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  • What is it with management/consultants that leads them to believe that restating the deadline's date, over and over and over again, will suddenly magically make it attainable?

    – That's 5 days' work.
    – But the deadline is %date%
    – I know. But it's still 5 days' work.
    – So will you be finished by %date%?
    – No, it's 5 days' work.
    – But the deadline is %date%.

     

    AAAARGH.

    Communication- and/or general tips on how to break out of such a sitation = welcome.



  •  "Just the place for a Snark!" the Bellman cried,

    As he landed his crew with care;

    Supporting each man on the top of the tide

    By a finger entwined in his hair.


    "Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:

    That alone should encourage the crew.

    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:
    What i tell you three times is true

    ."

    Apparently managment don't understand that Lewis Carroll was writing a satire.

    Darn shame too.  The Hunting of the Snark provides a textbook example of a misstaffed project.



  • First of all, never, ever say NO.

    Saying no, makes you look like a negative person, and you create a bad atmosphere on the work enviroment. Or some crap like that. I don't remember, that's what I was told once, and I took it literally.

    Since then I've created my system, and it usually works pretty well. The key here is to leave email trail with CC to the right people.

    Marketing mushroom:
    -So will you be finished by %date%?

    You (by email with copy to every person involved):
    - To have it fully finished by %date% this will take 5 days.

    Marketing mushroom:
    But the deadline is %date%

    You:
    Ok I can have it done by %date% but:

    [INSERT WHATEVER APPLIES]

    • it will be a limited version (not 100% of planned functionality)
    • might not work 100% as specified
    • will be full of errors
    • will not be fully tested and might fail misserably.
    • might break other stuff
    • Will have to delay other projects (CC email of project leaders of these projects)
    • Our team will not be held responsible for any damage inflicted by rushing this shit
    • etc..

    Marketing mushroom:
    - OK. Great. It will be done by %date%.

    When the shit hits the fan, you have a copy of the email, and you can tell the shroom: "I told you so"

    More seriously I usually suggest dividing whatever crap they want in stages, so they at least they have something to show by %date%.
    By %date% we can have First Stage. (A.K.A as "coming soon", "under construction", disabled buttons, etc).

    Sometimes they simply just don't want to hear NO.
    Sometimes they offered some customer some crap by %date% without consulting with you first. So giving them "something" it's enough.

    At least that's my experience with marketing type of people.

    Of course sometimes you just have to roll the newspaper and being calmed and assertive hit them in the mouth with a loud and dry "NO".



  •  @fatdog said:

    More seriously I usually suggest dividing whatever crap they want in stages, so they at least they have something to show by %date%.

    By %date% we can have First Stage. (A.K.A as "coming soon", "under construction", disabled buttons, etc).

    Sometimes they simply just don't want to hear NO.
    Sometimes they offered some customer some crap by %date% without consulting with you first. So giving them "something" it's enough.

    At least that's my experience with marketing type of people.

    You were lucky.

    I had a boss once who tried to dictate an unfeasible end-date.  Somewhere along the process he tricked me into saying something like "I can meet date X but I'll have to omit features A, B and C in the first version and add them over the next mumblety-mumble weeks.  Also I can only commit to this if I have your assurance that you won't arbitrarily dump stuff from some unrelated project on me and give it the same 'top priority' as everything else that seems to come our way."

    You can see where this is going.  He conscientiously took down the entire list of conditions and then reported to his boss only that I'd said "I can meet date X".  Period.  And then his boss reports to the user that everything is on track and they can start using the feature in production on the day they asked to have it with nary an acceptance test first.

    Come date X plus one, boss's boss is storming the halls wanting to know how the schedule managed to slip and make him look bad.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    You were lucky.

    I had a boss once who tried to dictate an unfeasible end-date.  Somewhere along the process he tricked me into saying something like "I can meet date X but I'll have to omit features A, B and C in the first version and add them over the next mumblety-mumble weeks.  Also I can only commit to this if I have your assurance that you won't arbitrarily dump stuff from some unrelated project on me and give it the same 'top priority' as everything else that seems to come our way."

    You can see where this is going.  He conscientiously took down the entire list of conditions and then reported to his boss only that I'd said "I can meet date X".  Period.  And then his boss reports to the user that everything is on track and they can start using the feature in production on the day they asked to have it with nary an acceptance test first.

    Come date X plus one, boss's boss is storming the halls wanting to know how the schedule managed to slip and make him look bad.

     

    That shit doesn't happen to me. Everybody here knows that if they fuck with me, I'll kill them and dump their corpse in the river

    But to avoid being Bubba's bunkmate, I make sure the right people are aware of the situation. Of course in a 30-40 people company it's easier to accomplish this.



  • @dhromed said:

    What is it with management/consultants that leads them to believe that restating the deadline's date, over and over and over again, will suddenly magically make it attainable?

    – That's 5 days' work.
    – But the deadline is %date%
    – I know. But it's still 5 days' work.
    – So will you be finished by %date%?
    – No, it's 5 days' work.
    – But the deadline is %date%.

    AAAARGH.

    Communication- and/or general tips on how to break out of such a sitation = welcome.

    <font size="4">Just say No!</font>


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