A wonderful article covering a large shop. The concepts transfer easily to small shops, too — even when the developer wears multiple hats, without the job titles.
When I started to work for EDS, I added
Post Implementation Adjustments
to my estimates and allocated time for them. My management had never heard of such a thing and didn’t see the need. The user department heads loved the idea.
They were based on two ideas: (1) all programs have bugs; (2) users will do things with your app that you never dreamed of.
Nobody went on vacation or moved to another project as their prime responsibility upon implementation, and everybody was on call during that period.
In one project, the users found a major bug that should never have gotten through the first tests — just sloppy work. The department head asked, “Was that one of the adjustments?” I said, “Yes, it was.” Nobody was upset.
How long a specific feature would take to develop?
I always estimated how long it ought to take, then doubled it. On one 5-month project, I came within 8 hours.
I never cared about technology or the type of business. That can be learned. I wanted to know if I would be allowed direct user contact and how my projects would impact the company.
Thanks for the review. It is quite accurate.