The typical set of tasks on my plate have an attached schedule that was more or less jointly determined between me and the supervisor/lead/management team. The scheduling may have been determined by one or more of a kanban/ agile approach, one-one, or even just informally as in "how long do you think it will take?"
But sometimes the schedule is more or less "imposed" on me. This may most frequently occur due to :
- external pressures: e.g. customer hard deadline
- internal pressures: overall project status
- disagreement on difficulty/risk factor of the task
Typically when a schedule is imposed - and it was seemingly unrealistic - it does indeed turn out to require more time than allotted. So it would not seem beneficial to anyone to simply hand-wave the disparity of estimates.
How can I convey this mismatch between schedule and estimates when there is significant "insistence" on the abbreviated schedule?
Let's make some assumptions:
A reduction in scope had already been discussed and at least partially included in the current tasks set. But even with the reduced scope it still doesn't seem possible to meet the deadline.
The majority of tasks do align in estimates and delivery - so that overall there were not a mismatch in terms of productivity and job requirements. Consider these tasks somewhat as exceptions - but important ones to handle well.
Update the comments below are mostly completely off : talking about simplifying the usage of English e.g. simpler words and constructs, etc... The manager happens to value longer/more detailed (/windy to the commenters' ears ..) explanations vs shorter ones but with less meat. I don't have any trouble getting across the message in terms of usage of the English language.. It is about getting buy-in. In addition this is not a normal situation - this had not been an issue with other managers. Back to the "style" - I can and do adjust as needed.