Five Easy Ways to Fail | How Hard Could It Be? by Joel Spolsky |

Mistake No. 2: Set weekly milestones. Say you’re remodeling your kitchen. That guy you hired to do the work has done a lot of kitchens before, and can estimate the cost of the job without having detailed blueprints. But software developers are building things that they’ve never built before. If they had, they’d just sell you another copy of the CD-ROM. So rough estimates are impossible. They need to draw up detailed plans before they start writing code. Whether you’re the customer or the developers’ manager, your job is to make sure they come up with that blueprint. When you ask developers for one, however, many of them will respond by creating a schedule that breaks pieces of the process into weeks. This may seem perfectly reasonable, but it’s not. If you let a software team submit a schedule with big chunky estimates of time (by big I mean more than two days of work), you can be almost certain that they’re not considering every detail that needs to be implemented, and those details w

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