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Mythical Man-Month, The: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition by Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

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Chapter 6. Passing the Word

He'll sit here and he'll say, "Do this! Do that!" And nothing will happen.—HARRY S TRUMAN, ON PRESIDENTIAL POWER[1]

Assuming that he has the disciplined, experienced architects and that there are many implementers, how shall the manager ensure that everyone hears, understands, and implements the architects' decisions? How can a group of 10 architects maintain the conceptual integrity of a system which 1000 men are building? A whole technology for doing this was worked out for the System/360 hardware design effort, and it is equally applicable to software projects.

Written Specifications—the Manual

The manual, or written specification, is a necessary tool, though not a sufficient one. The manual is the external ...

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