I'm talking about 'Kitchen Nightmares' where Gordon tries to help hopelessly looking restaurants. The pattern back to profitable business is very simple.
1. Tell people without any fluff the current status. If something is crap, tell that it's crap!
2. Reduce the number of items on the menu card, keep it simple! Often the restaurant owners have over ambitious ideas and over extensive menu cards creating over complexity that is very hard to manage.
3. Go back to honest, fresh and quality food. Simple, well prepared fresh food makes the customer want more and makes them visit again.
I like to apply the same rules to making software. Just image the following:
1. How often not all facts of progress or current status are shared among the team? Always be honest to yourself, your team and your manager. We al are running businesses, not making friends.
2. How many feature lists and product plans are over ambitious and the root cause for shipping late? I like 'Getting Real', especially the part about very patient paper resulting in too many requirements. Just keep it simple and focus on the most important feature.
3. How often are corners cut just to make sure the software can be shipped? Always, always make sure quality comes first. Always choose quality over feature! Always choose quality over shipping date!
Gordon, if you are reading this... come and make software with me one day..
... btw, go and read the coworkers blog: Evolution of Work