Database Elaborations - Our Own Worst Enemies

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By Todd Schraml

As bizarre as it seems, no one sabotages our efforts more easily than ourselves.  We often leave ourselves vulnerable to failure whenever we respond to requests for project estimates.  Like "A Tale of Two Cities" estimating can bring our best and our worst.  In offering estimates, individuals may undercut their own efforts.  For example, a developer may only consider time coding, and fail to include enough headroom for testing, rework, or documentation.  While some aspects of these estimating attempts might suggest a passive-aggressive approach to avoid tasks, much of this estimate-short-sheeting often results from a desire to please and provide a number to make management "happy."  There is always a desire from management to have more things done, and to do things quickly on every project.  Even when not stated, this unspoken desire colors the responses of the individuals doing the estimating.

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