re: How can developers and product managers work better together? VIEW POST


PM: "How long will this take?"
Me: "I will look at the specs and get back to you."
Me (later): "It will take X amount of time."
PM: "Oh, that's too long. Can we reduce the amount of time somehow?"
Me: "If the client cannot have any slip in due date, that's the amount of time it will take. It might be less."
PM: "I'll tell the client 'less'"

I really don't know how to fix this dynamic, other than to be honest with the client. Tell them the maximum amount of time it will take, and when it takes less time then charge less. This will exceed expectations.


Haha I've come across this a few times.. it's about communicating WHY it will take that long. Explaining that certain frontend changes are actually quite complex because they involve rearranging many different elements for example.

Also, disconnecting from the PM helps. Be firm in how long it takes. If you've quoted 50 hours for a job, but the PM sells it to the client at 25 hours, stand your ground and make it clear it will take you 50 hours. You literally cannot do the job quicker. It then becomes the PM's problem for underselling the job.


it's about communicating WHY it will take that long

I agree with this completely Natalie. I personally tend to be very conservative with estimates and how I even share that out with the client (stakeholder); I'm also a PM on an engineering team so that could explain the dynamic (I know how long things take and why). I have to have several conversations with stakeholders to explain the feasibility of building something as asked and it's been a journey and it's ongoing. It's encouraging to hear, at least, that I'm not alone in this!

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