you always miss 100% of the shots you do not take--You know that's a reasonable opinion.
TOM: That's right.
CAROL: And we have a caller, Patricia.
PATRICIA: Hi, Carol. Hi, Tom. I'm glad you're taking the call. I have a question about The Deadline.
TOM: Patricia, what?
CALLER: Patricia McQuaid. I am a professor out at Cal Poly State University in San Louis Obispo, and I teach classes related to software quality, software testing, project management, rapid development, and, so, a lot of what I teach deals with risk. One of the books that I just so happened to use in my class is your book, The Deadline, and I have used it several quarters. I really enjoy it. The students just love it. One question that we all have is this, you know, we're talking about risk and one of the big risks is that the project can get out of control and, worse yet, management may not even be aware of it. In your book, you have the technique of going to confession, where employees that are afraid to tell the manager that the project is going to be behind the deadline, they're afraid to tell. So, one of the techniques is that they pretend they're going to confession where the manager really knows who it is, but pretends they don't, so that they get the information and there is no adverse reaction to the employee. The question is, "Is that true? Have you ever seen that done, or did you just make that up?"
TOM: That's 100% true. That's impossible to make up a lovely story like that. It was a young manager who worked at Apple, her name was Maura, and she actually had a confessional outside of her door. Somebody would knock on her office door and say, "Maura, a guy's gotta go to confession." And then the person would disappear and go inside. Really, you wouldn't know that it was the same person, except, of course, she did know it. And then she would go in and sit there and listen to his confession, and he'd say, "We're just not gonna be done on June 1st." And she say, "Aw, that's very bad. And say two Hail Marys." It was a way that she could in some sense remove herself from knowing what it was the guy was saying and who was saying, and take the bad news without associating the person with it. Other companies use anonymous email. They use these anonomyzers in order to send messages to the boss, because the boss has said, "I want you to send me messages, even when you're not comfortable sending them over your own name." And they have an anonymous email. They go to a Web site and type in a message, and it gets sent without any trace of who actually sent it. So, there are different ways that people anonymize or pretend to anonomyze to make it...to send the message...it's okay to give bad news to the boss.
CALLER: Well, that's great. It seemed like too good to make up. And I always end the class, of course, telling them that you would ideally like to have the environment in which the communication is such that you could tell management this without repercussions. But, if that doesn't work, I think this is a great idea. Well, thank you.
CAROL: Thanks for calling in, Pat.
TOM: Thank you, Pat.
CALLER: Thanks, 'bye, Carol.
CAROL: I think that's a very innovative way, is actually doing a confessional. That basically opens up the communication with something