I was hired to work specifically on a new project for a large company. After working there for 4 months the department head scheduled a team wide meeting to discuss the project.
We all gathered (about 10 people) in the meeting room, where our boss shared for the first time the milestones and deadlines for the project. He continues to state that these deadlines have already been communicated to customers, and that other departments can't do their work unless these deadlines are hit.
He then presents the designs for this new system. There are huge number of screen designs. Many iterations of revisions took place to reach this point. Much of the database design has already been decided and many of the technologies to be used were already decided, but very little work had been done in the area of programming the software.
The first deadline is was 2 months away.
I am only 1 of 2 programmers hired to work on the project.
I speak up during the meeting and say something to this effect:
You've outlined here a schedule for the project that is directly inline with the milestones of the business. The business has to achieve X on that date Y and therefore the project has to be finished by Y. You're only looking at the business side of things. Software development doesn't work like that. These things require estimates, and those estimates drive what features can get finished by date Y. This is all made more difficult by the fact that there are only 2 programmers here and we still don't know what our output level is.
This did not go over well with my boss. I was taken aside after the meeting and reprimanded by my boss. Later, while returning to my desk another manager from another department stops me in the hallway to voice his concerns about me not hitting the deadlines.
After returning to my desk. Another manager sees I'm feeling down and comes to sit down besides me. She says something like this:
Let me give you some advice. I've been working here for 7 years, and you know how I've survived this long. I don't talk in meetings and I don't ask questions. I just mind my own business. If you want to work here. You should follow my advice.
- Do you think she was right?
- Why do you think she was right or wrong?
- How would you define the company's culture?
- Is this typical of companies in this situation?