312

A lot of good advice here but I'll add my 2 cents Never negotiate the Price, Negotiate the Features Time is your currency and your budget is low. Here's a sample script (manager goes first): - I want it now - OK. What are the features? - A, B and C. - In that timeframe I can only do one. Which one is the most important? - A smart guy like you ...


217

My advice? Quit. I know it's the quintessential answer to every other Workplace question on SE but let's look at the facts. You have no effective allies within the company. No one involved here is in your corner in the slightest. You, the developer who is working on the nuts and bolts of this thing, are being completely ignored in favour of people who haven'...


185

Imposing deadlines without consulting the implementers and then rejecting their feedback is sign of a toxic work environment. Demanding that you compensate for their incompetence via a "death march" (a project under-funded by about half) is even more toxic. You seem like a competent fellow, so my immediate reaction is Get out right now, and build a happier ...


156

Should I do anything further (if so how) in terms of bringing this up to management, project manager, etc? They've already paid you in terms of your "expenses" and given you extra time off, so I'd think there's no point other than to vent anger (which is a bad idea). How can I approach booking any future time off given that this could happen again? ...


125

Admit your mistakes quickly Explain what you did wrong Explain what you will do to fix them Explain how you will make sure this will not happen again Don't make the same mistake again.


108

The right thing to do is to tell them as early as possible that you will be missing the deadline. The problem for the customer is usually not that you are missing the deadline. The problem is usually that you are missing the deadline while they expect you to hit it. They may be preparing to switch from an old system to a new one nine days from now. If you ...


103

Own your mistakes before someone else brings them up Explain how you won't repeat your mistakes Have a solution to the current problem ready (i.e. show how you'll get caught up with your work) Then, in the future: Notify people at the first sign of trouble. I always told my people this simple truth. If you bring it up before a deadline, it's an issue to ...


74

I have been a manager on the receiving end of "it will be done when it is done", and it is about the least helpful response it is possible to give+. Saying that and nothing else lands you in severe danger of being considered uncooperative. You absolutely must give more information. To explain a bit more about the 'why' of that, in a software project there ...


74

I don't think it's appropiate to limit what people do outside working hours. It's their private life, and if a person wants, for example, to go skydiving the weekend before you are supposed to deliver a project, he/she is entitled to. It's a different scenario if by contract this kind of risky activity is forbidden (e.g. a professional football player and ...


66

Your manager and CEO seem to be awfully inexperienced. Apparently they believe that by changing the deadline they can make a project finish earlier. Which anyone can tell you is extreme nonsense. Your CEO also seems to think that making you feel guilty about a broken hard drive somehow magically fixes it. They don’t seem to realise that the responsibility ...


62

NOTE: The manager has little to no technical background. So this manager, presumably, had time to develop a technical background but has not done so. Why? He either is uninterested or unable. Keep that in mind going forward. "I need a fleet system in 14 days". I am sorry boss, but it will take 28 days. That is the soonest I can deliver. There is no ...


49

You say "I've never left a project unfinished before." It is time to start. Every professional will quit a job at some point when the client is unreasonable. There are bosses and clients that can not be satisfied and have to be fired. When I am willing to quit and walk out the door, I am far stronger in any meetings or negotiation. Having worked on a ...


44

Non-technical people have no idea how long new features and changes will take, they just know how much they want them. You're acting like a junior engineer, assuming that your boss is doing the estimation and planning - but they're not! Instead that important part of the project just isn't happening. You've got two choices here. One is to leave and find an ...


42

When you are asked to estimate due dates, is there a especially polite or clever way of say it is "Done when it is done" ? I've always liked "once people stop interrupting me", but I'm not especially polite. Is the only way to say, "I can't say right now, check with me at [given time]" ? Certainly not. There are companies/cultures where "When it's done."...


40

Struggling to finish project, how to tell coworker? At this point you need to be open and honest about the status of the project. Honesty and transparency are usually your best ally when it comes to a project's status. ( Just tell the co-worker as soon as possible ) You have made a mistake in not disclosing the status of the project, but one that I think ...


