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Chapter 4. The Dancing Bear > How Scheduling Programs Fail

How Scheduling Programs Fail

In a lawyer's office, advertising agency, accountant's office, or any other consulting business, there is a large and unfilled need for a program that manages the allocation of people to projects over time. This three-sided structure is common to all consulting companies, yet—amazingly—no program exists to provide this service.

From the programmer's point of view, project management is a scheduling issue, with the possible added twist of critical-path analysis, in which the start of one task is dependent on the completion of a preceding task. All project-management programs available today are based on this academically pure assumption.[2] The problem is that this vision of project management has very little to do with reality.

[2] I'm as guilty as the next programmer. In 1984 I wrote Computer Associates' SuperProject, one of the first project-management programs. It ignored the interaction of multiple projects just as all of its successors have.


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