Sales, your “missing feature” risking a moderate order doesn’t drive my backlog

Sales often uses the urgency of a pending order to attempt to leverage a feature insertion into a development effort. Product management must hold the line

The Dude is taking a pull on his first Caucasian of the morning (a morning that promises MANY to be consumed), and is reflecting on an exchange recently with a sales manager. Turns out that they had promised something that they “assumed” was in the product for a large tender in Europe. Truth be told, it should have been in the product, but it was “missed” by both product management and QA at launch time. Oops. We are working on it now, but realistically, it is 4 months away.

Now come the wheedling. The customer is threatening to cancel the order because of this. The customer wants to apply penalties because this feature isn’t there. The customer is not satisfied with the real date, and wants it delivered in early January (less than 4 weeks away now). The Reseller is losing confidence in us.

Call the Whhhhaaaaaaaambulance.

Sales droid, when I meant that it was a 3 – 4 month effort, I wasn’t lying, or padding the estimate. It is really a 3 – 4 month project. Also, threatening me with a $130K return, on a product line that is responsible for $75M in revenue is not really making me quiver in my boots. And as for one of our 600+ resellers being pissed off at us? Well, I think you can figure out how much I care about that.

Sigh, but The Dude knows that his boss is a former sales manager, and he will (politely) redirect my priorities to handle this sooner, regardless that it will probably delay shipment of the next major release by >> 4 months.

The Dude really needs a new career. Perhaps as a greeter at Walmart, or dispensing shoes at a local bowling alley.

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