1 year ago 🥁 for day 196, 2020 with 298 words.

Customers & Golden Ratio

Days sheltering in place: 120.
Ants in the kitchen: NONE!
Keyboarding: no time :-(

I’m tired, so if this entry is riddled with typos, grammatical mistakes and bad grammar so be it, it’s the best that I can do tonight.

We are in week two of a five week phased release of our product to a new customer. As far as I can tell things are going OK, there is the usual change and feature requests. Configuration change requests we can either do quickly - if not immediately - feature requests take longer, but if we get it to the customer quicker than they expected I’ll be happy.

Kirk: Mr. Scott. Have you always multiplied your repair estimates by a factor of four?
Scotty: Certainly, Sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?
            - Star Trek III

Now I don’t have a tendency to multiply my estimates by a factor of four, but I do build in some “slack” because you never know what the future holds between now and when you need to deliver. It might go easy, there might be something that you hadn’t thought of that throws a spinner in the works, but you never promise it sooner than reasonably expected and then for me I multiply by the golden ratio.

Why the golden ratio? It golden that’s why. Also a close approximation is 1.5x, which is easy to do in your head.

Building in plenty of reasonable slack, leads to the situation where you can under promise and over deliver and that generally works well for a customer relationship. Given how bad engineers are at estimating timescales - looking at you Elon - It certainly worked for Scotty.

User Photo

By Yorick Phoenix 🥁

Chief WriteTogether Bug Finder & character stringer. Generally, to create computer code, but sometimes actual words and paragraphs. Listens to lots of music, takes lots of photos, & invests in stocks for the long haul.

Get Yorick Phoenix's newsletter

Almost there! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm.

Subscribe to Yorick Phoenix's latest writing to get it right in your inbox.