Please, Stop Letting the Sales Team Drive the Software Schedule

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My friend Thomas Wagner has a small epiphany of sorts. At first, I thought he was writing the biography of my first year at my current job. But apparently this is quite common among businesses.

Very frequently the profit center of a company drives the development schedule and also drives the pressure being excerted on a developer or team. Can you guess who the people are that drive most of the profit? Those crazy lunatics in the Sales Dept.! Yes, the flunkies who like to bend reality in order to make a deal. Those are the folks that set your schedule and drive your work.

Just the other day, I was working on a task that requires certain deliverables from the marketing team be in my hand before I can even begin. Of course those items were delivered late, but naturally I get several emails in the span of the day asking for the status with wording like

This is something a client is waiting to see and technically it’s already late. Yadda yadda please get it done ASAP.

My reply was edited slightly to protect the guilty.

I’ll tell you what, I will personally bend space, time and reality so that the deliverables will have been delivered to me a week prior to the day they actually were. And then I will personally spike everyone’s water with SPEED so they will have been working faster this entire time, and I will swap out our networks with a 1 TB connection so data will have been transferred faster. Also, I’ll swap out our systems with quantum computers so that they too aren’t limited by the silly constraints of a linear time continuum.

Of course, we have to remember that Sales and Marketing guys have their own pressures and are human too. Sometimes they aren’t all flunkies and can even be intelligent and witty as his reply indicates:

I think I saw a quantum computer at the local pawn shop... crazy shit.

Afterwards I reminded myself not to be such a jackass to this guy. But then again, the more of a jackass I am, the funnier he gets.

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