Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Re: [hackers-il] Rate of failure of Israeli software projects?

Expand Messages
  • amos@amos.mailshell.com
    ... Just because they changed development process doesn t mean that the old process falls under definition of mismanagement . I don t remember the timelines
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 22, 2005
      On 8/23/05, Omer Zak <omerz.at.actcom.co.il@...> wrote:
      > > you also described linux kernel 2.4 - it took much much longer to finish
      > > then initially assumed, and more work ;)
      > >
      > > thus, i don't think this is a good definition for a "project failure".
      >
      > Linus and his crew changed their development practices after learning
      > their lessons from developing kernel 2.4. Now there are no alternating
      > periods of stable and development kernels. Therefore I can argue that
      > they themselves considered the kernel 2.4 project to be subjected to
      > project mismanagement.

      Just because they changed development process doesn't mean that the
      old process falls under definition of "mismanagement". I don't remember
      the timelines or the decisions made (and I'm sure I'm not aware of lots of
      these), but it could also be that the environment has changed since 2.4
      began development and when it was released (companies joined the
      revolution, people came and left, technologies shifted, market environment
      changed, lots of other things, especially with something so huge as the
      Linux project).

      > The specific case of project, which was completed but not usable, can be
      > considered to be a failure of the project manager, who did not have
      > enough communication with the users and did not do good enough work to
      > elicit their explicit, implicit, unstated and secret requirements; and
      > to carry out the project in such way that it meets those requirements.

      I agree with that.

      > --- Omer

      Cheers,

      --Amos
    • Omer Zak
      ... [... snipped ...] ... If a project was 5% over schedule and 5% over budget but achieved its set goals, then its overall management was not bad enough to
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
        On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 08:34 +1000, amos@... wrote:
        > Every serious project should have set goals.
        >
        > "Failed" should be "not reached set goals".

        [... snipped ...]

        > How does that sound?

        If a project was 5% over schedule and 5% over budget but achieved its
        set goals, then its overall management was not bad enough to serve as an
        example of bad project management (although there may have been some
        problematic practices).

        Also, a project can be well-managed but cancelled midway due to external
        causes. Since the external causes are not project mismanagement per se,
        we cannot learn from such a project. Usually, it can be ascribed to
        marketing failure of predicting the future. But if it was one of 5
        parallel projects initiated by a very rich and profitable corporation,
        with the intention that one succeeds and four fail, yet the successful
        one covers the expenses of all five projects - then the four
        failing/cancelled projects are not necessarily mismanaged.

        Now, that we have discussed criteria and clarified them a bit, can we
        turn to the main subject - that of cultural influences on Israeli
        project managers, which cause their projects to fail.

        Are there such adverse cultural influences (the way there are in USA,
        for example)? Are there any countries, in which project managers
        consistently excel, thanks to the beneficial influence of their national
        management culture?
        --- Omer
        --
        MS-Windows is the Pal-Kal of the PC world.
        My own blog is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tddpirate/

        My opinions, as expressed in this E-mail message, are mine alone.
        They do not represent the official policy of any organization with which
        I may be affiliated in any way.
        WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
      • amos@amos.mailshell.com
        ... You can quantify these 5% in the goals too: Over 5% - failed. Within 5% - goal reached . And so on and so forth for other resources. (As an anacdot, I ve
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
          On 8/23/05, Omer Zak <omerz.at.actcom.co.il@...> wrote:
          > On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 08:34 +1000, amos@... wrote:
          > > Every serious project should have set goals.
          > >
          > > "Failed" should be "not reached set goals".
          >
          > [... snipped ...]
          >
          > > How does that sound?
          >
          > If a project was 5% over schedule and 5% over budget but achieved its
          > set goals, then its overall management was not bad enough to serve as an
          > example of bad project management (although there may have been some
          > problematic practices).

          You can quantify these 5% in the goals too: "Over 5% - failed. Within 5% - goal
          reached". And so on and so forth for other resources.

