Cart before the horse, by next week
At 11:00am today I attended a meeting on a project that I first heard of at 10:00am.
The project has a six-month schedule. It isn't hard, but it isn't a trivial effort.
I have many questions on the required features. I have more questions regarding the interfaces with the other teams. I don't have a design in mind yet. I have disagreements with the vice president on the best way to store the data.
We covered about half the list of descriptions of required features.
This afternoon I received an email from the project manager. I have 6 days to define the Back Log Items (BLIs) and assign them to appropriate sprints. The BLIs have to have a complete description of work to be performed, and a complete list of test cases that the QA group will run to assure the developers have implemented the feature properly.
I kinda think I ought to design the damn thing before I fill out the steps to implement it, and the steps to test it.
Do you think I should ask for a day or two more than the 6 days I've been given to finalize the BLIS?
November 13th, 2017 10:07pm
Respectfully and professionally say that you will deliver the BLIs on such-and-such a date. And of course come good on the claim.
November 13th, 2017 11:18pm
This us not possible without knowing the experience of the team, and the work may exceed 6 months.
November 14th, 2017 12:39am
The PM wants a feel for the work involved, precise detail is neither required nor possible at this stage.
You could perhaps produce 'place markers' where further detail could be filled in later?
November 14th, 2017 12:44am
How can I give the PM her warm fuzzy estimate when I don't understand many of the requirements? And management disagrees on the requirements? And I don't yet know how I'll design it?
Besides, this PM does not like a any changes to BLIs once they are in "ready for development" state. She and I butt heads every project.
November 14th, 2017 12:54am
Most projects / tasks I worked on were planned by generously asking me for an estimate, I can take my time to think about it and give an honest and reliable estimate, only as long as it's less than one week.
November 14th, 2017 2:06am
I really don't miss any of this shit, it turns what would be a pleasurable job into a hellish one.
November 14th, 2017 2:51am
"The PM wants a feel for the work involved, precise detail is neither required nor possible at this stage."
What kind of talk is that? With only fuzzy detail, you'll make forecasts based on smoke. There's no way those are going to be accurate, but you KNOW she'll set them in concrete as soon as they're delivered.
That's if she doesn't quibble with each one and down-size it to fit the time SHE thinks is appropriate.
As it is, it's a lose-lose proposition. You definitely need some time to clarify requirements and create a preliminary design or two or three.
November 14th, 2017 3:15pm
And isn't it up to the QA department to specify THEIR tests?
Sounds like Premature BLI to me.
November 14th, 2017 3:16pm
Also, you MAY be fuzzy on implementation, but the INTERFACES are critically important.
I've had this done to me too -- keeping EVERYTHING fuzzy, meaning NOTHING could get done.
November 14th, 2017 3:17pm
I wrote a draft design document today.
The question section is longer than the design sections.
What could go wrong? Full speed ahead!
November 14th, 2017 4:08pm
Sounds pretty normal Legion
If we know all the answers, we don’t need the design process
November 15th, 2017 5:57am