[MUD-Dev] Design iterations (Was: R & D)

Ron Gabbard rgabbard at swbell.net
Tue Jun 11 09:09:19 New Zealand Standard Time 2002

From: "Amanda Walker" <amanda at alfar.com>
> On 6/7/02 2:42 PM, Sean Kelly <sean at hoth.ffwd.cx> wrote:

>> From what I've seen, this practice of crunch-time is primarily
>> restricted to the gaming software world.

> Not at all.  I've seen the same sequences unfold in the commercial
> world time and time again.

It's not just a commercial phenomenon.  How many times have people
'burned the midnight oil' in order to achieve a certain state prior
to a certain time?  Cramming for mid-terms and finals... Cleaning
house and cooking before guests arrive... Cutting back on
discretionary spending in order to be able to pay the annual tax
bill...  It's all the same concept.

> I don't think it's a hallmark of gaming companies, I think it's a
> hallmark of immature development organizations all over the
> industry.

I would argue just the opposite.  An immature development
organization will 'crash' a project schedule regardless of cost or
will refuse to 'crash' a schedule regardless of benefit.
Understanding the project's "critical path" and the costs and
benefits of 'crashing' a project schedule and making the appropriate
decisions is the sign of a mature organization.  Note: Costs include
increased employee 'burn-out' and customer frustration due to
undiscovered bugs as well as the more-obvious financial
implications.  The decison-making process of whether to crash a
project or not should really be quite sophisticated.



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