Thursday Tech Talk – What’s Your Estimate?

Thursday tech day, so much fun.  I am convinced you have to be half crazy to work in technology and love it.  I am in this camp.  Thursdays I get to spend a lot of time with my team, talking about projects, talking about technology, talking about how we can do things with the technology that will change customers’ lives.  Okay, maybe not their lives but their experiences.

As a corporate technology executive, I spend a lot of time talking about things other than technology and all of those things are important.  But the technology excites me, and the true technologists – those people I work with who see all the ways we can exploit the technology – need me and I need them.  What a rush!

So today’s talk was about ‘the solutions’ and the estimates.  In other words, how much will it cost for my team to create things for the business to use in providing service to the customer.

The conversation often goes like this…

  • Business partner – I want a new system to provide service to the customer. (or a new product offering)  How much will it cost?
  • Technologists – what do you want it to do?
  • Business partner – It’s sort of like that thing you did last year.
  • Technologist – that’s not much to go on.  But last year’s system cost X (insert any number here).
  • Business partner – I don’t want to pay that much.  How about X – (most of X).
  • Technologist – Why don’t we spend some time talking about what you want and then we can determine the actual cost?
  • Business partner – No, just make the estimate smaller and then we’ll decide on the requirements.

  • Technologist – I need to drink more. (using inside the head voice)

It’s a true fact that no business partner ever said to the technologist “gee, that estimate is lower than I expected”.  I dare you to find an example to the contrary.

Okay…so maybe this is an exaggeration.  But then again, maybe not.


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One Response to Thursday Tech Talk – What’s Your Estimate?

  1. John Erickson says:

    Not much of an exaggeration. I remember dealing with our users in our credit card processing centers, who would ask for brand new reporting programs. I actually ended up with one other guy as part of a team that would take requests, go back and check existing programs, then find the report that matched their request closest and offer to update the existing program. Saved HUGE amounts of time and effort, even though the users griped constantly, and we finally managed to get a few of the more important users to back our process!
    Oh, the wheels turn ever so slowly, but occasionally they do creak forward. 😀

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