Another Year, Another Bitter Lesson For Jim Manzi

For Jim Manzi, it's another unwelcome lesson in software-crisis management. Four years ago, with a major new product a year late, the chief executive of Lotus Development Corp. learned how dangerous it is to let programming schedules slip. This year, he's learning how damaging it can be to release a product too soon. The newest version of the 1-2-3 spreadsheet, the first designed for Microsoft Corp.'s hot-selling Windows graphics system, was shipped in August--rife with bugs. A month later, the company had to replace it. Two months after that, on Nov. 21, W. Frank King III--the manager who had brought IBM-style discipline to Lotus' floundering development organization in 1988--was gone.

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