The upgrade symphony: Putting together your dream team

Symphony No. 4 in C major (Requiem für meine Tochter),” composed by Franz Schmidt, begins with a solitary trumpet. One minute into the piece it is joined by strings, building shortly into a crescendo of beauty. After a beat, a harp joins the chorus of strings, adding to the ethereal harmony.

Soon, it is nearly impossible to distinguish when instruments drop in and out of the composition, so wondrously do their sounds intertwine.

I’ve never conducted a symphony, but I have performed in one – if playing the flute in my elementary school band counts – and have been a project manager through many software upgrades. While they might sound like totally different activities, both playing in orchestras and leading upgrades requires precise actions from key players with deliberate timing in order to produce a beautiful melody. If even one piece of your upgrade team is out-of-sync, it can cause your whole orchestra to suffer.

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