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Scripted Behavior


Since I’m on a mini-roll hoisting excerpts from W. L. Livingston’s D4P book, here’s yet another one (I had to type the example in by hand because it only appears in the print version and not in the pdf. D’oh!):

In project review meetings, the whimsical plan, riddled with entropy and misinformation, is used as gospel to measure “actual” progress. Since everyone at the meeting knows the measurement is useless as a control, it becomes an instrument of management to manage the project. Invariably, management directs a get-well plan be devised to get back on the horribly-flawed milestone plan. Of course, the get-well plan is composed in the same toxic way.

The attending executive proclaims “If you don’t get this mess back on schedule by tomorrow, I’ll get somebody who can.” Everyone has heard this proclamation of executive out-of-control. The impact of this act of desperation on the project is wholesale CYA (Cover Your Ass) and subreption. Information available for forecasting progress becomes nothing but calculated lies. That’s where attempts to defy natural law land you.

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