How do you get tech teams to commit to a deadline?

Vijay Anand
14 replies
This seems to be a problem with almost every startup - there is a tentative date as to when the product would be ready, and the marketing team would like to start making plans. Just that the timeline never works and the launch dates are usually postponed or the team realises that v1 of the product still has a lot of bugs. This doesn't seem to be just a small company issue. Companies like Red Projekt suffered the same issue with Cyberpunk. If anyone has managed to tame this issue, would love to hear the things you do.


Dimitris Karavias
This is a technology issue in general, main causes: 1. Unknown unknowns 2. Devs never believe the date they give you. If you keep pushing them they will just give you the date you want to make you go away. You can only work around this issue: 1. Respect your experts. There are complications you don't understand if you're not developing the product. If your team seems super-confused then hire a strong lead/CTO who can find better solutions and guide them. Hire QA and listen to them to get a clear picture of your status. Cyberpunk smells to me like a project where QA was told to shut up because they were holding back the release. 2. Marketing etc shouldn't even be hired before you've built a good part of the product. If you have too much cash, hire top-level devs to build faster. The CEO should be the first marketer in small companies! 3. When, inevitably, unexpected issues arise, start cutting out scope. What is really necessary to hit your first goal? (e.g. X paying customers) Cut everything that doesn't contribute to that goal. If you still have challenges, lower the initial goal.
Vijay Anand
@dkaravias I liked the part where you talk about cutting scope if it seems like it won't meet the deadline. That was a great takeaway.
Danny Casali
You don't . How about you learn to communicate better with your team and alot of these things will just fall into.
Mitchel Criger
@danny_casali @vijayanands I actually agree with him. Also make sure that you are consulting the dev team first before making any promises to the client.
Chandan Das
Ask developer regarding deadline do not give any deadline to client without disscusion with developer.
Pooran Prasad Rajanna
Tried everything - we evolved to this - planning is the key If expected delivery is 10 days ( 2 weeks) Set dev deadline for 5 days 1 day - plan all tasks 2-5 days implementation 6-7 bugs 6-8 bug fixes 9 - interim release, bugs, bug fixes 10 - final release
Dimitris Karavias
@pooran_prasad_rajanna Yes! Many managers make the mistake of being too optimistic when in fact they should add 50%-100% buffers, depending on the project.
Michael Douma
Wrong question. How do you scope work and testing to fit a deadline?
Fred Melanson
@vijayanands The only thing that has worked for me so far is to take the tech teams' ETA, double it and there goes my release/marketing date haha... Maybe a second thing: Taking more time for planning/scoping before they start coding