38

You have absolutely done the wrong thing. Here's how: You disregarded a direct order from your boss to not do the out of hours work. He might have some things planned like review processes on how/why after hours work is necessary for a number of possible reasons. He might have even been working on trying to get you guys a better deal (time in lieu or ...


36

I would say something like "we'll do our best, but as we've shown, we won't be able to deliver. We'll be glad to negotiate over this. You could pay us to work extra hours, buy us dinner for the nights we work late, or we could cut features or cut quality. How would you like us to proceed?". Of course, every situation is different. If this is the first time ...


36

How should a leader behave when he misses deadlines himself? Leaders need to be held accountable just like anyone else. If they missed a deadline they should: Admit to missing the deadline Apologize for missing the deadline Explain the reason(s) for missing the deadline Explain the steps that they will take to prevent this from happening in the future. ...


33

As soon as the work is assigned to you, if you don't have a deadline, get one. It sounds like you're in a supporting role and might support a number of other people in the business. Every task that you have should be assigned a due date. If you are assigned work that doesn't have a due date with it, you need to ask for it. I'd phrase the request similar to: ...


33

No. a) There is a fair chance that this is not legal in whatever country you are in or at least not legally enforceable. b) There is no way to verify that the employee abides by the rule, which means you have not mitigated the risk, you just have replaced it with a different kind of hope:"I hope the key person has no accident." is replaced by:"I hope the ...


33

How do I approach my coworker about this? If you, with your knowledge and experience in the project, believe it is not possible to finish it on time you should have a follow-up meeting ASAP, to make sure you will not affect in a negative way your colleague's possible meeting, and with that your professional reputation. Be clear and honest with her; the Beta ...


32

Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes. You messed up. How big I don't know. I would be overtly honest to your client. They did nothing wrong. What you have left is your integrity, your ability to provide a good finished product and communication. Not telling your client what is going on is truly a crime that they will not forgive you for....


31

When you’re missing deadlines, communication is key. Explain to your client that an urgent issue has arisen, which you need to address first before being able to continue work on his project. Mention the estimated duration and a new deadline for his project. If or when your manager orders you to stop these communications, or alter them in a way you can't ...


30

You are making a fundamental mistake, and by doing so are doing both you and your company a disservice -- estimates are not negotiable. Time estimates represent your best GUESS as to how long something will take, based on your experience. You can break it down, but it's impossible to justify -- it's your opinion and experience. Working overtime doesn't ...


30

I like HLGEM's answer from a Cover Your ASSets perspective and for reasonable expectation setting on future projects. Having a personal repository of past estimates (both yours and your manager's) is extremely beneficial - both for future productive work and for an unfortunate case where a person needs to dispute an unfavorable performance review. Also the ...


30

It's relative to how long you've been waiting in the first place. What I mean is, if the deadline is June, and you set it back in January, it would be rude (over the top) to ring at 9.00am on 1st June, likewise, if someone tells you at 9.30am, that they will email you at 10.00am, the a follow up at 10.05am is probably not out of the question. Also a good ...


28

The strategy I see most often in my line of work (IT), is a bridge call. Schedule a call with everyone who's critical to this deliverable and hash out everything, including: who needs to provide what when they need to provide it (give yourself enough time to compile and submit) any blockers to the above If there is a management structure where any of the ...


28

Now I would like to know how to address the current situation (if I should) with management/PM, and how to tackle it in the future. There is not much to address the current situation. You yourself knew that it wasn't likely that the project would have been completed on the original date. You even booked your trip a few months after the original date ...


27

You should always acknowledge and report deadlines that have been missed or (better) that you now know will be missed. This applies whether you are the one who caused the delay or not. You can start by telling the person who has caused it: I see. I needed that Tuesday as you know. Not getting it until Thursday means the deploy will slip into next week. (...


27

I have faced this myself before and while you may not like to hear this, your ability to control it is quite small. As you've seen, these employees can produce a lot when you ask it of them, but they don't ask it of themselves. You have three choices: fire them and replace them with people who love this work. make this work easier to love: help them connect ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible