21 Dysfunctional Definitions


Dysfunctional Definitions

  1. Agile– Approach that jumps through hoops to avoid providing a project forecast.
  2. Broken Windows– What over-worked developers create when driving through the code-base late at night.
  3. Business Analyst– Person who sweeps problems back out from under the rug for their customer.
  4. Deliverable– A measurable output of work, completed after the scheduled date.
  5. Developer– Person who creates solutions to unidentified problems.
  6. Innovation– What happens when managers fail to do their jobs correctly.
  7. Intellectual Property– Secret Sauce. Used to achieve the impossible. Alternately, used to prevent other companies from achieving the valuable.
  8. Iron Triangle– The rationalizing tool for reducing quality to meet the schedule.
  9. Meeting– An opportunity to stop all useful work and take a break. Effectiveness is proportional to the number of attendees.
  10. Offshoring– Going to the ends of the earth to help the developers, then finding their replacements there. (IP “borrowed” from Dispair, Inc)
  11. Product Manager– Person who identifies problems that apply to all customers except yours.
  12. Quality– The feng shui of software.
  13. Review– A meeting where all previous work is discarded and new work is defined. Followed invariably by another review.
  14. Rework– Replacing broken windows (see Broken Windows)
  15. Risk– A means by which reality is infused into projects.
  16. Schedule– A perfect prediction of the future and all project events. Schedules never change.
  17. Scope Creep– Theoretical event that my friend’s brother’s cousin’s neighbor once heard about happening on a big project.
  18. Software Salesman– Person who reserves weekday tee-times for CIOs and purchasing managers.
  19. Status Report– A transmogrification of reality to conform to the schedule (see Schedule).
  20. Timebox- A five gallon hat, into which ten gallons of work must be stuffed.
  21. Waterfall– Approach that maximizes the ability to plan to fail to deliver the right software.


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