Sometimes I wonder how on earth I could get my people to understand what’s the real problem. Maybe placing a loudhailer and placing it just inches away from their ears and then hollering it into it may help. Then maybe not.
In a recent exchange of emails where a co-worker has conveniently deposit his work to me before going off for leave, he has the nerve to send me an email before at the end of the day and CC all the bosses.
“Please get the software bugs-free and feature ready by the 28th”
This was irritating. The problem is there I don’t have a list of all the bugs, and the list of features are told to me verbally (when the co-worker came rushing to me one day before his leave to dump them at my table).
The co-worker was responsible for finding crashes and testing, and he somehow got away without doing it. There was a list of missing features, but all he did was to tell me, “Just compare the current version with some-other-stuff-we-did-before and put what’s missing in!”. The testing was incomplete and shoddy too.
No list; no black and white; no documentation, nothing. So I assume I have to do all that. But the final email sent at the end of day triggered my temper. It’s one thing to ask me to cover for you, it’s another thing to tell the bosses that “look, the responsibilities are all his now!”
So I send back something like this, to the co-worker and all the powers-that-be.
“I need to know what are all features and the current bugs before I could promise anything. There is no written list of confirmed features, just your verbal confirmation, and it could be really confusing. The testing was incomplete too”
And one of the bosses, completely missing the point, sent this to me
“Can you give us a timeline as to when you can complete these features and fix the bugs?”
What bugs? which features? How on earth do you expect me to come up an estimation for tasks which I don’t even know what they are?