I'm Waterfalling SO HARD This Week

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Working harder doesn’t help.

I’m not talking about it in the “work harder, not smarter” kind of way. I mean the way people use effort as a panacea for their project process woes. It makes zero sense to say “we’ll work harder” to explain why things will be better this time.

Ask a 110 pound kid to bench press 200 pounds. Of course he can’t do it. Would you have him come back in three months to try again, with the only difference being that he’s going to try a lot harder? Heck no. He needs to prepare by beefing up, or alter the challenge to become something he can complete.

Lots of times we do this with software projects. If you’re a serial death-marcher or are constantly over time and budget, the instinct is to try again under the false assumption that putting more effort into it this time will magically create better results.

If your projects hurt too much or don’t come in on time, you probably need to make some material changes. If you really love waterfall, but it’s not working, figure out what you can change to fix your problems. You may want to try something completely different. Whatever you do, don’t spread the rumor that mere effort will make things OK.

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