Project management non-best-practices

Dear Bob ...Regarding your last two columns on project management ("Don't supersize. Chunakize," and "People first, methodology second. Or perhaps third," Keep the Joint Running, 9/18/2006 and 9/25/2006) ...At this point, I'd just like to hear about software projects that work.  There are so many people doing so many things in so many languages, yet I rarely hear of anyone that's happy with any results.&nbs

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Dear Bob ...

Regarding your last two columns on project management ("Don't supersize. Chunakize," and "People first, methodology second. Or perhaps third," Keep the Joint Running, 9/18/2006 and 9/25/2006) ...

At this point, I'd just like to hear about software projects that work. 

There are so many people doing so many things in so many languages, yet I rarely hear of anyone that's happy with any results.  Have we really made any progress in the last 25+ years (other than prettier screens)?

I see many articles about failures, but I find myself reacting to such things as the new back-of-the-book column in InfoWorld with thoughts like "Duh," "Been there, done that," and "What did you expect?"

There seem to be as many "best practices" methodologies as there are religions, and about as compatible.  And each is broken by major revisions of the underlying languages or tools every couple of years.

Good luck stopping the madness....

- Maddened

Dear Maddened ...

While I don't have access to the research, second-hand reports of the Standish Group's annual Chaos study suggest that we are making some progress. Better, I'm hearing of at least a few enlightened companies that understand that there's no such thing as an IT project, and are bringing in methodologies or redesigning the business, not just the software.

Don't get me started on "best practices." There are no such things, only practices that work better in specific, defined situations. When various punicrats say "best practice," they usually mean "basic professionalism" - the bare minimum that's to be expected to demonstrate simple competence. Except that "basic professionalism" doesn't sound anywhere near as authoritative. Or expensive.

Oh ... I guess I did let you get me started on best practices.

- Bob