A month ago, my team got called to headquarters to discuss lateness in the schedule. We were behind. And upper management did not know why. I broke it down to them. We have the ability to accurately predict how long it takes to do stuff. You need to schedule that amount of time for developers to do the work. If you do not, guess what? You become behind schedule.

At this meeting we showed how our estimate put the current task way behind schedule. The big bosses said that was not acceptable. My team leader came up with some tricks to slice the work so it looked like we were not that far behind. But this was just smoke and mirrors. We were then signed up to meet an ambitious schedule. I took up the challenge. After all, I am not a slacker.

This week a lower level manager told me I needed to take on a lot of new stuff. I told him that would put us behind schedule. He said that was fine. I told him we needed the blessing of upper management. It took a while to schedule a conference call from the suits at headquarters. However they wanted to know how we were getting into this situation. The top dog directed me to project the time needed to do the new stuff, determine the impact to the current schedule, and let him know who else could help us make the current schedule.

I did my due diligence. After a while I had a list of tasks with expected durations for the new work. Then I showed how this would have a direct impact on the current schedule, slipping it to the right. Finally I gave suggestions on how adding new people to the task would help pull the schedule in. Do you know what the response from the top manager was? He asked what my plan was to meet the current schedule without adding resources. That was precious. He mentioned that I could extend work days and work weekends to make it so. I guess the reason why he gets paid the big bucks. Go figure. More on this crazy situation later.