When You Hear …

You are over simplifying

No. You can be more creative

As an agile product manager, I hear this most from architects and engineers. They seek problems that challenge them. They are thorough thinkers, who think of every possible way a product can be used. They make things sophisticated. This often causes schedules to slip, increases execution risk and projects to run away!

As one architect told me “SIMPLE IS HARD“. So engineers CAN get satisfaction finding simple solutions to complex problems

That will never work …

Its a loosing argument. Anything can be made to work. But at what cost ? How good will it be ? Focus on those characteristics rather than saying the competition’s product will never work

Read the fine manual …

You need tact, patience and a strategy to open this person up to discussion

He projects the image on an Oracle, while in reality can be wrong at critical times. He likely is very knowledgeable in some domains and often well respected. But he certainly doesn’t think out of the box.

When dealing with someone who says RTFM, make sure you have done your homework. Find a time when that person is not preoccupied and start the conversation with a complement, followed by “the manual says …. but …”

I knew of one such gentleman. He was a friend and a fellow pilot. One day, I was flying right seat as a safety pilot, while he practiced instrument approaches under the hood. We were on approach to his home airport, which he had flown hundreds of times. But that day, he was way off and descending low. I prompted him several times to check his heading. He referred to the approach chart and said he the instruments agreed with the book. I asked him to abort and take his hood off. It turns out, he was looking at the chart for the wrong airport. I dread to think what would have happened if it was a real life instrument approach under IMC

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