I'm the main software developer on one of the products for our company, my coworker 'Bob' is in another department but works with the product I build in some capacity (non-technical).
The situation is yesterday after closing time, I was still working and was approached by Bob about a request the CEO had made for him to do, but Bob had no idea if it was even possible. The request to me seemed to be something that was possible but would require discovery time and I wasn't sure if we actually had a solution for it in place.
While I was semi-confident in how to answer, I was tentative to tell Bob. Bob has a history of going over peoples heads to managers and 'exaggerating' details to shift any blame from Bob to another. This actually happened to me a couple months back, so I know it isn't just rumor.
So with that context set, what would be an effective way of handling this answering to Bob? Chances are if the CEO pushes back, Bob will throw me under the proverbial 'bus'. Not saying my CEO is unreasonable that more development time might be needed to provide the correct solution, more how to handle a coworker like Bob.
Feels like a trap, I either refuse to venture an answer, and then I'm labeled as non-compliant, or I venture an answer (that may or may not be correct), and perhaps get undeserved blame. What I did was to give my answer, stressing that discovery time was needed and I wasn't saying 'no'. But have been second guessing since...