Blatantly and transparently under-promise then over-deliver

Why do we software folk (technical and managers) so often over-promise, then under-deliver?  

Do we think looking busy and like we are under pressure means we also look heroic and efficient, rather than unreliable and incompetent?  Or do we just enjoy stressful, hectic lives?  

What at ever it is, I wish we'd all start doing this instead: Blatantly and transparently under-promise then, when we get lucky (and we usually do), over-deliver.

I call this a "slam-dunk promise" (borrowed from my former GE colleague Paul P) and although it's the sensible and professional thing to do, it feels completely unnatural to many.

clarke chingComment