I’m writing a book, tentatively called Out of Control?! It’s based on my years of seeing projects take a sharp curve into the dumpster and wondering why no one saw it coming.
In a way, I’ve been working on this book for over 20 years. It began back when I was the Director of Development for Microsoft, in charge of software development best practices across the entire company. I was asked to figure out why several prominent projects had failed, seemingly out of the blue. There’s no need to name names, but if you think back to the late 90s I’m sure you can imagine the projects I mean.
I interviewed several dozen VPs, managers, and team leaders, and found that — yes indeed, you can tell when a project is out of control. I wrote a paper on the subject, which was widely praised, and highly useful. I hear tell it’s still being found useful today, twenty years on.
When I retired from Microsoft, I thought those projects and the disasters they represented were behind me. And yet, I kept finding the lessons learned to be relevant. I was part owner of a retail business, it was quite on target. I worked for various startups, it was eerily accurate. I consulted with executives in a broad range of industries, the lessons rang true.
So after many years, including a couple of failed attempts to resurrect it as a book, I’m finally making progress again. I’m happy to share some of it with you.