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Answering questions with questions is a quick path towards irrelevance

Why do some folks insist on answering questions with questions? Or, answering questions with roadblocks? It's not surprising when you hear IT complain about their inability to connect with the business, of not being included, etc. - and then demonstrate a style of investigation / requirements gathering / support / feedback that is a bit antagonistic.

Business: How long would it take you to do X?

IT: Why X? Why not Y?

... or IT: Why X? What are the benefits?

... or IT: Doesn't matter ... we don't have time/resources for that.

Major tactical errors - just put yourself in their place, and listen. It sounds like you are questioning their competence as business people (Are you suggesting I don't understand my own problem? That I don't know / didn't compute a cost / benefit?)

It doesn't matter that you may be right (and no, I'm not implying that you should humor the incompetent). Folks may not know of the existence of alternate solutions. It's possible they may not be aware of competing requirements / demands on your time. When the conversation starts, it's really not about the facts at all. By refusing to answer their question, you invalidate any and all thinking work they may have put into this, and that would put anyone off.

The best approach is to answer the question as completely as possible, given whatever information you may or may not have. Simple program changes? 2 days. Basic reports? 5-10 days. Whatever - just provide a reasonable answer - and then ask the follow-up questions on specific requirements or alternatives. (... now, we're negotiating ...)

It's completely OK to push back on requests for work, but typically there is no need to make it a shoving match. Give them what they ask for - an estimate - and then help them understand how likely that outcome is. You've just become a major help to them, not a roadblock!