Joel Picks a Ship Date

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Picking a Ship Date, lots of good advice
So my basic rule for software release cycles is:
  1. Set a ship date, which might as well be arbitrary
  2. Make a list of features and sort them out by priority
  3. Cut low-priority features every time you slip so as to make the date.
This is just a great aside, and I can attest to the validity of the statement.
"How are you building the site now?" I asked.

"Oh, we just do it all manually with BBEdit," they told me. "Sure, there are thousands of pages, but BBEdit has a really good global-find-and-replace function..."

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You should read "Dynamics of Software Development" by Jim McCarthy"... awesome read. Some of the chapters include "When you slip, don't fall", "Look for the natural milestones", "Get to a known state and stay there", and "Remember the triangle: Features, Resources, Time." The last one is one I"ll never forget. Think of a triangle, where features are product/quality, resources are people/money, and time as the schedule. There is nothing else to work with. Changing any side of the triangle has an impact on the other sides of the triangle. If the time slips, you need to cut back on the features, or increase the resources. If you add features, time and resources needed to be updated accordingly. So if somebody asks for another feature, remind them of the triangle! You can still recover from a slip, if the other sides can be shortened and lengthened accordingly.

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This page contains a single entry by fozbaca published on April 20, 2002 4:13 PM.

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