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I've joined a MNC recently. I've been on floor for 5 days.

At the End of induction Project Manager discussed that I'll be working on an Android Application effectively as the current person was leaving day after tomorrow.

So the Knowledge transfer was planned for 2 days.

  • 1st day I had a Knowledge transfer session on an Android Application. I don't wanna complain anything about it.
  • 2nd day I managed to get the required knowledge base on my system.

I had my 1st weekend then on 3rd day I read the docs on current Client request and shared my understanding with the System Analyst. Later day I was asked to share the Logic of accomplishing the same.

On 4th day I was told to complete the current Client request on this Friday . I was asked to share the task list and not the estimates. Then today on 5th day Project Manager also told the same thing i.e to complete the current Client request by this Friday.

I find this an unrealistic (time constraints) goal and I don't complain about the Hardware System, mobile devices and their resolution process. Because I'm not familiar with the project, none of this thing matters.

Assist me how to react towards such situation? I don't wanna even try for such unrealistic deadline. I believe without enough understanding on current implementation I won't be able to work on the current Client request.

Project Manager and System Analyst are pushing me into this because they don't intent to tell client that I'm the new person working...

  • What are "KT" and "CR"? – Jim Clay Dec 4 '19 at 17:05
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    Please replace all your acronyms with words. We are forced to guess what they mean. – Matthew Gaiser Dec 4 '19 at 17:06
  • Just guessing: KT = Kepner-Tregoe Method = problem analysis, CR = change request. I don't think those are essential for the question, since the question is about handling too short deadlines imposed by a project manager. – tritop Dec 4 '19 at 17:19
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    I would have read KT as Knowledge Transfer, the distinction could be relevant to this question. Reasonableness of deadlines is partially dependent on knowledge of the developer – cdkMoose Dec 4 '19 at 17:23
  • Ask your other colleagues (unrelated to your PM and the analyst) how many times this has happened. If they're trying to hide the fact that their last developer quit from the client, I'm guessing that this kind of thing has already happened more than once. If that's the case, you need to find out, because what happened to the last developer will probably happen to you also if you don't do something drastic. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 5 '19 at 9:12
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I find this an unrealistic (time constraints) goal

...then pull your boss in and tell him that, as soon as possible.

If you're not going to be able to meet that deadline because you're new on the project, that's likely not the end of the world - it happens. They may be able to draft in help, give the client advance notice that it's likely to be late, get someone else more experienced to walk you through it, etc.

If you sit on it for a while and then say "oh by the way, no chance that's going to be completed today" then you've put them in a much more difficult position.

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  • That's the first thing that came to my mind. But they don't intent to tell client that I'm the new person working...Plus Project Manager sits in remote location. – kevz Dec 4 '19 at 18:35
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    @kevz They don't have to tell the client you're a new person. They just need to find some way of either drafting on more resource to meet the deadline, or managing the client's expectations through whatever reason they choose. – berry120 Dec 4 '19 at 18:55
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    @kevz - If you don't speak up, and you don't meet your deadline, a discussion about you meeting the deadline is going to happen at that point. However, at that point, you would have allowed your supervisor to step in the stuff, Fido leaves for us to pick up without a heads up. If you say something ahead of time, they can clear the field, and avoid a messy situation. – Donald Dec 4 '19 at 23:37
  • Send a very strongly worded email first. Create a paper trail. Then as soon as you've sent the email to the appropriate people, pull your manager into a meeting, or if you can't do that as he seems to be in a different location, call him on the phone, and if he's not there, call the analyst at least. – Stephan Branczyk Dec 5 '19 at 9:05
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    You tell your supervisor that you are not going to meet the goal, what they tell the client it not your problem. – Jasen Dec 5 '19 at 9:35
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If you have an estimate on how long it will take, let your PM/Analyst know that so that

  1. They are aware that Friday is not possible
  2. They have an ETA

e.g.

“I’ve looked at the client request and my estimate is that it will take X days so I’m estimating delivery of this by this date ...”

If you don’t have an estimate, let them know that you don’t

e.g.

I don’t believe that I can identify how long this task will take at this time as I’m fairly new and still trying to learn the code base. I might be able to estimate this better if we have someone familiar with this that can point me in the right direction and help me determine the appropriate level of effort for this task. I would have to continue researching and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to come up with an estimate by Friday

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What I would do in your situation: Write a simple cover-your-ass mail and then do as told, as best you can.

Something along the lines: "I hereby inform you that I feel unable to complete the task given within in the desired deadline. I already start working and will do my best to complete the task. But my best guess is, it would take at least XY + there are Z unknowns. If further action or communication is needed to prevent any damages from the delay, please tell me if I can help."

Trivia: I once had the following communication with my Manager:

M: The new accounting feature we just told you about, it has to be done by next Friday.

I: Well, I m new to this whole system but I already know we need to do X,Y and Z. my best estimate is 3 months of work.

M: No, it needs to be ready next Friday

I: Ok, look, I can work overtime and I ´d even volunteer the weekend, If it could be done in this time. But even with that there is no chance of getting it anywhere near finished. We have to find a workaround for the time being.

M: It needs to be read next Friday, no workarounds.

I: It won´t be.

M: But it needs to.

I: It won´t be.

M: But it needs to.

I: Well we can play this all day, but it wont change the facts. I´m starting now. You have my estimate. Do with it what you want.

(Didn´t have to work overtime. Found a workaround for the accounting team. Took a little bit more than 3 months. None of the higher ups really complained)

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