HR: Democrats as useless as software project managers

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005 12:16 pm by Neal

HR, commenting on the nationalreview article below, observes that there is a hard limit to what can be “planned” in any complex endeavor, and that when it comes to Democrat’s criticism of Bush’s “plan” in Iraq, they are as useless as software project managers. This is an excellent point, and one I can relate to.

” …
Progress has not been constant, of course, because plans rarely work out
the way they are supposed to. I hope NRO readers will forgive me for
once more reminding them of the observation by Helmuth von Moltke, chief
of the Prussian general staff during the wars of German unification,
that “no plan of operation extends with any certainty beyond the first
contact with the main hostile force. Only the layman thinks that he can
see in the course of the campaign the consequent execution of the
original idea with all the details thought out in advance and adhered to
until the very end.
… ”

HR has these comments:

This is so very, very true! It is relevant to the twist and turns in Iraq, to the rescue operations in New Orleans after Katrina, and to the process of software development. In fact it applies to all human significant endeavors. The “hostile forces” may not be an army per se; they can just be normal human failings or the “friction” of accomplishing any complex task where things just go wrong.

The Democrats are playing the role of software project managers when they say everything would be peachy in Irag if we just had a perfect plan. ( Software project managers are often as clueless and useless as the Democrats. ) Perfect plans always fall apart in complex and novel situations because humans don’t even have perfect knowledge not to mention psychic fore-knowledge. Having a rigid, perfect plan is as bad as no plan, maybe worse, because whatever you are doing, with or without a plan, it has to be adjusted to the situation on the ground. The Democrats are on record as defeatist pessimists who sit back and pettily carp as Monday morning quarterbacks because Bush did or does not have a perfect plan for Iraq.

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