The company where this pilot fish works has had its share of death march IT projects, so it launches a big effort to improve estimating and project delivery.

"As part of that effort, project time would be recorded to provide baseline data for future estimates," fish says. "Everyone was also trained in function point analysis so there would be some consistency to project sizing."

Not surprisingly, some programmers don't like the idea of their productivity being closely measured. But the hope is that the result will be better project size and time estimates — and a lot fewer death marches.

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