Rule # 5 – Save Money on Your Computer System – One Chief Cook Per Project

You’ve heard someone say, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” It has never been more true than in computer projects.
All the projects I’ve seen massively over budget and over deadline have had too many cooks. It’s frustrating to be one of the cooks, too.
I remember a project in which we were providing a link between a modified (by another consultant) POS (point of sale) and some manufacturing equipment. We asked for sample files from the POS vendor, and wrote the code to reformat them in the proper format for the manufacturing equipment. We tested extensively. Everything worked.
Until we went live and the POS vendor mentioned that he had changed the format of the files. So we started rewriting again. Until the POS vendor mentioned that he had some more issues come up and he’d reformatted the files again.
I know, most people reading this will say, “Why would you continue working on a project like that?” Answer: we didn’t. After the second change, we recommended that the POS vendor finish his project, and provide a final form file.
The POS vendor never finished. Project canceled.
So that makes for Rule # 5: Have one project leader that understands the core technologies, and give this person control over all the decisions in the project.