Friday, May 14, 2010

Software transition: recipe for a disaster

Everyone knows that software has a life cycle and dies at some point. If your software is part of your day to day operations, you can't fail in managing its transition. If you want to reduce the probability of success of the transition, here are some rules to follow:
  1. Don't plan transition
  2. Don't communicate transition plan if you have one
  3. Promote non-skilled people to decision positions
  4. Kill initiative/ignore message (ex: kill messenger and think the problem is gone)
  5. Avoid long term planning (ex: use argument like business moving too fast)
  6. Don't put a technical team lead
  7. Don't do follow-up of team requests
  8. Don't involve HR to smooth transition
  9. Don't hire pro-actively
  10. Don't prepare a B plan
  11. Don't involve and/or update your team on the transition plan
  12. Don't give overall project responsibility to anyone
  13. Stay in a reactive mode
  14. Don't communicate info in daily meeting
  15. Don't ensure you have a good pulse of your team
  16. Give too much power to people who don't understand software process
  17. Like Greenspan, dream the magic hand will fix everything magically (people might not compensate for bad decisions eternally)
  18. Expect people to stay
  19. Don't make difference between maintenance & development cost
  20. Let non technical people take technical decisions
  21. Ignore problems
  22. Don't recognize people work in crisis
  23. Allow managers to not be able to evaluate technical people
  24. Consider Indian outsourcing can solve everything
  25. Think people are easily replaceable
  26. Don't talk about carrier evolution to your crew
If you are lucky, you will have to replace your team one by one but they could resign all in a short time and put your business in a major crisis situation. Don't forget, there is no free lunch.

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