Adventures in Product Development: Can you keep the bugs from leading to the slip?

So this is the quarter that my corner of Yahoo is shipping more product–more big development projects–than ever before. My joke with the team is that we’re pregnant with twins–and those babies are HUGE.
So, as any product manager knows, that means the release schedule is quite, uh, something. As in if the products don’t release on schedule, you can get waay backed up, and then everything’s late. And that’s no good.
We’re down to the wire and at zero bugs day for the latest release when someone comes to me and says “It’s not looking good.”
“Why?” I ask, and the person says “We have 1o bugs.”
“Who’s the PM (product manager)?” I respond,knowing that 10 bugs could be showstoppers.
Within the next hour, I’m with the product manager and we’re chatting.
“How’s it looking?” I ask. “What do we have?”
“1o bugs.”
“And what does that mean?” sez I.
“Well, we’re heading for a day to day slip.”
Soon, we’ve agreed to sit down together and review the bug list. Given the overview of the schedule, the (very able) PM’s been equipped to re prioritize the list and re-sort what has to be fixed before release (P2) and what we can fix post launch (P3).
Soon, the critical bugs are down to 4 and we’re trending closer to making our dates.
“Let me know how this nets out,” I say. “We can’t let the release go more than a few days. you know that.”
“Yep,” says the very able PM and I head on to the next thing, wondering just what the count will be at the end of the day and where we’ll end up with our schedule.
And that was only Monday.

(I’ll find out how the schedule looks when I get in today.)