Software Engineering-project Scheduling and Distribution


In the late 1960s, a bright-eyed young engineer was chosen to "write" a computer program for an automated manufacturing application. The reason for his selection was simple. He was the only person in his technical group who had attended a computer programming seminar. He knew the ins and outs of
assembly language and FORTRAN but nothing about software engineering and even less about project scheduling and tracking.

His boss gave him the appropriate manuals and a verbal description of what had to be done. He was informed that the project must be completed in two months.

He read the manuals, considered his approach, and began writing code. After two weeks, the boss called him into his office and asked how things were going.

"Really great," said the young engineer with youthful enthusiasm, "This was much simpler than I thought. I'm probably close to 75 percent finished." The boss smiled. "That's really terrific," he said, encouraging the young engineer to keep up the good work. They planned to meet again in a week’s
time.

A week later the boss called the engineer into his office and asked, "Where are we?"

"Everything's going well," said the youngster, “but I've run into a few small snags. I'll get them ironed out and be back on track soon."
"How does the deadline look?" the boss asked.
"No problem," said the engineer. "I'm close to 90 percent complete."
If you've been working in the software world for more than a few years, you can finish the story. It'll come as no surprise that the young engineer1 stayed 90 percent complete for the entire project duration and finished (with the help of others) only one month late.

This story has been repeated tens of thousands of times by software developers during the past three decades. The big question is why?
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