The Liar’s Club: Concealing Rework in Concurrent Development

Keywords The Liar’s Club: Concealing Rework in Concurrent Development concurrent development concurrent engineering iteration rework cycle time project management concealment system dynamics
Standards groups

Here we focus on one common and problematic
behavior: purposefully concealing known problems
from development team members and managers. As
we describe next, concealing problems can have very
different causes and impacts than the concealment of
implementation details, such as in the modular design of
software [37] or other products [6] or the decomposition
of work [41]. Concealing known problems can be used
to temporarily reduce work. For example, an engineer in
a leading electronics company reported to us that design
engineers regularly delayed revealing problems they
discovered to avoid time-consuming document control
work required by the organization’s engineering change
notice process [12]. The practice of concealing rework
requirements is reinforced by people’s dislike of bad
news and information that contradicts their beliefs.

People in authority often ‘‘shoot the messenger.’’
Consequently, developers suppress information they
believe will be unpleasant to their superiors or customers.
For example suppliers are reticent to report that
parts will be late even when they are members of their
customer’s development team [30]. The practice of
hiding one’s mistakes is institutionalized in many
organizations. A manager at a major automobile
manufacturer we will call AutoCo observed.

Date published
Document type
technical white paper
Defines standard
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
Cancelled by
Amended by
File MIME type Size (KB) Language Download
TheLiar'sClubCERA-PUBLISHED.pdf application/pdf   175.46 KB English DOWNLOAD!
File attachments
Visit also