Project records methodology suggested in The Mythical Man Month

I'm reading Frederick P. Brooks' classic The Mythical Man Month from a project management perspective. Because of the challenges in complex software management, Brooks embraced Harlan Mills' proposal "that each segment of a large job be tackled by a team, but that the team be organized like a surgical team," enabling a chief programmer to define specification and ensure program cohesion (or "conceptual integrity"), with the other team members filling defined support roles.

In terms of project record keeping, it's interesting to juxatapose Brooks' proposals with the PMBOK framework:

And this is about record keeping, not project methodology - though to some extent, the recordkeeping expectations would drive project performance. Brooks described these software project record needs:

  • Objectives: Like the Project Charter
    (Brooks: "goals, desiderata, constraints, and priorities")
  • Product specifications: Like the Project Scope Statement
    (Brooks: "speed and space specifications are a critical part")
  • Schedule: Like the Project Schedule, included in the under-control Schedule Baseline
  • Budget: Like the Cost Baseline
  • Space allocation: Like the Resource Calendars that serve as an input to the Estimate Activity Resources process (Time Management knowledge area)
  • Organization chart: Like the Human Resources Management Plan (Organization Charts and Position Descriptions employed as a tool)
    (Brooks cites Conway's Law: "Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce systems which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations." Earlier in the book, when describing intercommunication, Brooks notes the communication paths formula,   n(n-1)/2.)

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