Top priority



  • I had a conversation with my PM, where I asked him to list all the tasks he wants done in an email (so I'd have an organized list rather than "don't forget X" and "don't forget Y" said to me at random times throughout the day), and more importantly to prioritize them so I'd know what to work on first. I then got an email:
    @PM said:

    Hi configurator,

    Here's a list of the current critical tasks:

    • Bug X
    • Bug Y
    • Bug Z
    • ...
    • Any other bug assigned to you in the issue tracker
    • Feature A
    • Feature B
    • ...

    All tasks are top priority.

    Thanks,
    PM



  • Give yourself an easy time and fix the low-hanging fruit first.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    If all tasks are top priority, then all tasks are also bottom priority.



  • I love how very few, if any, people ever understand what priority actually means.  It doesn't mean that some random feature that's used in one page is higher than a critical bug prevening people from working.  It doesn't mean that if your people are too lazy to do something manually that you need to drop everything to automate the process.



  • First of all, having a list of things without a timeframe for each of them isn't very helpful. "Any other bug assigned to you in the issue tracker" is of course a no-go.
    I would take the list, try to order them in a way that you can get the best leverage by working on related items at the same time and make an estimate. Then you multiply your estimates with some factor (we use Pi) and go back to the PM with the schedule for his okay. Of course he will not like it that feature B or Bug Y will take so much time to get fixed, but it will force him to either properly prioritize or involve more people (or force you to work 120hrs a week (or more)).



  • @solitario said:

    without a timeframe

    Don't get me started on time frames...

    PM: I want X done by the end of the day.
    Me: I'm rather new here, and I've never seen that part of the program, but can already tell that this task is going to take at least 3 days.
    PM: I think you can get it done today. You'll see when you look at the code
    Me: You might be right, but I'm not promising anything.
    (next morning)
    PM: Why isn't it done yet? You have to start keeping up to the schedules you agree to.

    He keeps using that phrase. The schedules I agree to. I have yet to agree with him on any estimate, since he seems to think finding and changing the 10-20 places where you have to do anything in this program shouldn't take any longer than a minute, because after all, the change only 1 line of code... Unless you want it to actually work.



  • Also, bugs don't get a time frame, I'm supposed to somehow absorb them and still get my tasks done at the same speed.



  • Simply:

    1. Find the entry point, the 'main'
    2. Change one line: at the very begninning of 'main', put a 'return;'
    3. ???
    4. Bug Free Code!


  • @configurator said:

    PM: Why isn't it done yet? You have to start keeping up to the schedules you agree to.

    He keeps using that phrase. The schedules I agree to. I have yet to agree with him on any estimate...

    Maybe I'm alone, but I developed a surprisingly low tolerance for that type of BS a long time ago. That pattern of behavior from my boss would have me job-hunting immediately (and I have had no trouble finding suitable work, though I cannot speak to your skill set, location, or other circumstances). Of course, if the PM is not your boss, and you have a working relationship with your boss that makes this idea a good one, consider interacting almost entirely in writing (e-mail) with the PM with CC to your boss. I know that has been suggested to you already. If you can appear reasonable, and the PM appears unreasonable, maybe you have some hope of changing this situation.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I like to leave a paper trail of what I have and have not agreed to, as well as when I've escalated issues to management or warned them of risks.



  • @corgimonster said:

    Filed under: Free advice worth every penny

    Note that I'm not looking for advice, just venting.



  • @PM said:

    Hi configurator,

    Here's a list of the current critical tasks:

    • Bug X

     

    .. I'd treat that as a prioritised list. Write them up on the board, do them in the order stated, cross off each one as you do it, add any new assignments to the bottom of the list.

    @configurator said:

    PM: Why isn't it done yet? You have to start keeping up to the schedules you agree to.

    Configurator: I will, once given a schedule that's agreeable.

    You better show him Six-week Steve.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    I love how very few, if any, people ever understand what priority actually means.
     

     Oh, they know what it means. It's just a prep-for-blame-throwing technique. People who do this, watch out for them, they are evil.



  • @configurator said:

    @corgimonster said:
    Filed under: Free advice worth every penny

    Note that I'm not looking for advice, just venting.

