Project Schedule Game Three, Queen Of Denial — Tentamen Software Testing Blog

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In the previous post, we defined the second game, Hope Is Our Most Important Strategy. Game three is about Queen Of Denial. The post is based on a remarkable book written by Johanna Rothman, Manage It!

Reality Bites

How can we recognize patterns for the third schedule project game? When you present bad news and you still hear words: hard, deadline, you, believe. Your manager’s strategy is to ignore reality. Very probably, you will be speechless on that. Even worse, your Queen Of Denial manager will accept that silence as his deadline confirmation.

Denial Reason

The manager wants to motivate the project team by setting an impossible delivery date beliving that with such an ambitious deadline, the project team will deliver sooner.

How To Deal

You must find out what is the reason for manager denial:

  • Present Project Risks with low, high, and medium. The queen of denial will try to shuffle risks with numbers.
  • Present the reality of your team velocity. The precondition is to have pebble size tasks. Only with pebbles, your velocity will represent reality.
  • Give alternative encouragements to the Queen of denial. Shorter iteration time frames are one example.


The best mitigation action is to put Queen Of Denial manager’s attention to any other company projects.

Founder of Tentamen, software testing agency.