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Category: Programming
Tags: #project-management #lessons-learned
Published: 2020-9-28

Documenting Decision Related Risk

Last year I was asked to quote a project.

Me: "Based on these requirements, it will take 6 weeks to deliver."

Them: "Can you do it in 4?"

Me: "Most likely but it will be tight and I may have to cut a couple of corners."

Them: "Ok. Do it."

2 weeks later..

Them: "WE NEED TO TURN THIS OVER TO QA IN ONE WEEKS TIME!"

Me: :|

I delivered the project the next week. It passed QA and was deployed to production. A couple of weeks later I was invited to a meeting to discuss some performance issues related to a background task.

Them: "Had you taken a different approach, it would perform much faster. Why did you make that architectural decision?"

Me: :|


What did I learn?

Any time someone decides to throw the agreed upon schedule out of the window, the potential risks involved with that decision need to be clearly documented in an email. Had I done a better job of communicating that, maybe they wouldn't have pushed to trim another week off of my already compressed schedule? At a minimum, at least I would have had a risk register to refer to during the discussion.

Lesson learned.