Welcome to my century of blogs, if you've been with me since #1 then color me impressed!
Pretty much every job we do has a tight deadline and we often turn work away because the deadline is ridiculous. For example one of the jobs I'm working on at the moment has been underway for years, we've been called in 2 months before the delivery date. In these cases there is often a genuine reason (non-delivery by contractor).
Other times it's essentially because an accountant stipulates when a project needs paying. This is very prevalent in government work. Yesterday I asked facetiously if the accounts department would be using the software, because the tight deadline will effect the quality and they won't feel the impact.
Here's the thing, quality improves with time. If you remove time from a project the first sacrifice will be quality.
From an engineering perspective I've done 2 jobs that I think were exceptional. Before a £1,000,000 experiment I wrote a cRIO distributed DAQ system, experiment was booked in for Monday, got the purchase order Thursday. In another job I had 6 weeks to design, build and deliver a high-current contactor test system. What characterized each system? Nobody remembers the ridiculous/miraculous engineering effort. Everybody notices the slightly clunky and limited functionality. The contactor tester has done its work for over 10 years now and it's embarrassed me for all 10 of them!
So here's the life lesson....
You will be remembered for your quality long after the missed deadline is forgotten, only sacrifice it if you really really have to.
As this is article #100 I'd like to express my gratitude a bit.
Thanks to all of the contributors your comments have improved this blog far beyond my expectation.
The effort you put into educating, clarifying, questioning in response to my half-formed ideas is what makes it for me.
I'm probably going to go quiet over the next few months, business has got proper busy, we have 2 new ships to do, SingleShot has taken an interesting direction, I'm currently working on 7 projects and my mind is beginning to melt!