          (As an anacdot, I've just checked CRM solutions where a manager could set
          "predicted time" and "predicted deviation").

          > Now, that we have discussed criteria and clarified them a bit, can we
          > turn to the main subject - that of cultural influences on Israeli
          > project managers, which cause their projects to fail.

          Where do you expect to find such data? I'd look it up in publications of
          companies like Deloyt-Tusch(sp) and maybe the IDC, if it's available for
          the public at all...

          > Are there such adverse cultural influences (the way there are in USA,
          > for example)? Are there any countries, in which project managers
          > consistently excel, thanks to the beneficial influence of their national
          > management culture?

          I don't know. I can only tell from my personal experience - the most well
          managed software development organization I've ever seen is completly
          run by Israelis (plus a russian-born R&D manager). Don't know how to
          extrapolate from this or my other experience on the rest of the industry,
          some are better and some are worse in any country.

          --Amos
        • Omer Zak
          ... Lacking access to such publications, and knowing that the publications do not capture informal anecdotes, I threw the question to the Hackers-IL mailing
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
            On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 18:00 +1000, amos@... wrote:
            > On 8/23/05, Omer Zak <omerz.at.actcom.co.il@...> wrote:
            > > Now, that we have discussed criteria and clarified them a bit, can we
            > > turn to the main subject - that of cultural influences on Israeli
            > > project managers, which cause their projects to fail.
            >
            > Where do you expect to find such data? I'd look it up in publications of
            > companies like Deloyt-Tusch(sp) and maybe the IDC, if it's available for
            > the public at all...

            Lacking access to such publications, and knowing that the publications
            do not capture informal anecdotes, I threw the question to the
            Hackers-IL mailing list to see whether some subscribers have anything to
            contribute.

            > > Are there such adverse cultural influences (the way there are in USA,
            > > for example)? Are there any countries, in which project managers
            > > consistently excel, thanks to the beneficial influence of their national
            > > management culture?
            >
            > I don't know. I can only tell from my personal experience - the most well
            > managed software development organization I've ever seen is completly
            > run by Israelis (plus a russian-born R&D manager). Don't know how to
            > extrapolate from this or my other experience on the rest of the industry,
            > some are better and some are worse in any country.

            What can you tell us about the average case - the average software
            development organization in Israel (or at least among those which you
            encountered)?

            My own experience (which may be obsolete by now) is that I personally am
            more aggressive than the average organization in developing or deploying
            tools to assist them in the work.
            (I remember an organization, for which I worked several years ago, in
            which there was resistance to using 'make' and it was broken down only
            after they added another employee in the role of 100% software
            engineer.)
            --- Omer
            --
            MS-Windows is the Pal-Kal of the PC world.
            My own blog is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tddpirate/

            My opinions, as expressed in this E-mail message, are mine alone.
            They do not represent the official policy of any organization with which
            I may be affiliated in any way.
            WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
          • Ori Idan
            Resistance to using make ? why because it was hard to use or because they did not realize the potential and the need for such a tool? -- Ori Idan
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
              Resistance to using 'make'? why because it was hard to use or because
              they did not realize the potential and the need for such a tool?

              --

              Ori Idan


              Omer Zak wrote:

