Mythical Man Month Essays

Mythical Man Month Essays-56
It seems appropriate, however, to offer this little book, reflecting essentially a personal view.

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The book is most famous for its statement of Brooks' Law: "adding manpower to a late software project makes it later".

Few books on software project management have been as influential and timeless as The Mythical Man-Month.

\ the mythical man-month Essays on Software Engineering Frederick P. Brooks, Jr., is Professor and Chairman of the Com- ^ i ( puter Science Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. ISBN 0-201-00650-2 ABCDEFGHIJ-HA-7987654 To two who especially enriched my IBM years: Thomas J.

He is best known as the ''father of the IBM Sys- tem/360," having served as project manager for its development and later as manager of the Operating System/360 software project during its design phase. Watson, Jr., whose deep concern for people still permeates his company, and Bob O.This book is a belated answer to Tom Watson's probing questions as to why programming is hard to manage. Because this is a book of essays and not a text, all the refer- ences and notes have been banished to the end of the volume, and the reader is urged to ignore them on his first reading. Most have emerged with running systems — few have met goals, schedules, and budgets.In this quest I have profited from long conversations with R. I am deeply indebted to Miss Sara Elizabeth Moore, Mr. Rebecca Burris for their help in preparing the manuscript, and to Professor Joseph C. Large and small, massive or wiry, team after team has become entangled in the tar.Furthermore, the product was late, it took more memory than planned, the costs were several times the esti- mate, and it did not perform very well until several releases after the first After leaving IBM in 1965 to come to Chapel Hill as originally agreed when I took over OS/360, I began to analyze the OS/360 experience to see what management and technical lessons were to be learned. I have compared conclusions with other managers of jumbo programming projects, including F. Hence I have tried to give references that will both illuminate particular points and guide the interested reader to Preface ix other useful works. 73 Chapter 8 Calling the Shot 87 Chapter 9 Ten Pounds in a Five-Pound Sack 97 Chapter 10 The Documentary Hypothesis 107 Chapter 11 Plan to Throw One Away 115 Chapter 12 Sharp Tools 127 Chapter 13 The Whole and the Parts 141 Chapter 14 Hatching a Catastrophe 153 Chapter 15 The Other Face 163 Epilogue 177 Notes and references 179 Index 189 XI I The Tar Pit 1 The Tar Pit Een schip op het strand is een baken in zee. The fiercer the struggle, the more entangling the tar, and no beast is so strong or so skillful but that he ultimately sinks.In particular, I wanted to explain the quite different management experiences encountered in System/360 hardware development and OS/360 software development. Many friends have read the manuscript and some have prepared extensive helpful comments; where these seemed valuable but did not fit the flow of the text, I have included them in the notes. Large-system programming has over the past decade been such a tar pit, and many great and powerful beasts have thrashed violently in it.Everyone seems to have been surprised by the stickiness of the problem, and it is hard to discern the nature of it.But we must try to understand it if we are to solve it.Earlier, he was an architect of the IBM Stretch and Harvest computers. Brooks has participated in the establishment and guiding of the Triangle Universities Computation Center and the North Carolina Educational Computing Service. Evans, whose bold leadership turned work into adventure.He has pub- lished Automatic Data Processing, the System/ 360 Edition of Auto- matic Data Processing, and chapters in several other books. Courtesy of the Photography Section of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechan- ical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2013 with funding from Gordon Bell OOfred Preface In many ways, managing a large computer programming project is like managing any other large undertaking — in more ways than most programmers believe.The Mythical Man-Month Essays on Software Engineering Frederick P. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill ADDISON-WESLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY Reading, Massachusetts • Menlo Park, California London • Amsterdam • Don Mills, Ontario • Sydney Cover drawing: C. Copyright © 1975 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. But in many other ways it is different — in more ways than most professional managers expect. There have been several conferences, sessions at AFIPS conferences, some books, and pa- pers.Philippines copyright 1975 by Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc. But it is by no means yet in shape for any systematic text- book treatment.

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