Episode Summary

Tom DeMarco - a former software litigation consultant - explains what all late software projects have in common.

Episode Notes

Tom DeMarco - a former software litigation consultant - explains what all late software projects have in common.

Guest Bio

Tom DeMarco is a Principal of The Atlantic Systems Guild, a technology think tank with offices in the United States, Great Britain and Germany. He is the author of ten books on organizational dynamics and the role of technology, plus five novels. His most recent work —just published this month — is a romance, entitled The One-Way Time Traveler.

Talking Points

  • Why clients get angry when a project is late
  • Who is to blame when a project is late
  • The real reason for tight deadlines
  • How to respond when a project has an unrealistic deadline
  • How the value of a project affects deadline expectations
  • Why clients initiate projects that offer marginal returns
  • How managers use bad estimates to manipulate employees
  • Why software is so inexpensive these days
  • What distinguishes prosperous software developers from those who are struggling
  • What buyers are actually concerned about other than price

Quotable Quotes

  • "I thought all late projects were the same in that they were really estimation failures, not performance failures. I still believe that all late projects are the same, but for an entirely different reason. All projects that finish late have this one thing in common: they started late."—TD
  • "By the 1990s, a significant part of my practice was litigation support, which was a natural consequence of raising my rates to the level that only legal departments could afford."—TD
  • "Being blindsided by the competition—is not software developer failure but that of some marketing arm that got one upped by superior marketers in another company."—TD
  • "If a project offered a value of 10 times its estimated cost, no one would care if the actual cost to get it done were double the estimate."—TD

Related Links

About the Show

My name is Jonathan Stark and I’m on a mission to rid the earth of hourly billing. I hope that Ditching Hourly will help achieve this, one listener at a time 🙂

Get new episodes delivered straight to your inbox with show notes, links to bonus content, and more...