On the surface, a Broadway musical, a newspaper, and software may not seem to have much—if anything—in common, but they have one common thread. All are delivered on a fixed schedule. But of the three, software tends to stray the most from the fixed schedule. In this week's column, Jeff Patton says that by focusing on the readiness of the entire product—as done in theatrical performances and when publishing a newspaper—and not just on the completion of the planned bits of work, you can produce software on a fixed schedule that you know is ready to ship.
When we schedule too many variables, things start to slip and soon the schedule is out the window. Paying attention to your project's constraints can help you set realistic scheduling goals that you will actually be able to stick to.