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Help your folks realize the folly of not involving Dev in release dates!

 

We've all been there before. You're in a meeting with business folks who are perfectly content with committing the entire organization to some delivery date or another. But the kicker is that no-one ever asked the Development team if that date makes any sense. And Dev is merely the people who solely deliver that committment. Strange way to run a business, right? I'm running into this issue now and just came across a great way to help people realize how foolish this really is. Try this tactic next time you're faced with the same situation.

First, ask the group if any of them are married. Not concerned about if they have wives, husbands or both; we just want to find the folks with SO's. Then ask those people which ones have families; kids, cats, dogs, goldfish, again we don't care which. We're simply looking for the group that have SO's with families.

Now, focus on those people and pitch them this scenario: "I'm holding a big blowout party this weekend. There's gonna be great music, awesome BBQ and tons of cool people. I'm inviting your entire family, but you have to bring them all, AND I need a commitment right now that you'll all be there. Can you commit?"

If anyone says yes then they are probably insane or otherwise deranged. Every person interested in marital harmony will of course run this invite through their SO first. Now ask them, "You aren't willing to risk a night on the couch for a party, and that's the wise course. So why are you willing to risk this company on a commitment that the people doing the work haven't had a say in?"

What you've achieved is setting some context for what is going on. I'm not sure where the practice of comitting to un-vetted delivery dates originates, but it needs to stop. Hopefully this short conversation will get people to realize this and change their ways.

Good luck!

Author Bio:
Lee Allison
Author: Lee AllisonWebsite: http://www.allisonagile.com
Agile Coach
Lee is an experienced Agilist and IT professional who loves the people-centric nature of Agile practices. He and his awesome family live in Austin, TX where they watch the Cowboys, brew beer, laugh and wish the weather weren't so damn hot!