When Wishes Come into Conflict with Reality
Posted by David Chandler on October 19, 2005
“We don’t have time to do it the right way!” a software development manager recently told me, “because we have to deal with the reality of a looming deadline.” (Never mind that doing it the right way would allow us to do it only ONCE, thus conserving time down the road. And never mind that doing it the right way will result in higher quality, which always saves time).
I expect to hear this old fallacy from some project managers and client representatives, but not from a development manager. What is the fallacy? As far as the actual software completion date is concerned, deadlines are WISHES, not reality. The actual completion date cannot be known with absolute certainty in advance. That is REALITY. I once had the pleasure of working with an IT Director J.P. Besong, who articulated the fundamental truth of software projects that still seems to elude most software project managers:
When wishes come into conflict with reality, reality wins.