Planning to Fail: How Stable are Your Project Plans?

Hardware project plans aren’t stable, that’s for certain. But what we expect and what we perceive our peers and management expect may surprise you. Here’s the first few data points from our hardware project planning survey that correspond to the stability of project plans in hardware development.

initial plans remain stable

The strongest response from the entire survey came from this question regarding the stability of project plans. Stable project plans are extremely rare in hardware development.

I expect stable plans

What are individuals expecting from our project plans with respect to stability? Roughly 2 in 3 people expect project plans to change.

my peers expect stable plans

People perceive their peers are more optimistic when it comes to stability; roughly half think their peers are expecting a stable project expects stable plans

How about this for a difference in expectation… when asked about their management, people perceive true optimism when it comes to project plan stability. Over 70% of those surveyed perceive an expectation from their management of stable project plans.

The reality is that there is no stability. As individuals, we’re expecting instability. We perceive mixed expectations from our peers and an obvious expectation of stability from management. That’s a full range of response and we’re only through the first 4 questions!


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About nosnhojn

I have been working in ASIC and FPGA development for more than 12 years at various IP and product development companies and now as a consultant with XtremeEDA Corp. My specialty for most of that time has been RTL functional verification where I have had a chance to work with some very experienced people and learn state of the art techniques. I really enjoy the challenges of being a verification engineer but as of late have come to wonder what lies beyond my verification bubble. That's lead me to agile software development and project management. There is a massive amount of material out there related to agile development. All of it is interesting and most of it should be applicable to hardware development in one form or another. So I'm here to find what agile concepts will work for hardware development and to help other developers use them successfully! You can find me at
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