In the book Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister, there's a humorous story about a project manager who--seeing the progress her team was making--knew she would deliver her project on time. With confidence, this project manager told management that she could guarantee the project would come in, as scheduled, by 1 March.
Management chewed over this unexpected good news and summoned her the next day. They told her that since she was on target for 1 March, they were moving up the deadline to 15 January.
I had a similar experience when I presented an initial update for a recent software project. I confidently explained to our stakeholders that the software enhancements for the common process tool would be delivered on time.
Sheepishly believing the stakeholders would be impressed, I waited for a compliment.
Instead, the stakeholders proceeded to hand down a "schedule challenge" for the team to deliver three weeks early. Their rationale was that they wanted to capitalize on the team's productivity and wow the senior leadership team.
So, care to share your productivity war stories?