It wasn't me. You can't prove anything.



One of the engineers came in my office today and wanted me to blog/vlog about managers wanting everything. What he meant was managers saying all the bugs had to be fixed and the ship day met. The engineers say it ain’t going to happen. The managers want to throw more managers at the problem.

It is the manager’s job to to talk about what is going on, make charts, make plans and make a mess. They are doing their job by dragging in engineers and technicians in to meetings.

Manager: “Where are we on project xyz?”
Engineer: “We have 37 bugs, 5 critical.”
Manager: “We need them all fixed.”
Engineer: “If we focus on the 5 critical, we can just make it to release day.”
Manager” “We need all the bugs fixed.”
Engineer: “Many of the non critical bugs will take longer to diagnose and fix than most of the critical ones.”
Manager: “But we need all the bugs fixed.”
Engineer: “You know how it goes. One gets fixed three more pop up. There will always be something else to do on a complex project like this. It will never be perfect.”
Manager: “We don’t want perfection, we need 0 bugs in the end product.”

At this point, the engineer begins to wonder if the manager is asking to be lied to. That cannot be right. That would not be right and it is clearly against policy. I do not claim to understand what the manager is thinking.

Remember just being in the meeting is fulfilling the manager’s job requirements. The engineer is being pulled off their job by being in this meeting. That is how they feel about it anyway.

Engineer: “If we know about a bug, you need to know about it.”
Manager: “Absolutely.”
Engineer: “When I say there are going to be bugs we cannot fix by this release deadline, I do not mean the system won’t work. The non critical bugs can be dealt with by support and workarounds.”
Manager: “I understand, but we are supposed to do releases with zero bugs.”
Engineer: “Just so long as there are no delays on our deadlines.”
Manager: “Right. Now you get it. ... Do you need more people, more systems, more pizza for the people staying late? What resource would make this happen?””
Engineer: “The only resource that would make this happen is time.”

They stare at one another for a moment and an outside observer can read both minds involved. “Why don’t they get it?”

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