Bruce F. Webster: Down-to-Earth ManagementBy Bruce F. Webster Print
Distributed development is pretty hard, and a lot of projects founder because of the difficulties encountered in those projects.
Finally, there’s the down-to-earth issue of management.
If you’re the manager for a distributed IT project, how do you manage your personnel successfully? How do you know what they’re doing and how they feel about it? I’ve managed groups of developers on large, long-term projects; you need to be able to walk around and talk to each developer regularly and casually.
Again, picking up the phone or sending e-mail is not the same as a quiet (or not-so-quiet) heart-to-heart in a private office or conference room.
Good team management can make a significant difference in a project’s success or failure, and it’s not as though IT engineers are the easiest group in the world to manage (the joke about “herding cats” was around for at least a decade or two before someone made a commercial about it).
Distributed development makes management just that much harder.
In short, distributed development is hard, and a lot of projects founder because of those difficulties. Next week, we’ll talk about some successful real-world techniques of distributed development that may help you make it work in your own projects.
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