Did Specification Creep Killed Duke Nukem? What About Your Project?

Remember Duke Nukem, the 90's video game? How about the very successful Duke Nukem 3D?  It was groundbreaking, changing the expectations for 'vitual violence' forever. True fans were on the edge of their seats for years waiting for the sequel, Duke Nukem Forever. Forever is right .. no game, likely  forever.What happened? You can read the entire story in a recent Wired Magazine, January 2010 issue titled, "Learn to Let Go: How Success Killed Duke Nukem"

This is a great case study in what happens when when there is a lack of design constraints, poor discipline and no deadlines. The reality is that successful project management requires some of each.  In the end, you have to have customers and this requires a product and service.

Project planning, including initial specifications, are the foundation of a successful project. Many project teams bypass this part of the project so they can 'jump into the design quickly'. Listen, the initial investment will pay dividends throughout the project. The plan is the road map that is used throughout the project to track progress. It also helps in building accountability. Specifications serve to keep the team focused. Along the way, avoid creeping elegance, stay focused.

Just a couple thoughts on project management. Your thoughts welcome!


Photo credit: multisanti