There is room for improvement with my definition of a “clusterfuck” but lets start with the urban dictionary. The reason I am not fully agreeing to this is because the term got introduced to me by an American expat living in southern Italy during the release of a software project, we were delivering certain modules to.

A “mess”, “chaos” or a situation where “multiple things went wrong” doesn´t live up to my experience because we are talking past tense. It might be specific to the Italian nature but the clusterfuck I have seen, repeatedly, in Italian organizations, started long before due dates rush in and stayed there long after the project was gone.

Whenever my team enjoys a seasonal break / idle, which happens usually around Xmas, Easter or any other event caused by the mass absence of client related demands, they’ll use the time to clear their agenda or getting ready for the upcoming season. Some may just enjoy doing nothing which is obviously not in my interest but that’s the way it is.

When Italians are idle, they talk way more than they do whilst facing the abyss by launching a half cooked, not release-ready, guaranteed failure project. Of course, it was our job to square things out at the last chance, but the stress level was peerless.

Just to set the story straight, this is not meant to bash Italians at all, I love them, their creativity, the food, the culture, the heritage, the pathos, the hospitality and many more things I have seen whilst travelling that country. Their particular way of managing projects however is remarkable and so is the ability to talk non-stop.

Don´t be upset with me, but “Clusterfuck” is not just a state, it’s an art, one of which you should clearly avoid unless desiring failure.  

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