Managing a project like the politicians manage Portugal

Today in Portugal, a new government takes place. With a party that won the elections, that was merged by two other parties against another major party and two other smaller. Those three together represent more votes than the party that won.

Let’s see how that applies to software development.

During a team meeting, we’re discussing how to implement a new feature. The team consists in 5 members. Two of them were the most criticized members because they were always putting the features back. They were mostly involved on bug fixing the errors other team members left behind, and they now defend the position that we’re not ready yet to implement the new major feature the product needs. Some new refactoring needs to be in place for that. Other team member defends that we can and must implement that feature ASAP, while we still do our bug fixing. It won’t affect the product in any way, so no need to concerns. The remaining team members just defend that we should not implement that feature. One of them even stands that we should not continue to develop this product, we should focus on our old discontinued product instead.

Since no agreement was possible, management was involved, listened to all the proposals, and decided for the two guys that defended to go easy on it. Get the product stable, then develop new features. And so it goes…

After the meeting, work as usual… But then, the two guys are faced against the other three, which combined forces, only because their idea wasn’t the one chosen. In minority, they don’t have any other choice other to lower their head and accept what they are enforced to. Even management after making their decision, stands quiet and let all this just flow.

Now let’s impersonate our product clients. Would you trust a development team like this to develop our product? Why would the Portuguese people and the foreign parties trust the politicians then?

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