Entry #5: Don’t Commit to Unrealistic Deadlines

A recurring problem in software application development (and in most other industries, I’m sure) is that customers expect SBEs to commit to a hard cost and delivery schedule without complete agreement on what’s to be delivered.

In the past, we agreed to unrealistic demands and expected the staff to deliver—without involving them in the commitment process. Projects were routinely behind schedule and engineers worked extra hours to meet the deadlines. Both employee and customer satisfaction suffered.

So we decided to end the practice of imposing arbitrary and unrealistic deadlines: We make sure our engineers have the skill to make a plan and the conviction to defend it with customers and management, and our management supports their decisions while still ensuring an aggressive plan.  Now all commitments are made with the participation of team members, and plans are based on historical data for a more accurate schedule.

Now, our company culture is based on mutual trust between managers and the development team, not on unrealistic expectations.  And we’ve achieved outstanding results, consistently delivering substantially defect-free software at predictable costs and on schedule. Our average schedule deviation during the past 15 years is significantly better than the industry average, and our Employee satisfaction is better than ever with zero voluntary staff turnover on our recent multi-year projects.

Thank You,

Girish Seshagiri
CEO, Advanced Information Services Inc.
Phone: (703) 426-2790


About Dan Gallo

I'm a small business lifer, starting/running businesses since I sold seeds door-to-door as a kid in The Bronx. I've played guitar and enjoyed baseball since I was 5 (born a NY Yankees fan). Just prior to marrying Kim in 1983 I became a Christian. We have two sons; Daniel's a musician & social media expert with a smart, insightful sense of humor, and Adam who recently graduated from Brooklyn College double majoring in Creative Writing/Literature and Anthropology. Adam now works in the non-profit sector. Since 2002 one thing we love to do together is go on service/missions trips to Belize. We've collectively spent 60+ weeks in Belize with this missions organization http://twaw.org. I started my 1st company in January 1985, and been self-employed ever since. I sold my last company, Mentor Communications Group, in '04. After 2 years w/ the acquiring company I started The Allasso Group, LLC doing Small Business Consulting, Fund Raising/Capital Raise-up Campaigns, Sales Strategy, Outsourced Sales Agency work, & Digital Marketing Programs (Social Media, SEM, etc.) since April 2006. Notable projects: Hired as Small Business Advocate and Social Media Director for IBM's "Supplier-Connection" - Feb '11-Dec '13. Hired as COO to help turn-around late stage start-up software company myVRM. Jul12-Dec '13 Hired as CEO of CoupleWise.com, a Digital Health2.0 app, to write business plan, raise seed capital, & completely redesign and relaunch the app. Aug '16 I won a Finalist spot for MassChallenge UK's 2016 fall cohort in London from Sept thru Nov. Started Oct15 - Current. I enjoy helping turn-around struggling small businesses, and launching new business ventures. Feel free to contact me with opportunities.
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