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

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Chapter 10. The Documentary Hypothesis

The hypothesis:Amid a wash of paper, a small number of documents become the critical pivots around which every project's management revolves. These are the manager's chief personal tools.

The technology, the surrounding organization, and the traditions of the craft conspire to define certain items of paperwork that a project must prepare. To the new manager, fresh from operating as a craftsman himself, these seem an unmitigated nuisance, an unnecessary distraction, and a white tide that threatens to engulf him. And indeed, most of them are exactly that.

Bit by bit, however, he comes to realize that a certain small set of these documents embodies and expresses much of his managerial work. The preparation ...

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