    It's unpossible to post here without people thinking you're asking for advice. See: any of my threads.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    It's unpossible to post here without people thinking you're asking for advice.

    In that case I suggest... um... wait a second!



  • @configurator said:

    All tasks are top priority.

    That is correct; all tasks shown are top priority. As opposed to lower priority tasks, such as your wife, your children, your home, your sick dog, the overdue car payment, etc.

     

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @configurator said:
    @corgimonster said:
    Filed under: Free advice worth every penny

    Note that I'm not looking for advice, just venting.

    It's unpossible to post here without people thinking you're asking for advice. See: any of my threads.

     

    Well all it takes is a smal change of mindset to fix that.

    After all, one is throwing their woes into a pool of tinkerers. What could one expect to happen?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @configurator said:
    @corgimonster said:
    Filed under: Free advice worth every penny

    Note that I'm not looking for advice, just venting.

    It's unpossible to post here without people thinking you're asking for advice. See: any of my threads.

    You poor delicate little flower.  All you want is for people to bow down in silent awe as you lecture them from on high with your mighty wisdom, but what you keep on getting is a conversation.  How terrible that must be for you.

    Perhaps you have mistaken this site for your personal blog.

     



  •  Is it me or have you become really sarcastic of late, DaveK? Fed up with your job? Blakey peed on your cupcakes?



  • My advice, fix the bugs first : http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000043.html

    Adding features will introduce more bugs, so fix the bugs first.



  • @DaveK said:

    @blakeyrat said:

    @configurator said:
    @corgimonster said:
    Filed under: Free advice worth every penny
    Note that I'm not looking for advice, just venting.
    It's unpossible to post here without people thinking you're asking for advice. See: any of my threads.

    You poor delicate little flower.  All you want is for people to bow down in silent awe as you lecture them from on high with your mighty wisdom, but what you keep on getting is a conversation.  How terrible that must be for you.

    Perhaps you have mistaken this site for your personal blog.

     

    Wait.... This isn't Blakeyrat's personal Blog??  I've been on the wrong site all these years?



  • @Medezark said:

    Wait.... This isn't Blakeyrat's personal Blog??
     

    No. It's snoofle. We're just the comments section.



  • @dhromed said:

    Is it me or have you become really sarcastic of late, DaveK?
     

    His time of the month. Make allowances.

    It'll happen to you when you get older.



  • @dhromed said:

     Is it me or have you become really sarcastic of late, DaveK? Fed up with your job? Blakey peed on your cupcakes?

    Nope that was me, I just framed Blakey.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    @configurator said:

    All tasks are top priority.

    That is correct; all tasks shown are top priority. As opposed to lower priority tasks, such as your wife, your children, your home, your sick dog, the overdue car payment, etc.

    http://search.dilbert.com/comic/Priority%20List

     



  • @configurator said:

    He keeps using that phrase. The schedules I agree to. I have yet to agree with him on any estimate

    Are you in the Netherlands, by any chance? Since around here, in many situations (especially when dealing with government officials who hold some kind of power over you) the phrase "we agreed that …" really means "I told you to …" — even if they probably don't even realise it themselves.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @joe.edwards said:

    If all tasks are top priority, then all tasks are also bottom priority.

    This. If nobody else will prioritize, you get to do it according to whatever whim you feel like. Work down a bit of technical debt so that your life at least is easier in the future.

     

    If you're really really lucky, you'll get something done before the management notice and order you to do something else.



  • @dhromed said:

     Is it me or have you become really sarcastic of late, DaveK? Fed up with your job? Blakey peed on your cupcakes?

    I've always been really sarcastic.  I just have a bit more spare time at the moment :-)



  • @Gurth said:

    in many situations (especially when dealing with government officials who hold some kind of power over you) the phrase "we agreed that …" really means "I told you to …"
     

    In some places, it means "I seem to remember once having a dream in which I told you to..."



  • @da Doctah said:

    In some places, it means "I'm convinced I told you of this despite having no evidence I did but I'll proceed on the assumption I did anyway."
     

    FTFY...


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