The Pencil Analogy

  • swellguy

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Pencil Analogy

  • ajsnyman

    Say Hey Kid

    Points: 672

    Awesome, I just want to Google+ it 🙂

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258985

    Awesome editorial. Nice analogy 😀

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • Skanker

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3059

    Very good article. 😀

    We were only discussing the other day a list of 'failed' projects. Maybe they were not failures after all and delivered exactly what was asked for......

    Oh well back to my work and attempt to make another last minute change to a project. It will only delay things a little while as it is only a little change....;-)

  • skelly 20318

    Grasshopper

    Points: 23

    Firstly its a dream to work on these projects. A person could choose the right 5-6 projects in a lifetime and retire happily having never achieved anything.

    Secondly lets get some config code in there.

  • swellguy

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    Thanks for all the positive responses! I wanted to try a more humorous approach to the topic, and I'm glad some folks enjoyed it!

    Cheers,

    Brad

  • Koen Verbeeck

    SSC Guru

    Points: 258985

    swellguy (8/18/2011)


    Thanks for all the positive responses! I wanted to try a more humorous approach to the topic, and I'm glad some folks enjoyed it!

    Cheers,

    Brad

    I'm going to print it out on poster format and hang it all over the office 😎

    Need an answer? No, you need a question
    My blog at https://sqlkover.com.
    MCSE Business Intelligence - Microsoft Data Platform MVP

  • jfmartin

    Old Hand

    Points: 305

    I understand but... is it only in IT that we have a lot of changes ?

    I think its the same thing everywhere, in construction, transportation, etc.

    For me, its more than a project management problem.

    I don't thing its a good idea to defend IT with this type of example if we compare to other industry.

    IT is still relative new in industry.

  • Mattrick

    Ten Centuries

    Points: 1176

    Thanks for the story, I really enjoyed it. It hammers home the point that you must be careful what you ask for.

  • Eric M Russell

    SSC Guru

    Points: 125115

    Whether an IT project is a "failure" is a matter of perspective. Just like highway construction, if people ultimately use the applicaton, it generates a profit, and no one gets killed or injured in the process, then it could be called a success, even if it doesn't live up to everyone's expectations. The voyage of Christopher Columbus, that led to discovery of America, was a "failed project".

    "Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Instead, seek what they sought." - Matsuo Basho

  • Dave62

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 6729

    Awesome example of some very basic project management concepts (scope, stakeholders, measurements of success).

    So this seems to illustrate the point that the success or lack thereof in a project can be a matter of perspective.

    From the PM's perspective the pencil project was a huge success. He managed the scope creep beautifully including an increased budget.

    When the stakeholder was the CEO and his measurements of success were the ruling criteria, the project was a huge success.

    As soon as the stakeholders changed from the CEO to the board of directors and the measurements of success also changed, the project became a huge failure.

    Perspective. (a fancy way of saying "it depends")

    Dave 😉

  • jay-h

    SSCoach

    Points: 18816

    Excellent story.

    And it reminds us that the much more simple solution existed: Let each user choose their own writing instrument.

    ...

    -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers --

  • Kenneth.Fisher

    SSCoach

    Points: 19799

    Great story, I think I worked for them one time.

    Of course I was young and stupid, and when the contract (for a software conversion project) had one short line saying "Add in additional changes we have come up with over the last few years" in the 3 page document, and I was assured there were just a few, I believed them, and signed the contract.

    Once I had been there about a week, I was handed a 3 inch thick folder of notes, including some handwritten on napkins.

    For that and several other reasons I didn't end up finishing that contract.

    I would have to guess though, that most developers have had something similar happen to them.

    Kenneth FisherI was once offered a wizards hat but it got in the way of my dunce cap.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------For better, quicker answers on T-SQL questions, click on the following... http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Best+Practices/61537/[/url]For better answers on performance questions, click on the following... http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/SQLServerCentral/66909/[/url]Link to my Blog Post --> www.SQLStudies.com[/url]

  • jamie.butler

    Grasshopper

    Points: 13

    Thank you SO much for the giggle to go with my morning coffee. I truly needed it although I'm pretty certain the owner of my company would not understand the humor. Apparently it's always my fault when the projects aren't delivered on time or on budget. :laugh:

  • swellguy

    Mr or Mrs. 500

    Points: 526

    Thanks again for all the comments. I'm loving the stories, especially. Glad to know I'm not the only one in this reality!

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