The deadline

Motivated by a current project with late hours of work, this text resulted. In this project, there was a deadline until the productivity start had to happen. Of course, this deadline was given by higher instances not knowing about the work done by the divisions below them (development, operating department).
Most of you should know this scenario. Many of you, I guess, have read the excellent book The Deadline: A Novel About Project Management by Tom DeMarco.

What was the result of that impossible deadline (of course, some time later it came out that it was impossible getting ready to that end date. Early enough to move the deadline to a later date) ?
Exactly sort of things described in the remarkable blog entry IT Survivors - Staying Alive In A Software Job from Harshad Oak, which I much appreciate:
  • 6 workdays/week
  • 12+ hours a day (some freaks had the need working 15 hours...)
  • Highly-dynamic decisions (some few hours before Friday's closing time came the request from the project leader to work on Saturday)
  • A 15-hours-a-day collegue expected the others to work as long as he did
  • Some collegues being on the edge
  • Irritated glances at colleagues not being available for a meeting at 20:00 o'clock
  • Shortly announces meetings (some few minutes before)
  • No plan at all....

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