Ok, I get it already, we lose orders because we don’t have feature X

I recently joined this company, and inherited a product that is world class.  But it is missing a pretty important capability (to be fair, when the product was originally developed, this was a feature that wasn’t even a twinkling in the eye of the market). 

I get that we lose orders because we lack it. We are developing a capability.  It is not a 2 week (or 2 month, or even a 2 quarter) project. But there are still at least 1/2 the opportunties that do not demand the capability.

Is it too much to ask you to not waste time on lost causes?  Is it too much to as you to sell what you have?  Our product is vastly superior in performance to all our in class competitors. It isn’t even close.  Focus on selling what you have. We will address the rest as soon as possible.

But one thing I can tell you is that continuing to chase lost causes, and sending lost order reports will not get the project done faster.  In fact, it will cause me to tune out your grumbles.

 

We don’t give date estimates for bug fixes. Quit asking.

As a long time product manager, one of my pet peeves is the bug/hotfix process.  Stepping back, we have a well defined triage process, where a good team of dev, support, and support engineers (as well as myself) sit in a room, and agree on priority, severity, and even whether it is a defect, or just desired different behavior requested.  This works well.

Issues are brought in, verified, assigned severity (and if there is a work around, that lowers the severity, as you would expect), and tossed into the queue.

The maintenance team, 3 developers, then pull items from the queue in FIFO with some stack ranking due to priority.  At any one time we have 30 – 60 issues in queue.

What this rant is about is the constant badgering I get from sales.  “When will issue X be done?”  “Why isn’t {insert pet issue} done yet”, “I am going to go to the division GM if you can’t give me this this week”, among other less printable comments.

As there is a queue, and it is ranked by priority and severity, we get to them as we get to them.  We do not make duse dates available.  I will not commit to more than “It is in the queue, and the team will address it”.  

Sigh, I seem to lose 2 hours a week in these pointless discussions.  I have an idea, why don’t you find a bug in Windows, and call Microsoft support.  See how much “pull” you have there.