Can You Predict Danger?


project fails. Why should this be, when no one forgets to claim credit when a project succeeds? Ultimately, when the company suffers, every employee will suffer. Everything in a project is as much your business as that of the manager. 

Sometimes project managers know little more about the problem areas than the team members actually working on the projects. People who actively participate in coding and testing ought to know weak areas better and before anyone else. Your input may work as a catalyst to the manager’s planning process. Share your thoughts with your manager.

Foresee the problem

A testing team complained about a slow “bug correction cycle” until they failed to deliver their first client delivery on the scheduled date. The bugs in that version were still pending to be fixed. Surprisingly, the developers were almost ready with their code for the second delivery version the very next day. While inspecting the problem, it was found that the development team was busier writing new code than correcting bugs in the existing code. If the testing team hadn’t neglected the issue and had foreseen the problem, the team could have made the client delivery as scheduled. As if this were not enough, right before the final delivery, everyone in the team had to be on a tight schedule correcting old pending bugs. They managed to slip the shipment by one week, and a very messy product was delivered. When you face a problem repeatedly, try to foresee its cumulative effect in coming days or weeks. Think about potential consequences. You may seem like a “busybody,” but you might also save headaches for yourself and others, and perhaps avoid missed delivery dates.

Finally, team spirit is the key

The final product is a cooperative creation of your team, not of a single great mind. You should feel concerned about the team’s success and the project’s future rather than only your own performance. You surely can make a difference to the project’s fate. The team will work together better, and you’ll ship a higher quality product, if you identify the clues, analyze them, visualize their effects, and then talk about them. By involving yourself, you will push your project one step nearer to success. 

The choice is yours—speak up early or wait silently until you’re trapped.

About the author

AgileConnection is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.