A Professional Craftsman Journey #4
During software development You are expected to give timeframes, promises, and agreements
And you will find people from management, sales, marketing coming down to you and telling things like, we need to demo this feature in 5 weeks time
You know damn well this feature is an 8 weeks time with an error time of the week
So let’s discuss what are our Responses to this kind of situation can be...
- You agree to crunch time every min to meet an unrealistic deadline
- you deny and negotiate to reach a better deadline
- you absolutely deny it and explain why this won’t be possible and explain a better suggestion of what can be done
The Defenseless Acceptance
If your response was...
Haha, that soon? I’ll do my best
Then you are in for a big disappointment and you are basically risking your company tons of money and that is pure unprofessionalism
Even if you did meet the deadline with 5 weeks of sleeplessness and tons of cans of Redbull
not only you will deliver something that is full of bugs, but also you will damage your health greatly
and you will not gain the favor of your boss, you will be far away from that
If your whole point of doing this act is to get noticed, guess what, you got noticed for being someone whose word means nothing
In a world of professionals
a professional is someone whose word is weighted with gold
he says I can’t finish this before 8 weeks then he knows for certain that this is a 4 sprints’ work, not before and certainly not after
Negotiations to decrease the mess
If your goal was to deny that request? Then great Job, onto the negotiation phase, your manager starts to explain his situation and asks you to find a way, If you negotiated to 2 weeks and you risked 1 week, not bad, eh?
Well, it is bad, because you still not certain if you will make it, let alone if anything else came up and delayed the release for any possible reason, bugs do happen, right?
and on top, you still know that you didn’t deliver the full picture of why you need at least 8 weeks not 7 and definitely not 5, full 8 weeks that might be buffered into 2, counting up into 10 weeks of work
So you might be thinking, it’s not my problem that the sales team pitched to the client that we can do a full demo in 5 weeks
Which takes us to the next point
Complete denial with a ”Something we can workout”
Of course, you know that a 10 weeks job can’t be finished in 5 If you said that you would be lying and that is costly, so you say No
No means no, I can’t finish it
stopping here is not helping either, the company needs a way of meeting its promises, well in this case you can say, what exactly do you need and start learning more if you can finish the core requirements and make the clients see what they want
this way everyone wins, The sales team gets what they pitched, and you kept your estimates at what you initially reported to the product manager