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Re^2: Programmers Nostrums

by BioLion (Curate)
on Nov 25, 2009 at 14:19 UTC ( #809337=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Programmers Nostrums
in thread Programmers Nostrums

Give extreme timeframes. If someone needs something done, tell him or her it will be done in a week, and hand it to them 3 days later.
I got told about this one by a senior colleague (sp?), and it is the best lesson i ever learnt: People are pleased when you finish 'early' and not angry when (inevitably) your timeframe was over-ambitious and things take longer than you expect! Brilliant.

It also helps combat the extreme under-estimation of timeframes by non-programmers:

"All you have to do is click a button! Why will this take so long!?"
"Well, first i have to build the button..."

Just a something something...


Comment on Re^2: Programmers Nostrums
Re^3: Programmers Nostrums
by planetscape (Canon) on Nov 25, 2009 at 20:24 UTC
    I got told about this one by a senior colleague (sp?), and it is the best lesson i ever learnt: People are pleased when you finish 'early' and not angry when (inevitably) your timeframe was over-ambitious and things take longer than you expect! Brilliant.

    Well, it worked for Scotty:

    James T. Kirk: How much refit time before we can take her out again?

    Montgomery Scott: Eight weeks, Sir, [Kirk opens his mouth] but ya don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for ya in two.

    James T. Kirk: Mr.Scott. Have you always multiplied your repair estimates by a factor of four?

    Montgomery Scott: Certainly, Sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?

    James T. Kirk: [over the intercom] Your reputation is secure, Scotty.

    ;-)

    HTH,

    planetscape
      Yeah, "multiply by four" is what's in the Chief Engineer's Handbook. But Captain's Guide says "divide by five", so who's f**ed up now? =)


      holli

      You can lead your users to water, but alas, you cannot drown them.
      Around 25 years ago a project manager guru (books, seminars, the lot) gave me this advice: "multiply all your estimates by pi." Not only will things take, cost, and size, over three times what you thought, but the resulting numbers look far more impressive. "It'll take 3.142 weeks" looks like you took more time and effort over that calculation than "It'll take a week".

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