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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

Project/Account Management For Dummies

Here’s the most important sentence that anyone acting as an intermediary between developers and clients/senior management needs to know:

I’ll get back to you with an answer when I’ve spoken to the developers.

Unless you’re also a developer and know the project intimately, it’s the only good answer to any scheduling discussions or feature requests, so you should be finding yourself saying it a lot.

To add a little variety, combine this mantra with a suitable prefix reflecting both your initial assessment of the request and your level of expertise, e.g.:

  • That sounds fine, but…
  • I’m not sure precisely what’s involved, so…
  • I can’t imagine that being a problem, but just in case…

If you’ve fully mastered this important sentence, congratulations! You’re already doing a better job than many people in such roles.


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