How to be on track

Excerpt’s from Steve Magurie’s book Debugging the Development process by Microsoft press.


  • Regularly stop what you are doing and look ahead, making little adjustments now to avoid big obstacles later on
  •  Each day ask yourself, what can I today that would help keep the project on track for the next few months
  •  Do not waste time working on the wrong problem. Always determine what the real problem is before you try to make a fix
  •  People often ask for something other than what they really need. Always determine what they are trying to accomplish before dealing with their request
  •  Never commit to dates you know you cannot meet. You will hurt everybody involved
  •  Do not let wanting to please everybody, jeopardize your project. Use your goals to guide the your destination
  •  You are responsible for your projects. Do not let ill considered suggestions from supervisors disrupt your program
  •  There is no such thing as free product or feature
  •  Implement features only if they are strategic to the product. Do not implement feature merely to fill out feature set or review check list
  •  Do not implement feature because they are technically challenging or “cool” or “fun”
  •  Do not waste time on questionable improvement work Weigh the potential value returned against the time you would have to invest.

4 Responses to “How to be on track”

  1. 1 Ankur Aggarwal March 7, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    very sound advise indeed

  2. 2 S.Karthikeyan September 29, 2006 at 11:26 am

    Satish, you are right. It requires skills to realise what problems are correct and what problems are wrong. Now in order to get to facts it requires a team effort, every body will have to converge on the conclusion.

    This is where the interaction between the team becomes a crucial factors. Everybodys views should be appreciated and everyone should be given a chance to talk.

    Even from my experience with a start up is the same. I learnt it the hard way. One should first learn to assertive and support the stand based on facts. If this dosen’t happen then God help us!

  3. 3 sathish September 29, 2006 at 1:00 am

    “Do not waste time working on the wrong problem. Always determine what the real problem is before you try to make a fix”

    How do we determine if we are working on the wrong problem? Sometimes, it is too late by the time we figure out we are working out on a wrong problem..

    Working for a startup, I realised that we need to keep asking questions, discuss with as many folks within the team as possible, get inputs before starting on a problem..Most cases – what the problem states or how the problem is stated is wholly different from the problem is all about.

  1. 1 How to be on track « Renaissance Trackback on September 26, 2006 at 8:28 am

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