Episode 336: Roadmap roadkill and returning to office


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:

  1. Dear Dave and Jamison,

    I work for a medium sized startup, and our planning process sucks!

    We used to do quarterly planning, and it seemed like the product managers had no idea what was going on at a higher level. The big focus seems to have changed every quarter that I’ve been here, and the whole planning process is a charade: 75% of the so called ‘road map’ gets thrown away after a few weeks.

    Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but I end up spending a lot of time in meetings helping these product managers come up with plausible timelines and making sure that what the business wants to build is actually feasible, and it’s bad for my morale to see so much of my work wasted.

    The product management team heard some of this feedback from me and others, and started changing to ‘continuous planning’, but now there is even less structure for when they build the big spreadsheet roadmap for the quarter. They bought new tools, and don’t seem to be using them.

    Should I suck it up and just check out or try and get a license to use the patented soft skills advice and quit my job?

  2. Hi Dave and Jamison in no particular order.I have been listening to the podcast for a couple of months now. I have enjoyed every episode and and the advice you give.

    I am a junior software developer who has been working at a startup 9 months ago. I was offered a remote junior position and accepted even though the company is based in a neighbouring city. This made sense at the time because I would not have to worry about commuting to the office.

    3 months ago my manager suggested that I come to the office more often as this would benefit my development and give a me a chance to socialise with my co-workers. We agreed that I go in 3 times a week.

    Now the past few weeks there has been pressure to start coming to the office full time.

    I would be fine with this but the problem is that I currently do not own a car and have to rely on public transport to get to work. With public transport it takes almost 4 hours to get to and from work each day (I actually listen to multiple episodes of the podcast on each trip) There is about 40 minutes of walk time included in that because the nearest bus stop is not close to the office.

    As you can imagine that is physically draining and also affects my work life balance as I spend almost 15 hours of the day either travelling and working. My biggest concern now is that 9 months ago If I was offered this job but as full time on site I would not have even considered it.

    Do you have any advice with how to refuse going to the office more often without making it seem like I’m opting out of an option that is more beneficial to my career. Thanks in advance.

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