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Time and time again I come up against the idea that if one programmer will take 100 days to do a task, then two programmers will take 50 days, 10 programmers will take 10 days, and so on, ad absurdum.

Many times I've explained why this isn't a sensible approach. Many times I've been ignored and been landed with "excess baggage" that I then must sideline while the original team gets on with the real work. Many times I've stared into blank faces, those faces slightly puzzled by my disagreement. In my more paranoid moments I even think I'm being talked about behind my back, with senior management grumbling about a lack of can-do spirit.

At times it's gotten so bad I've even questioned the basic premise as articulated by Brooks - that adding programmers to a late project makes it later.

And still the idea keeps surfacing, seemingly with each new project manager.

But enough woe is me, here's my question;

What's the best way to deal with the idea that schedules can always be compressed simply by adding programmers?

It occurred to me this morning that I might benefit from creating a "cheat sheet", full of references that discredit the idea. This could be seen as hostile or dismissive, but I'm getting tired of repeating myself to incredulous audiences.


In reply to OT: The mythical man month - have we learned nothing? by EdwardG

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