I’m the technical consultant for a small company that produces data systems for large corporations. We’re currently mid-way through developing the next generation of our product and our company owner is looking to make a sale.
Client: Here are the requirements from this client and what they need. It has to be complete and ready to go end of May 2021 (1 month from now).
Me: I’ve reviewed what the customer needs. Based on their requirements, we’d be looking at Late 2021 to complete. As per the project plan, we’re still 6 months from completion. Plus any time needed for this client’s bespoke features.
Client: Unacceptable. We can’t be late. The customer needs it end of May.
Me: Perhaps there’s a compromise. Could we launch with a subset of features to meet their deadline, and release the remaining features as they are completed?
Client: (with zero technical knowledge) I can’t believe you’re going to be late on something that should be easy.
Me: If you want everything they’ve asked for, it’s 6 months’ work. Otherwise, we have to compromise. I can’t be “late” when I haven’t agreed to the timescale.
Client: Well, if we don’t meet the deadline, you’re responsible. Because of you, I might need to lay people off to cover the cost of those extra months.
The fact you sold our unfinished product and agreed to an impossible timescale without consulting me is not my problem.