Today, April 1, seems like a good day to bring forward an important new idea. In fact, I think this may be the next big thing.

One of the well-understood problems with software development project management is that it is often impossible to completely specify the complete work breakdown with certainty. The longer the project and the more innovative the project, the more uncertain the work breakdown items. This is addressed in iterative, agile planning by identifying the summary work items and then adding detail as the project evolves. Another source of uncertainty is the dependency between the summary items. This uncertainty in turn makes critical path analysis for such programs problematic. In fact there is a whole ensemble of project critical paths, each with some likelihood. For the physics literate, this ensemble of paths is much like Feynman Path Integrals in quantum theory. The math is pretty hairy (see this elementary description). Fortunately, as Feyman also pointed out, one can simulate quantum mechanics with quantum computers. I am no expert in quantum computing, but even so I have a proposal: Quantum Informed Projects (QuIPs). The idea is to represent work items as QItems using QBits from quantum computing.. Then we can represent the project as a set of entangled QItems and using a suitablly large quantum computer to calculate the wave function for the critical path.

My understanding is that we do not yet have large enough enough quantum computers to make this practical. However, the same is true for implementing other useful quantum algorithms (see this example). So we can start by building algorthms. There is no time like the present (not accounting for the quantum uncertainty of measuing time) So on this special day, lets turn our attention to QuiPs.

## Comments (2)

1ClayEW commented PermalinkThis is exactly what I've been looking for! I have so much tangling among my work items that understanding the wave function of the critical path would be really helpful.

2JimDensmore commented PermalinkIf this paradigm can transmogrify me into someone else, that might be useful! I'm not always really here, and this would solve that. And the PMs could probably double count me if they don't have to pin me down, because if you're not pinned down you can occupy a larger quantum space, right?