Lamonte pointed out that putting a deadline (or meeting the deadline) in reality is nearly impossible. Projects are late, so putting a deadline does no good.
I have a pretty confusing on this opinion. I totally agree and totally disagree with it.
First of all, I agree on this because often in the real world all the features are fixed: you simply need to do certain features and thus it’s practically impossible to set a deadline (and might be foolish to do so), instead the best you can do is to give a rough estimation about when the project could be complete.
On the other hand I disagree that it would be impossible to set a deadline and meet it.
I think in reality the deadlines are missed because managers/publishers/sales people/producers/you-name-it have promised certain features (and more), in certain time (or less) and that your project can use only certain amount of money (or hopefully less). Meeting the deadline is impossible because for some reason all the 3 elements: features (quality), deadline (time) and resources (money) are fixed – which can be impossible equation.
It’s bit like saying that:
- You need to go 100 meters in 5 seconds.
That’s practically impossible to reach I think. But, if we could agree to change those 100 meters to 10 meters, I’m sure we could do that. Or, if we could get 50 seconds to go those 100 meters – no problem. Or, if it’s not “me” who needs to do this, but instead we could get a brand new Ferrari that’s going full speed, going 100 meters in 5 seconds would be no problem.
According to this, having a fixed deadline is not impossible. It simply means that we might need to use more money (hire more people, get better equipment etc.) or that we reduce features (and have lower product quality).
Setting a deadline is more than possible if we decide to have one, in fact – I think it’s very easy: you just pick a date, and that’s it.
After that, it’s a matter of decisions. If we want to stick with that date, and if we agree that the certain date is the fixed piece, then the other elements (money and quality) will need to reflect this.
In my opinion, having a deadline is not impossible. It’s more like a choice.