Funny how you learn things about managing people as you mature in an industry. I’ve recently run into one of my biggest pet peeves with managers.. only this time it came not from another manager but from a client.
There seems to be a tendancy, when a meeting gets stressful such as when deadlines are looming or a someone is pressing for a new feature to be added to the product that someone, at some point will say, “Yah, because it shouldn’t be too hard to add just this thing, right?” Or “You can just do this too, it’ll be easy!”
I don’t think, when something like that is said, that person realizes just exactly what they are saying.
At no time should anyone, ever, tell someone else their job is “easy.” Particularly when they are not experienced in that job. I don’t care how many programmers you’ve managed, you should never tell a them a particular programming task “shouldn’t be hard” or “is easy” unless you, yourself, are a working programmer and are intimately involved with the code on that project.
Telling someone else their job is “easy” is disrespectful. It demeans what they are doing and actually trivializes their contribution to the entire project.
When a client uses this tactic with a developer, it’s even more insidious. Clients do it as a way to try to coerce the developer into adding something to the feature list without adding to the schedule. By implying the work they are requesting is “easy” implies the developer can do it in no time and that it will not affect the schedule at all.
What the client may not realize is this is shooting themselves squarely in the foot, for in that one phrase they are demeaning the work the developer is doing and they are attempting to implement feature creep which, in the end, can only result in 1)crunch time for the developer 2) a higher probability of a buggy release and 3) a deterioration of communication between client and developer. None of this is good for the project.. and ultimately the client’s wallet!
So, next time you are tempted to say “That should be easy, right?” to someone you are working with, think about it again. It’s not just disrespectful, but can actually be detrimental to the health of the project!