It doesn’t mean you should. It can take many forms:

  • It is better to let someone else do it than to ‘do it yourself’.
  • You can add more features to your vehicle by gold plating.
  • You should not put extra effort into something other than your product if it is of no value to the customer.

These are just a few of the things I’ve been doing lately. I received an email the other day from a new student in my online project management course. There were warning messages all over the place and she never received her login information after purchasing access to the course. I immediately jumped in and fixed the problem as quickly as possible. My web host had updated their PHP and mySQL versions, and the software I bought to deliver the training used some outdated PHP functions. As I was debugging the code, a question came to my mind. Why do I do this? The issue was solved by doing it myself. I can debug PHP code on my own server. But should I? Should I host this on my own server, where I am responsible for the design, configuration, and maintenance? This problem would have never happened if I had not let a team of people who are great at avoiding problems do it. It wouldn’t have happened. My students would have a better experience. I could have spent more time writing training material or helping more people instead of debugging code. I am looking at migrating my training courses, which are hosted by a company that knows what they’re doing, to a new platform. I have now been able to spend a few more hours per week writing and teaching. Sweet! Gold plating Sometimes developers think they know more than the customer. Sometimes they don’t even know what they want until seeing it. My career has seen me use my teams to develop prototypes “on the down-low” to show customers. We knew they would love it and gave their approval to move forward. We were almost always right. Gold plating is when you go beyond the required assessment of the customer’s need/value and do not account for additional work on your schedule or budget. Yes, I am guilty of this. There are many aspects of my online training that I spent a lot of time on but that no one uses. They could be scaled down to allow me to experiment with student interest and then I could add more later if necessary. This is iterative development and it’s wonderful. I spent a lot of time working on these features, which are now happily home to a family of pet-dust bunnies. This is a trap that Fluff New project managers fall for all the time when it comes to documentation. I know this because I did. Because you want an auditor to review your work, you spend a lot of time on a project manager plan. Yea! You can knock someone down with your plan. These are the lessons that I have learned about documentation and want to share them with you.

  • Clearly identify the customer of your documentation
  • Every word must add value for the people you identified in # 1.
  • The better, the shorter and more concise it is. It might be read by the people at # 1.
  • Try again if you can play bull$#@t bingo while you read through your documentation. You can even try again by wearing your bull$#!t detector hat while you write it. You don’t have to be able to do it.