In CMPUT 401, we learn common group anti-patterns. You probably know many of them: analysis paralysis, gold plating, fire drill, etc.

One pattern always stands out. It’s Death March. It’s the absolute worst.

Have you been a part of a project that feels “doomed”? Then you must know what a death march project is.

Here are some constraints that can lead to a death march project:

  1. Schedule is compressed to less than half the estimate
  2. Staff is reduced to less than half of a regular size
  3. The budget is cut in half
  4. The functionality/features of the product are twice what they would be

How to recognize a death march project? Why do people keep working on such projects? What are the usual dynamics? Is it possible to control and manage a death march project?

What to do if you’ve found yourself marching a march of death?

This brilliant book by Edward Yourdon is the key. Highly recommended for your bookshelf!

Death March by Edward Yourdon