Priority Change

We are completing the work on a software maintenance contract. Our customer wants us to fix some critical bugs before we leave. The software staff is decreasing as people leave for other jobs. Therefore everyone is doing more work at the moment.

I saw an e-mail from our customer headquarters inquiring whether they should increase the priority of some problems we are working. Their goal was to get the fixes done ASAP. We had a conference call to discuss the trouble tickets. Headquarters again asked whether they should up the priority.

So I diverted the question to our contract sponsor in the client organization. They wondered how much progress we had made on the high priority tickets. I told them not much. I cautioned that increasing the priority would not get the problem solved quicker. In fact it might delay the resolution since there is more status reporting overhead when the priority of a ticket is high.

For now I have talked everyone into holding off from any priority changes. But I got with my developers and told them to drop everything and work on the high priority tasks. I have also been monitoring their progress and providing help when they need it. This is what the customer wants a team lead to be doing. My trouble in doing this is that I also serve as a developer myself, and have my own normal work to do in addition to the team lead duties. I hope we can knock out these high priority problems quickly.