Jul 7, 2010

Project Management: The Mythical Man Month still holds true today

I've seen many health care relationship marketing projects, and the challenge of project management that goes along with it. Delays, multiple stakeholders, multiple developers, many moving parts, and compromises to try and meet deadlines.

This has been seen before, and written about exquisitely in Fredrick Brooks's timeless classic, The Mythical Man-Month, Essays in Software Engineering, from Addison-Wesley. Strongly recommended reading for anyone in project leadership or managment of large software systems, and RM systems are large indeed: especially when they involve a new database, tablet based selling , website portals, and multi-channel promotion.

The book was written about the old IBM 360 systems from the 1960's, and updated for the pre-internet 1995, however the software project management lessons still hold today.

See this great lecture note from University of San Francisco for the key lessons learned: throwing staff at an overdue project makes things worse. There are specific roles on a software team, and Brooks uses the metaphor of surgery to illustrate this.

How to avoid CRM project management pifalls:

*adequate staffing from the start,
* clear roles,
* make collaboration structured,
* voting power weighted by expertise
* plan milestones of phased deliverables, setting up for success.

Take a read of this classic, come back, and leave a comment!