Thursday, April 14, 2005

Software Management Humor

Seeing Ronald Gruia's pointer to Tom Evslin's translations of programmer-speak reminded me of something I got almost ten years ago. I received it from Jim Tomayko, who was at the time on the staff of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I don't know if he was the original author, but I give him all the credit. (There's no copyright notice on it, so if you read this, Jim, I hope you weren't planning on publishing it in a Big Book of Software Humor and making a ton o' money...)

"Essentially complete"
Translation: It's half done

"Schedule exposure"
Translation: It slipped three weeks ago

"We predict"
Translation: We hope to God

"Screen design is lagging"
Translation: Not a single screen exists

"Risk is high but acceptable"
Translation: 100 to 1 odds. Or, with ten times the budget and ten times the people, we stand a 50/50 chance

"Potential show stopper"
Translation: The team has updated their resumes

"Serious but not insurmountable problems"
Translation: It'll take a miracle

"Basic agreement has been reached"
Translation: The &%$#@s won't even talk to us

"Results are being quantified"
Translation: We're massaging the numbers so that they'll agree with our conclusions

"Task force to review"
Translation: Seven people who are incompetent at their regular jobs have been loaned to the project

"Not well defined"
Translation: Nobody's even thought about it

"Still scoping the requirements"
Translation: See "Not well defined"

"Not well understood"
Translation: Now that we've thought about it, we don't want to think about it any more

"Requires further analysis and management attention"
Translation: Totally out of control

"Results are encouraging"
Translation: Power-on produced no smoke