As we continue to slog onward trying to ease our overall product process into something more agile, adaptable and effective, we continually run into roadblocks. Typically these are legacy process issues, such as an existing “finger in the air” customer commitment suddenly appearing to bypass all the carefully structured estimation and prioritisation. Although irritating, this kind of problem is at least visible. Stakeholders can get into a shouting match with each other and come to some sort of decision.
Sometimes, however, the problems are out of our control. These are the tough ones. The following InfoQ article describe just such a situation, and serves as a cautionary tale for everyone involved in this kind of effort.