Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What if coffee houses were like software projects?

Lately, I've decided to spent sometime on improvement of project management skills. I bought a book of "world level expert" in project management in a hope to find brilliant insights. But I lost my wish to read approximately on 10th page of first chapter.

The author assumed management of software development project is the same as management of a coffee house. Literally. While the book has it value, I still can not funny pictures of coffee houses like software projects:

What if coffee houses were like software projects:
- Each coffee shop employee has to learn her specialty for 14 years in school. After that he has to work at least 5 years before he starts to do it with acceptable quality.
- You have to teach all your new employees to prepare coffee in your way before they start to bring value.
- There shall be thousands of coffee types. And each your employee knows about 10, may be 20.
- Even veterans of coffee making were not able to tell you how long will it take to prepare this type of coffee. They even can not say whether it is possible at all!!!
- 20-30% of time your guys in the kitchen have to spent on learning new ways of making coffee. Otherwise, they can end up on streets without chance to get job.
- Usually, your clients come within groups of several dozens. Each of them has its own opinion about kind of coffee they all want to drink together.
- Clients demand their order have to be done immediately, or in several seconds (see above) from the moment you heard "I want coffee".

Now, do you really think it is completely the same thing?

1 comment:

Software said...

Well I think you miss the point. Most coffee houses put out bad coffee, and most software shops put out bad code.

Often it isn't the bad coders or the bad coffee, (raw materials or brewmasters skilss) but it is about taking instructions and knowing what the client asks. Then the coders and brewmasters use their own interpretation to create the product.

I suppose if you want an OK cup of coffee go to a coffee house that over prices pedestrian coffee, if you want OK code go to India.

It is about understanding what you are reading and the bias of the author.