Project Management under the Law of Unintended Consequences

Phil Laplante of Penn State is a prolific and respected writer on many software and project topics as well as being part of my local IT community.  In the July/August issue of the IEEE IT professional magazine, Phil steps back and writes a thoughtful and though provoking article that is perfect for contemplation on the beach. In "Nexialism and the Law of Unintended Consequences," (there's a search term you won't use very often) Phil suggests that to understand complex interactions that could impact our project risk we need to spend at least some time thinking in simple terms about the big picture.  Nexialism is defined as "the science of joining in an orderly fashion the knowledge of one field of learning with that of other fields." OK so that sounds a little grandiose and you might be wondering how it impacts your project risks.  Think of it this way, how many times in a failing project did somebody know that it was going wrong early but was never asked?  Is the test manager communicating (talking and listening) with the coding team lead (and vice versa).  What is the opinion of the DBA's?  The performance test team?  Like it or not, these are different disciplines (or fields if you like) with different perspectives and, too often, we do not take care to "join their knowledge in an orderly fashion."

Written by Michael D. Harris at 15:09
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