Honnest Planning

“Think about it this way. Management has just said, “We have this key project, and the best date we think you can make it is nine months.” If you don’t counter with another date, they will hold you to nine months. Unfortunately, if you just guess a later date, they will ask you why. And if you don’t have a good answer, they will either ignore your date or get somebody who doesn’t argue. Management doesn’t know how long the job will take, and neither do you. If you knew, and if you could convince them you knew, they would accept your date. If the project really will take 12 months, the last thing most managers want is a commitment to deliver in 9 months. You work for them, and they will also be held accountable for your schedule. They could easily lose their jobs if your project fails, and all you would lose is a chance to have another disaster. That would probably be a relief, at least after this project.”

Reference: “Reflections on Management – How to Manage Your Software Projects, Your Teams, Your Boss, and Yourself”, Watts S. Humphrey and William R. Thomas Addison-Wesley, 260 pages, IBSN 978-0-321-71153-3