Strongly Typed Software Disasters

the.codist seems to have these down accurately so far.

The Train Wreck

‘A train wreck is a project where everyone assumes things are going well, progress is being made, and it appears that everything will turn out well. In reality, the train is barreling down the tracks at good speed until it hits the bridge that is out and then crashes spectacularly into the valley. No one is actually driving the train and all anyone sees is out the side windows, so the illusion of progress is great.’

The Death March

‘Unlike a train wreck, where most or all involved think things are going well, in a death march the lower level workers (such as developers) know a disaster is coming but are powerless to stop it. Usually the managers beyond some level are confident that progress is being made and all will be well. In this case the train is going backwards with the leaders in the front, who see nothing but open space, and the developers are all in the back looking out at the disaster ahead.’

Apparently at some point the list will include all these types:

  • The Train Wreck
  • The Death March
  • The Sisyphus Project
  • The Ten-Foot-Pole
  • The Kitchen Sink
  • The Painless Upgrade