              >On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 18:00 +1000, amos@... wrote:
              >
              >
              >>On 8/23/05, Omer Zak <omerz.at.actcom.co.il@...> wrote:
              >>
              >>
              >>>Now, that we have discussed criteria and clarified them a bit, can we
              >>>turn to the main subject - that of cultural influences on Israeli
              >>>project managers, which cause their projects to fail.
              >>>
              >>>
              >>Where do you expect to find such data? I'd look it up in publications of
              >>companies like Deloyt-Tusch(sp) and maybe the IDC, if it's available for
              >>the public at all...
              >>
              >>
              >
              >Lacking access to such publications, and knowing that the publications
              >do not capture informal anecdotes, I threw the question to the
              >Hackers-IL mailing list to see whether some subscribers have anything to
              >contribute.
              >
              >
              >
              >>>Are there such adverse cultural influences (the way there are in USA,
              >>>for example)? Are there any countries, in which project managers
              >>>consistently excel, thanks to the beneficial influence of their national
              >>>management culture?
              >>>
              >>>
              >>I don't know. I can only tell from my personal experience - the most well
              >>managed software development organization I've ever seen is completly
              >>run by Israelis (plus a russian-born R&D manager). Don't know how to
              >>extrapolate from this or my other experience on the rest of the industry,
              >>some are better and some are worse in any country.
              >>
              >>
              >
              >What can you tell us about the average case - the average software
              >development organization in Israel (or at least among those which you
              >encountered)?
              >
              >My own experience (which may be obsolete by now) is that I personally am
              >more aggressive than the average organization in developing or deploying
              >tools to assist them in the work.
              >(I remember an organization, for which I worked several years ago, in
              >which there was resistance to using 'make' and it was broken down only
              >after they added another employee in the role of 100% software
              >engineer.)
              > --- Omer
              >
              >
            • Omer Zak
              ... They were used to typing in the commands to build and link the modules and were set in their ways. The software in question was simple, though (about 3-4
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
                On Tue, 2005-08-23 at 13:11 +0300, Ori Idan wrote:
                > Resistance to using 'make'? why because it was hard to use or because
                > they did not realize the potential and the need for such a tool?

                They were used to typing in the commands to build and link the modules
                and were set in their ways.

                The software in question was simple, though (about 3-4 modules per
                build).
                --- Omer
                --
                Delay is the deadliest form of denial. C. Northcote Parkinson
                My own blog is at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tddpirate/

                My opinions, as expressed in this E-mail message, are mine alone.
                They do not represent the official policy of any organization with which
                I may be affiliated in any way.
                WARNING TO SPAMMERS: at http://www.zak.co.il/spamwarning.html
              • amos@amos.mailshell.com
                ... At least the ones I took part in delivered their goals and as far as I can tell they have done so within the allocated resources (time, manpower, badget).
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 23, 2005
                  On 8/23/05, Omer Zak <omerz.at.actcom.co.il@...> wrote:
                  > What can you tell us about the average case - the average software
                  > development organization in Israel (or at least among those which you
                  > encountered)?

                  At least the ones I took part in delivered their goals and as far as I can
                  tell they have done so within the allocated resources (time, manpower,
                  badget). There were a couple of exceptions I am aware of:

                  1. The "Big Project" at Comverse to move the entire platform from an
                  ancient real-time 386 OS + PL/I + C etc to Windows NT + C++ failed,
                  possibly due to mis-management and unfamiliarity with the technology
                  and maybe also unfamiliarity with the development process they tried to
                  use.
                  (I haven't stayed there to watch the failure, I was just fed-up with
                  Windows NT and moved on to other projects which involved
                  UNIX programming).

                  2. During a one-year stint at Sun I was mostly responsible to help Amdocs
                  convert from HP to Solaris. Their way of working is to use lots of zombie-level
                  programmers who understand pretty much nothing at what they are doing
                  and just keep throwing more and more people at late projects. It works,
                  eventually, but at a much higher cost for the customer than he bargained for.
                  (who's apparently a captive by the time this happens).
                  You get to see wierd things in Amdocs (e.g. in parallel to the project I was
                  helping with, I slowly discovered three other projects to do the same (convert
                  their HP code to Solaris).
                  I don't know if this is considered "failure" since Amdocs generally succeed in
                  winning and retaining contracts but still their line of work is very distressing
                  just to be reminded about.

                  My refference: a few years of sub-contracting for various projects in Comverse,
                  and a few years of working for software startups. With side-kicks for the
                  army and others.

                  --Amos
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.