Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Making yourself easy to be scheduled: Part 1 - Introduction

A basic tenet of engineering is that you must be able to accomplish tasks in a predictable amount of time. Via your salary and benefits, time is literally money to your management. Given this, management wants to spend money on you wisely and wants to understand how it is being used. Thousands of times in your career, you will be asked the following basic question: “How long will that take you?”

The exact format of the question may vary, but it comes down to the same basic idea. By asking this, your management is essentially asking, “How much money do I have to spend in order to get this task completed?” Every time your estimation is wrong and you take more time, in the eyes of the people who control the budgets you just cost them more money than expected. That last part is critical. The most important element in answering “How long will that take you?” is not the length of time you answer with - not even close. The key factor is the expectation you are setting. Disappoint on that expectation too often and you will paint yourself as undependable. Meet it consistently and those in power know what they are getting when you become involved in a project, which can pay big dividends for you later.

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posted by Pete Johnson @ 9:39 AM   0 comments links to this post

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