Programmer pilot fish is approached by some of the company's engineers. Can fish whip up a small database to track issues on the manufacturing line as they run tests? Sure, says fish.

But before he can get started, a newly hired engineer gets wind of the project. This is too big for one programmer to handle, engineer tells fish's manager. What's needed is a robust system that will not only track the tests but also run the manufacturing line.

"And so the feeding frenzy begins!" says fish.

"Consultants are brought in. The engineer is wined and dined.

"To put in a really good system, a network will have to be put on the line. That's added to the project charter.

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