No, not the secret Microsoft agenda to subvert and destroy (although I've always secretly pitied MSFT, likening them to a steriod-addled teenager -- thick, agressive, and unaware that he breaks people's ribs when he hugs them). Instead I refer to the application Microsoft Project 2000. Basically, it is a weapon, allowing non-technical folks to "manage" a project -- defining tasks, resources, timelines, deliverable dates, and other project-management-type things. Usually he or she doesn't talk to any programmers before defining these timelines or deliverables. It is the project in an Apollonian state -- perfect, beautiful Gantt charts stretching through dependencies to a graceful and inevitable conclusion.

Sadly, the manager rarely takes certain things into account that could disrupt their perfect timeline -- foozball, all-night Quake sessions, dental appointments. And things go awry. Deadlines, never based in reality to begin with, flex and stretch. The manager paces the cube-farm, waving their chart -- "You're about to miss your next milestone!!!"

In the end, it is they who suffer. Breakdowns, family collapse, addiction and death are all possible outcomes. Your donations can help. Join the Get a Project Manager a More Harmless Career campaign today. Project Managers are being retrained to become coopers, wheelwrights, spinners of wool, and farriers, jobs that allow them plenty of exercise and little contact with technical staff.

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