The Humpty Dumpty Syndrome

Aug 30th, 2002 by Tony in QSM1
  1. A project manager (Humpty) becomes aware that he is sitting on a verynarrow ledge of some sort.
  2. Humpty tells his manager about his anxieties.
  3. Humpty’s manager says: “Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. But, if it does happen, I’ll bail you out with lots of resources. The only thing is, you must not go around talking about this situation, or people will be alarmed (including my manager)
  4. Humpty goes back and keeps his mouth shut. He is able to keep quiet by convincing himself that nothing is really going to happen.
  5. Sometimes, things do get better by themselves. More often, thing go nonlinear and then Humpty has egg all over his face. Humpty’s manager may initially support him with lots of resources, but he finally needs a scapegoat because things can’t be put back together again …

— Jerry Weinberg, Quality Software Management Vol 1, Chapter 5

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