One time, I was working on a big project, and the boss asked me when it would be finished. I said it would be finished in April. He stated that it had to be done by February, or we'd miss the market window. He told me to write down on the board everything I'd need to get it done by February. I put down a bunch of stuff: hardware, test equipment, resources, and so forth. Pretty much filled up the board. He barely glanced at it, and said "Okay, you can have all that stuff. Now can you promise to have it done by February?" I grinned evilly and said "Sure!" Then he said "Okay, we'll have a weekly progress meeting..." whereupon I interrupted him, and pointed to "NO MEETINGS" in my list of requirements. He started complaining that he wouldn't know if we were on schedule without meetings. I pointed out that it was my requirement to meet the schedule, and wasn't my promise worth anything? If so, then the meeting weren't needed. If the meetings were needed to monitor things, why did he try to get me to promise a schedule? "The schedule is: I finish it by February. No meetings needed." He wasn't satisfied, and stomped off in a huff.

Several days later, he came to me, chuckling. He'd just gotten the new roll-out schedule from the government. They wouldn't be ready before April.

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November 2013

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