Planning to Fail: Is Estimating Really This Difficult?

Estimating effort is something we collectively struggle with in hardware development considering building the project plan is an exercise that everyone is involved in. Here’s the next few data points from our project planning survey that may have you wondering why we’re so wrong when it comes to estimating and project planning. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Variance in Project Plans from Start to Finish

We’ve had our first brave sole step up and offer his opinion based on data from our project planning survey! Our guest contributor is Gaurav Jalan, a design verification engineer with services firm SmartPlay in Bangalore. Gaurav, who runs his own blog focused on hardware verification, offers his opinion on variance in project plans.

Take it away Gaurav! Continue reading

Aart de Geus on Systemic Collaboration and Organizational Silos

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this short email back-and-forth I had with Aart de Geus last year during SNUG (Aart is co-CEO of Synopsys for anyone not familiar with the name). It happened just after his keynote where he spoke about something he called systemic collaboration. I remember it being quite interesting and thinking that in people terms, systemic collaboration seemed synonymous with cross-functional teams, a key characteristic in agile development. I asked the question in that direction… he was kind enough to respond. I’d be interested to hear what people think. Continue reading

Planning to Fail in Hardware Development

Screen Shot 2013-02-01 at 12.44.55 PMYes… you’re reading the title right! Seems we hardware developers spend more of our time planning for failure than we do for success!

How, you might be asking yourself, could I make such an outlandish claim?

Well, Catherine Louis and I have started analyzing data from the project planning survey we did last year and the data appear to support that conclusion. The results aren’t pretty, but they certainly are interesting :)!

Last week we began sharing our analysis in an EETimes article called Planning to Fail is Planning to Fail. In that article, we look at the first few data points that we found most telling. One that sticks out to us is that 87% of the people polled see their projects finishing behind schedule; another is that only half of respondents are confident in their approach to project planning. There’s other data in there that we think is compelling enough to support the idea hardware developers are stuck in a rut that ends in failure relative to what they plan for. Continue reading