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

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  • 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 1 of 13 , Aug 23 1:00 AM
      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 2 of 13 , Aug 23 3:10 AM
        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 3 of 13 , Aug 23 3:11 AM
          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 4 of 13 , Aug 23 7:18 AM
            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 5 of 13 , Aug 23 3:38 PM
              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
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