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April 27, 2001: Whispers in the hall

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Moral has dropped on this project I'm on. Confidence is lower than it's ever been. Even when it seemed as if the odds were stacked against us, there was still an undercurrent of hope. Not so anymore - not since the powers that be released their latest scope and timeline documents. The reaction from both business and consultants has been the same. What are they thinking? How can they just blithely ignore the recommendations; the mountains of facts; the downright begging of those they've hired to advise them to please, please, wake up and realize that we can not do it this way again. It's failed twice before - unless they change things and change them significantly, it will fail the third time too.

They do not listen. They refuse to listen. They get furious when brave people risk their jobs to gather facts and send them higher up the chain than the 'normal' line of command thinks they should (while the rest of us cross our fingers, hold our breath, and silently cheer them on). Serious questions of how scope creep will be managed (or in other words, will it *finally* be managed this time?) are met with laughter from those who are supposed to be doing the managing in the first place. There is a hopelessness in the faces of those like myself who have been there since the beginning. It doesn't matter how hard we try. This is bigger than us - bigger than the entire IT organization. If they will not take responsibility for what they are doing, we are only chasing a moving target once again.

They say that the third time is the charm. Not so in this case. They say that those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Unfortunately, sadly, painfully, unless something changes and the people who are supposed to be leading finally wake up and listen, this will most definitely be the case.

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