It’s worth a read, is better informed than my outsider opinion, with references to action vs. results management, Too many cooks, Broken windows theory, opnions on Line of code measurements, etc. One favorite quote from his essay:
After months of hearing of how a certain influential team in Windows was going to cause the Vista release to slip, I, full of abstract self-righteous misgivings as a stockholder, had at last the chance to speak with two of the team’s key managers, asking them how they could be so, please excuse the term, I don’t mean its value laden connotation, ignorant as to proper estimation of software schedules.
Turns out they’re actually great project managers. They knew months in advance that the schedule would never work. So they told their VP. And he, possibly influenced by one too many instances where engineering re-routes power to the warp core, thus completing the heretofore impossible six-hour task in a mere three, summarily sent the managers back to “figure out how to make it work.” The managers re-estimated, nipped and tucked, liposuctioned, did everything short of a lobotomy — and still did not have a schedule that fit. The VP was not pleased.
“You’re smart people. Find a way!” This went back and forth for weeks, whereupon the intrepid managers finally understood how to get past the dilemma. They simply stopped telling the truth. “Sure, everything fits. We cut and cut, and here we are. Vista by August or bust. You got it, boss.”
Note: I had to set font size down in Firefox (Ctrl -) to read this without wanting to bash my monitor in.