Dog Whistles and the Myth of R&D Slack

Stumbled upon this lovely post by Rich Mironov recently, and found myself nodding my head quite a bit, so figured it’s worth sharing:

Dog Whistles and the Myth of R&D Slack

Rich talks about some of the most challenging interactions between “tech folks” and “business folks”, primarily around prioritization and capacity. He argues that often times, they stem from fundamental differences in beliefs/perceptions  held by each “side” on how the other side works and, more broadly how the world/business works.

He suggests three techniques, for folks on the “tech side” to deal with the challenge:

  1. Relentlessly remind folks of what’s underway and next on the backlog – undercutting the false perception of “slack” and validating the existing plan
  2. When a new request comes in, compare it (respectfully) to the current list – making the trade-off tangible, and the misalignment more obvious (if you’ve done “i” well)
  3. Engage sales management and executives in the discussion – validating the existing plan and reminding that it’s not just your plan and it already received wide executive approval



Dog Whistles and the Myth of R&D Slack