Preliminary Planning & Football

To win the Football* league is not so different as managing a software project, at least in the planning factors, let’s talk about Chapter 7 of the book.Â đŸ„… Â âšœïžđŸ’š Â đŸƒđŸ»

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In booth cases you have to got a Coach who manages the team, the tactics and formations before/during/after the matches, just like any software project, the project manager has to make with the given resources the best teams and put together the ones who has the best chemistry of work, the team cohesion has a very important impact on the productivity of the team. You also need resources, players (programmers), trainers, investors and more. Different  areas unite to make a good result, this means that there should be a project vision of where the project is going in order to don’t exceed the budget or fail, some soccer teams have in mind to win the league, others to avoid the relegation, having a vision helps to build a common goal that makes trust among the team towards the same objective, the team needs to be motivated and need to have a challenge or mission to achieved, sometimes the Champions League or a new revolutionary social network to compete with Facebook and will take the market share for the first months, anyways, it is important to have a real goal, you will not make a League 4 Sunday league team to win the FA CUP, or have 2 developers to make a new Call of Duty in one month, it may be uncommonly possible but not realistic, McConnell says:

A common and damaging dynamic occurs when the development team begins to realize its goals are unachievable before management does. If management continues to insist that the goals are achievable after the team has figured out that they are not, team motivation and morale can sink fast.

Executive Sponsorship 

Executive sponsorship is the support given to the person or group who has the final authority over the project wide decisions (ask Barça or any of those multimillionaire teams or tech companies like Sony), The Coach may be in charge of the players to be fit and win matches, but his boss is the one who is in charge of the team, just like a PM is responsible for committing to a project, but the release to its users is in other authority chair, they are also the ones who give the money to buy those fancy players that will win the league for them.

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Risk management

A risk is a possibility of loss or injury, Software development involves risk, football involves risk, changing the battery of your computer involves risk, everything has a chance of risk or loss, sometimes there are star players that get injuries or that don’t fulfill the expectations, this is where the manager will decide what to do, in a football team or in a software project, if you find a difficult persons, works as quickly as possible, because the negativity and the effects in the team will be lowered, sometimes teams just lose finals because the aggressively plays that leads to red cards.

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Because the project manager as the coach are the ones who give the face of success or failure in a project, projects needs to reduce risk, they are faced into the risk management, there are three approaches that McConnell describe in the book of Software Project Survival Guide.

  1. Project plan must describe a risk.
  2. The budget for the project must include funds for the risk solution.
  3. She risks are assessed, their impacts must be incorporated into project plans.

If a player is injured, there must be a substitute, if a programmer doesn’t give the task on time, there must be a new approach to make him work as desired, sometimes football fans act like the risk officer, who appoint that some players are not in the best shape, although sometimes just like McConnell says, the are just “designated pessimist” that does not like the tactics, the risk officer must have the management point of view and respect too.

 

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Maybe the coach is not playing on the field, but he is the one that is in charge of the tactics to succeed, just like the Project Manager

Successful projects begin planning early, they define the project vision, identify an executive sponsor, set targets for the project scope, manage risks and map out the strategies, which is useful and important.

in the end ProjectManagement == Coach

*âœŒđŸ»SoccerâœŒđŸ» for North Americans

All those things College Have Done

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Let’s forget about the McConell Book just for this post, Imagine coming back to your school 15 years after you graduated to give a chat to students that are studying the same career as you, imagine returning to your school in 2031, what will it change? Maybe there will be VR classes and a lot of screens everywhere, google may own us all and we may even have full holograms like Star Wars to communicate, you will see things very different, but the most different thing that you’ll see, will be what your school did for you. All those years that made what you are now, all those filler classes and subjects like financial administration and citizenship that did not make any sense, there is no filler classes, like Steve Jobs says (I know he is kinda over quoted but he have a great point) it is all about connecting the dots! We are not machines, we are not code manufactures, everything that we learn is useful, I mean, as a System Engineer, you can fit everywhere, any place that there is a computer,  a job is waiting for you (if you have what it is needed), but we need to learn to take advantage of all what we learn.

Working and studying is the pillar of success, but it is a double knife trap too, we need to have a balance between the amount of work without losing the focus in our studies, work will teach you more than any class of course, but do not let greed for money consume you, studies are still important.

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Sometimes we live in the basic, not by choice, but because we have to develop in the most common tools, since they’re easy to use for the user, we have to adapt to our clients (without trying to innovate in what we can), and learn to explain what we want, because it is hard to sync our ideas with other people that are not engineers, soft skills are the solution in here, let’s appreciate our work and don’t let others to step on us, but without trying to act as if we are superior than the other guys.

 

A Project from 20,000 feets

How does a mountain looks like from a 100 meter? Like a mountain probably, but how does a good project looks like from a far distance, it is more ambiguous, I mean, how can a person tell if a project is in a good or bad situation, well… there is no magic steps but anyways McConell teach us about some of these things.

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The conceptual phase told us about the three kinds of developing focus thet must be, Discovery, Invention and Implementation, should this phases will shift like a roller coaster? Of course not (Or maybe they will, but it is really NOT the desirable) Since the level of uncertaintly just got bigger with these shifts.

“Technical projects often provide status reports such as 90% complete”

Truth been told, thanks for that quote McConell! this is the reality, System engineers (and me) done this so many times that is scaring how this can become an habit anytime soon, so the way to fight this is getting the critical functionality as soon as is available .

The price of Technology

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Technology has taken a tendency over the past years of one specific and recurring event, it constantly gets better, researching and developing new knowledge helps to make something cheaper, smaller and faster, and this has been a standard for years, just like in 1946 the transistor debuted by the bell’s laboratories and helped to the reduction of the mega computers, or the faster microprocessors developed by various emprises, but this might have been corrupted with the new trends and the capacity of wearing devices.
Some companies has seen the potential of selling the “status” in its products, and since this is a massive marketing strategy it needs money, capital that is used in the selling of the same products instead of the product itself, which can make a device really overpriced, paying actors to use their products in public places. But is this actually bad? No it is not, because people (usually) knows that they are buying the product because of the trending instead of the functionality, but there is another side of the coin, there is a sector that can get it trouble, which is the people who wants to pay for something that is really worth and not extra money to show his status, people that cares for quality and not for luxury, and that is the bad side of this trend of “fancy devices”, technology loses its actual purpose of scientific knowledge to help and made easier the adaption for everyday and routine tasks to become just another kind fashion. But remember that this is not as bad as it sounds, this trends exist because it is actually a very profitable business that can make people to be more interested in technologic wearables and make a step to the internet of things.