Falling Apart

I have been working on my current project for a long time. We are talking over 10 years now. So I have seen the project change a lot. I focus mainly on the development side of things. That is where I have the most insight.

We used to do a lot of good things in development. There were daily builds to make sure nobody broke anything. There were efforts to document the system in a formal way. We kept track of metrics on bugs to see how we were doing overall. Towards the middle of the project, we started writing white papers. We also attempted to make our documentation more accessible with a Wiki. We used our bug tracking tool to manage work.

Now most of that has been thrown out the window. Ad hoc processes, if you could call them that, are being used in place. Sometimes software gets reviewed. Sometimes it does not. There is some upfront documentation on new features. But that is about it. We no longer use a tool to manage work. We use email. Oh joy.

Of course we have a hit in quality. And what is more depressing, it takes a lot more effort just to move things along now. Where did we go wrong? Well different companies have taken over the project now and then. The management style is starkly different between these companies. And the results flow down hill to the rank and file.