Reserving the Right for Technical Excellence

"...and then the administravite party decided it's time to spend a month repairing and polishing documents, as they seem to be demanded. " I had a nice discussion with two researchers a week ago who have experience in studying NPD processes, also globally. The above phrase is still common. They shared this with a weird smile on their faces. I feel panic closing.

Which documents? For whom? For what purpose? These in my opinion (Vasco Duarte seems to agree) eligible questions all remain unanswered to the date. Of course the idea behind this madness is to offer a project steering committee possibility to control the project (once a year, I'm not even going to get into this). Most of us know that - at best - this is only an illusion of control. Yet, repeatedly the rare resources of a project are streered towards creating this illusion. At the same time people on this same planet are talking about innovative knowledge creating organizations, rapid time to markets etc. Yet some New Product Development can afford spending a month putting 50% obvious facts and 50% of nonsense into form of Word document at the early stages of development?

What do they teach you in courses dealing with panic?

I felt panic, I stopped and I been doing some thinking. What is wrong with this environment? What is there to do? I could apply my (and pretty much majority of developers) favorite "Yes, it is 80% done, and will be complete in - yhm- couple of weeks" -continuity of answers (of course not having a clue what the task in question is). This is not making me laugh anymore, so I propably won't.

Projects that succeed under this type of project management typically have developers which are in "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" mode. I did this for a while. I'm not amused anymore. I do not want to keep up the smoke cover-up. **I want it visible**
After all I think I really need to reserve my right for technical excellence without cover-ups. Always.

Dr. Cooper has acknowledged this and updated his Stage-Gate with seven F's and other guidelines for adapting the model to be more flexible. Phased process models, like waterfall, and early Stage-Gate, survived for 50 years. Transition is ongoing, but all too many organizations remain in denial.

Suddenly at 35 I feel pretty tired, weak and old...

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