Does the above sound familiar? If you have worked in an engineering department for any length of time, you have probably had this experience.
So what is going on here?
The problem is that there is a fundamental disconnect between the two people about what they are actually talking about. The product person thinks the engineer is talking about a calendar time estimate. But the engineer is thinking about an estimate in terms of the effort involved – one that is completely divorced from any specific calendar or scheduling considerations. This is one of the reasons why many projects are late.