"Jane, let's start with you. As Product Management, your focus is managing customer expectations, executing your communications plan, and getting ready for the first beta. How's all of that going?"
"Very well, actually," said Jane, turning to the checklist in her project binder. "I liked the way you put it last week when we kicked off the Developing Phase—'making sure customers expect what they will get and that they get what they expect.' I've already run one update on the RMS project in our company newsletter, and we have an RMS page on the company intranet, linked off the IT section on the home page. Jim and I have sent memos to all the managers who will be using the administration client, telling them RMS is coming and giving them a rough idea of when to expect it and what to expect. I've also chosen two test groups for Bill and his folks to use: a small one for the first test pool and a larger one for the second."
There were nods of affirmation around the table as Dan said, "Sounds like you are right on schedule with your plan, Jane. Just one question: What are you doing about the lack of accounting functionality? I know there were a number of people in your own group looking forward to that, and they are bound to be disappointed."
"We've met it head-on," said Jane emphatically. "I just didn't think any 'happy-face' talk would work, because most of these people have heard that sort of thing before and don't believe it when you try it. We simply told them that there wasn't time to put the accounting functionality in the first version, but that we will try to get it in the next version, which we hope will be out before the end of the year. Some of them were skeptical, but since we were already giving them more information than they had ever had before, they decided to reserve judgement." She turned to Bill. "We've got to deliver on Version 2, though, or our name is mud."
"Hey, I just work here," said Bill, holding up his hands. He gestured toward Dan. "Talk to the boss-man—he signs my check."
"Actually, Jane signs your check, with a stamp," said Dan with a chuckle. "Mine too, in fact. So I'd say Version 2 of RMS is a sure thing."
Jane laughed. "Glad to know who's really got the power in here," she said.