short period of time! They are pissed that we already extended the deadline 3 times and now they are not that happy. Ain’t nobody got time for refactoring now!

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Change plan, team, expectations and deadlines whenever needed: World is unpredictable; so are we and our project planning! If we can’t score in normal way; we just have to move the goalpost a little bit. What’s the harm in it, right?

Throw more resources at a problem rather than fixing it: If 1 women can deliver a baby in 10 months; shouldn’t 10 women be able to do it in a month?

Micromanage the hell out of everything: What is the benefit of trusting your team and delegating responsibility when you can micromanage each and every thing and paying the price down the road?

Take the big decisions all by yourself: While planning with everyone is a viable option; we can also take each big decisions; like project deadline, resources, technologies, challenges, risk factors etc; by ourselves also. What is the point of taking suggestions from someone who can’t think and express themselves like us; right?

Meetings each day; everyday: Talking is fun! Giving motivational speech is more fun! Talking about productivity in each day meeting is even more fun and intuitive! And meeting without clear agenda and points? Oh, boy! They are just heavenly. May be we could order some snacks and lunch (or dinner) for the meeting so we can kill more time together!
Sounds fun!

Point fingers: What’s more fun than meeting each day is delivering blame, guilt and personal judgement. Who needs to focus on the result and teams and process and motivations when we can just sit around a table and point fingers to each other?

all in all, project management is a child’s play. In the end; just focusing on you rather than the team, people, process and organization is a surefire way to make a project a massive success!

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