Chapter 2. The Mythical Man-Month

Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you.MENU OF RESTAURANT ANTOINE, NEW ORLEANS

More software projects have gone awry for lack of calendar time than for all other causes combined. Why is this cause of disaster so common?

First, our techniques of estimating are poorly developed. More seriously, they reflect an unvoiced assumption which is quite untrue, i.e., that all will go well.

Second, our estimating techniques fallaciously confuse effort with progress, hiding the assumption that men and months are interchangeable.

Third, because we are uncertain of our estimates, software managers often lack the courteous stubbornness of Antoine's chef.

Fourth, schedule ...

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