10. The Documentary Hypothesis

This post is part of a series of posts with my personal notes about the chapters in the book “The mythical man-month” by Frederick P. Brooks. I write these posts as I read through the book, and take notes on the concepts I find more relevant. I do, however, advise reading the book to get the full benefit out of it.

Why should we have formal documents?

Frederick P. Brooks gives us three reasons why we should keep formal written documentation:

  1. Writing down documents forces us to think deeper about the issue at hand, which triggers the understanding of gaps, inconsistencies and their solutions;
  2. If used appropriately, the documents can be an invaluable tool in communicating the decisions made and the reasoning behind them;
  3. Documents can give us a context and a roadmap that can be used both to assert the project status and be the foundation for decision making.

What documents should we have for an IT project?

  • Objectives;
  • Specifications/requirements;
  • Schedule;
  • Budget;
  • Organization chart;
  • Space allocations;
  • Estimates, forecast and prices.

 

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