“Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.”
Who said it: Frederick P Brooks, Jr. in The Mythical Man-Month 1975
What it means: Getting new team members up to speed delays development even more than just finishing the job with the existing team.
What too many people think it means: A crazy idea. If throwing more people at the problem doesn’t help how could it hurt?
Why the difference matters: Developing systems isn’t like picking sweet corn. Until we all understand that, we’ll keep wasting the time and people we throw at projects that slip their schedules.
From Computer World’s column Frankly Speaking by Frank Hayes (currently it’s hanging on my wall). Don’t ask me when. It’s old.