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Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules by Steve McConnell

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Perception and Reality

Suppose that six months from now you plan to move to a new town 100 miles away and build a new house. You arrange with Honest Abe's Construction Company to construct the house for you. You agree to pay Abe $100,000, and Abe agrees to have the house ready in six months so that you can move into it when you move to town. You've already bought the site, and Abe agrees that it's suitable. So you shake hands, pay him half the money as a down payment, and wait for your house.

After a few weeks, you get curious about how work on the house is going, so one weekend you drive the 100 miles to the site to take a look at it. To your surprise, all you see at the site is an area where the dirt has been leveled. No foundation, no framing, ...

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