Posted by: Anonymous
on February 27, 2008 06:32 PM
My anonymous, you have some bad experience with bad project managers, so let me clarify what I meant.
Linus is a good project manager *now* because he set up a release system where he can deliver results regularly without too much management or thought.
He was a bad one in the 2.2 and 2.4 days because the early versions were notoriously buggy because he wasn't able to control either scope or quality or time.
Getting back to your "work harder!" comment. That's call a "death march" (see http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=169512 ) and a good project manager would never get into that situation, if it he does, it's his own fault and should be held to account on this -- no excuse.
The key job of a good project manager is to say "no, what you're asking is impossible" if it is impossible (which Linus is very good at doing now but not before)
to their managers, their customers, and even the people who do the work (especially if they think they can do the job when all indications say
they can't). The key thing involved isn't being technical or being an administrator but being realistic and getting everyone involved to be realistic. Nothing more and nothing less.
The good project manager has to be the bad guy that everyone loves and respects in the end (which Linus is -- people love him even though
he claims to be a real SOB). A fantastic project manager is one that's able (like Linus) to make his involvement almost transparent so it
looks like he's doing nothing at all but things are delivered on time with the correct features and quality, and when disaster strikes,
there are enough contingency plans in place so that things still get delivered on time and with the correct features without having
everyone run around like chickens without there heads or being tied to the oars of a slave ship.