Wireless Systems Design

Tell Us Your Worst Design Nightmares

The past few years have been tough, to say the least. Sales have dropped, cutbacks have been implemented, and staffs have been trimmed. As engineering companies have become more "streamlined," one would think that projects would run more smoothly. In contrast, some great innovations are still dying a slow death due to company mismanagement and a general lack of support.

Unfortunately, stories of mis-steps and mismanagement abound in the wireless industry. Whether designers are complaining about their management's cluelessness or their penchant for meetings, most people can relate to their stories of frustration. In my own past experience, for example, a crisis once occurred when multiple project deadlines converged. The employees who were simultaneously working on these different projects simply couldn't keep up. In response, management decided to call in people from every department to find out what had gone so terribly wrong. In the middle of this hectic crunch, 24 people were called into a one-hour meeting. We essentially lost 24 hours of work to a meeting that was called too late.

Of course, it's easy to blame management. Stories of mismanagement also are great for a chuckle. Often, however, the issues that arise from mismanagement and miscommunication only add to technical mistakes and problems. A culmination of errors causes a project's failure-not just one mistake.

To test this theory, we'd like to hear about your worst design nightmares. Please e-mail your stories to [email protected]. If your bad experience resulted in the death of a project, let us know what elements added up to the disaster. For example, did the product fail to meet the proper requirements? Or was it simply ahead of its time? In today's competitive, time-to-market-driven wireless arena, missing a deadline or falling behind the competition could be enough to put an end to a product. Many great, well-timed innovations also have been lost due to poor management or a lack of marketing.

As the industry moves into 2005, it is facing a somewhat stabilized market and increasing consumer interest. In order to succeed and prosper, wireless-systems designers and companies must learn from their mistakes. To this end, we are asking you to give us insight so that we may help other readers and the industry as a whole. In the new year, Wireless Systems Design also will welcome another editor. Lisa Maliniak is again joining our ranks as Contributing Editor. With her BS in electrical engineering and her experience as the former EDA editor for Electronic Design, Lisa has a lot of expertise to offer the wireless industry. Please join us in giving her a warm welcome.

From all of us at Wireless Systems Design, may you and your families have a happy and healthy holiday season.

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