An Open Letter to Design Team Leads

Dear Design Team Lead:

Please do not send a final design package to your manufacturing partners and ask us to give you a good ROM cost in less than 24 hours … especially if you’ve been changing the design radically from day-to-day, keeping us from making any realistic assumptions until we’ve seen the final product.




  1. Yeah, you better. I think I get to come back to work after Chancel Choir tonight; this little “15 minute soirĂ©e—which ended up running nearly an hour—screwed up the stuff I’d planned to do this afternoon.

    Mind you, I am spending 120 precious seconds replying to this comment, but that keeps me from snapping, too.

  2. I would also add to the above as a post script: “Don’t call a meeting 90 minutes after you give me this wondrous deadline and even think about tweaking what you’re asking from us.”

    In any serial development schedule, the last person always gets screwed.

    Of course, in the larger “Manufacturing” task, the department that gets screwed is Quality. [Hi, Dad.]

  3. Oh, and Rick … remember, I’m talking to the design team LEAD. You know, the guy that’s supposed to say, “Okay, fellas, someone actually has to build this…”

    Of course, it then goes back to the unrealistic schedule that Marketing set up.

    I then suggest that we send Quality to go kill Marketing.



    GFM <– “Please don’t ask me to write a spec on how to kill Marketing drones.”

  4. When we find out how to make Marketing responsible for their isolated and arbitrary decisions . . .

    We will hear them making all kinds of strange sounds like, “I did not understand.” (and they still don’t). “I thought it was easy.” (they think the hard part is coming up with wild-blue-yonder ideas).

  5. “Can you still see from whence you’ve come
    Cause I won’t bow down to a place so low
    I think that you’re wrong and I think you’re wrong
    I hope you don’t mind me saying so”

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