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Background

Currently I'm interning at a medium sized software company. So far I have been getting along well with everyone and they seem to like me aswell. The only predicament I have is my current project's management. Altough this company employs techniques like: version control, scrum, code review and code refinement my manager chose not to use any of those for this project, which really saddens me as those are some of the reasons why I chose for this company in the first place.

Right now I'm about 6 weeks into the project that turned out to be alot more complex and time consuming than me or my manager predicted. This being one of the reasons I didn't speak up sooner. I was under the impression that this would be a 'quick project'.

Even worse, there seems to be a divide between my colleagues over the value of my project. To clarify I did not choose this project myself. As I delve deeper into the project more feature request pile on with no deadline set. I'm the only developer working on this project.

Question

Should I approach my manager about this questionable project management? If so, how direct should I be?

Impact

At its current stage the project statisfies all my graduation needs, so scrapping it now would be undesired.

  • Scrum might not make sense if you're working on something by yourself. About version control, did your manager explicitly ask you not to use it? – rath Jan 10 '18 at 16:02
  • @rath I started working on this as if it was a short project, so with my little insight into the company at the time I assumed that my manager would assign tools like version control and help set it all up. In hindsight this never happend and I should have raised my concerns much sooner. – AFriendlyGuy Jan 10 '18 at 16:10
  • The project satisfies all my graduation needs. If the project fails do you still get credit? – paparazzo Jan 10 '18 at 16:17
  • @Paparazzi If it failed it would statisfy about half of the goals that are needed to graduate. The goals can be spread out over multiple projects. – AFriendlyGuy Jan 10 '18 at 16:20
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    @AFriendlyGuy I depend a lot on version control. Mostly to protect myself from myself. There is no reason why you can't use a local repository, and push everything to another one if and when one is allocated to you. This would be my tip to you, if I may. – rath Jan 10 '18 at 16:32
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Right now I'm about 6 weeks into the project that turned out to be alot more complex and time consuming than me or my manager predicted. This being one of the reasons I didn't speak up sooner. I was under the impression that this would be a 'quick project'.

It sounds very much like your manager had the same impression going into the project as you did, and that being the case I can understand why they might choose not to add the overhead of the full project management apparatus on to a small project. It's quite possible that they now realize their mistake but feel that it would be detrimental to the project to try and implement it now the project is already well under way.

Should I approach my manager about this questionable project management? If so, how direct should I be?

If you have a good rapport with your manager I'd be tempted to raise your concerns - but not in a critical way. Instead raising it more like:

It seems as if the requirements for this project are significantly greater than we first thought and it's getting a bit unmanageable, should we put something in place to control this?

As for what the situation means for you personally i.e:

At its current stage the project satisfies all my graduation needs, so scrapping it now would be undesired.

I think that says it all - if the project is giving you what you need out of the internship then regardless of whether the manager decides to add in some PM mechanisms or not you are all good, if nothing else having to do a complex project without the benefits of good project management methodologies teaches you just how important they are which is a valuable learning experience in it's own right!

  • I think your proposed response sounds perfect. I will accept your answer tomorrow unless somone else comes up with something better (which I doubt). FYI I do have good rapport with my manager so I will definitely raise my concerns. – AFriendlyGuy Jan 10 '18 at 16:03
  • @AFriendlyGuy happy to help! hope it goes well for you. – motosubatsu Jan 10 '18 at 16:07

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