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You've identified a number of project-leader level problems, though it looks like the project was suffering from a bigger problem that you might not have has as much visibility on:

No Effective Executive Sponsor

The role of (or even the existence of) an executive sponsor is often invisible to the developers in the trenches. An executive sponsor is the person on the executive staff who is motivated to see a project through to completion. They cut through high-level roadblocks and keep things moving. Projects without sponsors tend to drift around, subject to corporate weather patterns, until some momentary crisis gives the project temporary momentum. Lots of people (including Security) will happily say NO to you unless you have a sponsor.

Here are some warning signs that indicate that the project had a serious sponsorship problem:

  1. The project took 18 months until a development task lands.
  2. The development task lands not in Engineering, but in the hands of someone in Marketing who didn't yet speak Perl.
  3. Seven months later, after doing some tests, Corporate has lost the handoff.
  4. In the meantime the original sponsor has left.
  5. People think they're powerless, and unable to get vital information from Security.

With the possible exception of Corporate losing the handoff, these aren't project manager or product manager level problems. If they were, an effective sponsor would have had the the project/product manager replaced.

I try never to get involved with a project that doesn't have a real, live, politically protected executive sponsor. Life is too short to be a ping-pong ball.

In reply to (dws)Re: A Cautionary Rant by dws
in thread A Cautionary Rant by footpad

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    [LanX]: yep heard the same origin story
    [Your Mother]: I like it. I tottered on going into hucksterism because I feel like the world deserves it.
    [LanX]: he ... we have a movement here called Anti-Germans based on this
    [Corion]: Your Mother: I think that's because (in the west) the Nazi-Germans are recognized as universally evil. Of course, you could do some number games to calculate other measures of evil than "historic losers of second world war" to come up with other evils:)
    [Corion]: I've heard "Troll" described as the new Punk, and in a way, it can be as destructive as living the Punk lifestyle, and you don't have to sit out in the cold...
    [LanX]: Anti-Germans
    [LanX]: Socrates was a Troll
    [Your Mother]: It's very, very dangerous... Thinking that a group is intrinsically evil... buries the fact that all humans can be so deep that it starts to become likely they will be.
    [Your Mother]: LanX++
    [Corion]: (also the "troll for trolls sake" could seen be much like the "punk for punks beer")

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