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The Mythical Man-Month > The Mythical Man-Month

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message 1: by Brad (new)

Brad (bradrubin) | 264 comments Mod
The title of this chapter (and the book), as well as the language throughout, is a reminder of how severely male-dominated the programming profession was in the 70's. Even though it would destroy the elegant aliteration, person-month is the more appropriate term today.

This chapter contains some of the most famous Brooks-isms, such as adding women doesn't help birth a baby any sooner, and adding people to a project only makes it later.

In my view, projects would not start if it were not for over optimism, and they do not finish on time and on budget because of it.

In my experience, even though managers know the information in this chapter, they still estimate in person-months and still add people when projects fall behind. In recent years, agile methods have arisen in response to the issues raised in this chapter, finally embracing instead of fighting the estimate imprecision and mid-project problems and changes.


message 2: by Erik (new)

Erik | 165 comments I agree that a lot of projects wouldn't get started if estimated correctly upfront.

My company recently made some "buy" choices instead of "build", because they are seeing the full cost of building and maintaining a product.

The SEIS Project Mgmt class isn't too far from what is in this chapter. They both discuss the "critical path" of dependant tasks, and catching schedule slip as early as possible. I'm a little suprised that these topics haven't changed much in 20 years, but that probably indicates how good this book is.


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