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Rev: 01 Feb 2002.
In one of the various digressions my life has taken I did a masters degree in health informatics at the University of Minnesota. I did a class there in Project Management with Al Shenhar, a superb teacher. One of the best classes I've ever done (and I've done many).
The final class project was a paper in which we applied the course principles to a real-world project. Our paper focused on the development of the Eagle super-minicomputer at Data General, a project that was beautifully described by Tracy Kidder in his Pulitzer-prize winning book the Soul of a New Machine.
The paper, written in 1996 using MORE 3.1 on a Mac PowerBook 165 then languished on my aging Mac until William Stevenson contacted me in January 2001. He'd somehow tracked me down via an old newsgroup posting as part of research for a paper he's working on.
A lot has happened in my life in the past five years, but William's inquiry resurrected old memories. I like the paper we wrote, and I learned some things from my interviews with Data General veterans that are worth remembering. So, I'm posting it here (sorry, in PDF format -- the easiest approach in this case).
Since the paper was written I've spent five years working on a high technology/high risk software project. That experience has given me even more respect for the incredible achievement of this team. Some things have changed in the past 20 years, but not as much as one might think.
Since Google does not use indexing information stored in meta tags, I've reproduced some of the meta tags here to facilitate indexing.
<meta name="author" content="John G. Faughnan">
<meta name="keywords" content="jfaughnan,jgfaughnan,Eagle,Eclipse,Data General,DataGeneral,Project Management,Soul of a New Machine,.en-us,.us,english">
<meta name="description" content="A college paper describing the creation of the Data General eagle super-minicomputer using a project management analytic framework. Written 1996.">