Speaking a Foreign Language

Software engineer’s concern:

We have run into some unexpected problems integrating (or designing, or implementing, or testing) the software.

Translation into management terms:

Our estimate of the time and budget required to complete the software is no longer valid. Futhermore, because we didn’t see these problems coming, we aren’t sure what other problems might be imminent. We’ll give you a revised estimate as soon as we have enough information to do so. In the meantime, please begin changing the customers’ expectations so they won’t expect so much so soon.

Dorothy McKinney, Six Translations between Software-speak and Management-Speak, IEEE Software, November/December 2002, (Vol. 19, No. 6)

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