The companyI work at now - probably one of the largest in germany - has a pretty huge project going. Reasonable estimate of 2-3 years at least. I'm still somewhat new so I am still trying to be rather low key and not to butt heads with people that have been here for 10+ years. Yesterday I did come out and ask where our project plan and requirements document was. Imagine my surprise when I learned that we don't have one. So I asked if they wanted me to write one. Cue further surprise at the answer I got:
"What? Are you serious? We can't spend that much time just on paper. We need to have a working version out by the end of the year. Shut up and code".
... Code what? Nobody has any idea what we're even doing and who's doing what. There is exactly one guy that knows what needs doing and even he is losing track of it because, surprise, surprise, it's a lot of stuff.
I feel like I'm working for the Underpants Gnomes:
Step 1: Start Coding
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Working Program
What really cracked me up is when the head honcho came by and asked how many more people we need to hire to get this done by the end of the year. Cool. So we don't have money to spend on getting a decent roadmap and requirements document done over a month or two, but we can hire two more people to sit on their hands and have no idea what needs to be done? What are they thinking? Even if we get more people, how will they know where to start? There is nothing in the way of documentation. They need to wait until the one person who is basically our living project plan has time to fill them in. And guess what, he does not have time for that. He's working on day-to-day affairs, was sick for a week just now so there's some backlog there and then he'll be on vacation. Whoohoo.
The only thing that exists in way of documentation is a rough draft of the database and that is already over 50 tables large and estimated to be 1/4th to completion. And they expect to just wing this shit without a project plan.
I can already see this project going down like a boss and all I can think of is "thank god I already arranged to work on this for one year at most". So I'll have bailed long before the shit truly hits the fan.
From my experience, time spent planning is time well spent. Even when I was part of a two man project, we did not regret having a detailed project plan with milestones and everything broken down to individual tasks. We could have added another person to our team at any time and have them be productive within a day, tops. Likewise, if we both died, someone else could take over the project without much of a hitch.
This post has been edited by Nightfish: 14 July 2011 - 05:16 AM