Irrespective of great value propositions, the business process of most organisations still suffers as a result of poor efficiency. It often makes the agenda of most business meetings and the result is almost imperceivable.
When efficiency is poor, deadlines cannot be beaten. Poor deadline management in turn leads to poor financial figures on the long run.
These steps towards deadline management have been proven as effective by many who consciously adhered to them
- Understand that deadlines will help you achieve greater milestones.
Ensure you fix realistic deadlines. Don’t just fix any date from the calendar. Remember there are several factors to consider before you fix a deadline.
Work towards finishing your project before (and not on) deadline. If you are to deliver a product to a client in three months time, try to make it ready for delivery in two months time.
Learn to say NO to unachievable and unattainable deadlines. It is better to lose a business deal, than to lose business trust and integrity. If the deadline doesn’t suit the client, he will leave. But he will be forever grateful that you told him the truth, instead of disappointing him after making vain promises.
- Allow margin for error when fixing deadlines. For instance, in the production of certain goods, raw materials might be added in wrong proportions or the machineries might malfunction. A number of diverse errors can set in that will need a day or two to resolve.
Foresee potential stumbling blocks that will affect your deadline such as unavailability of raw materials in the market, or the unavoidable absence of skilled personnel. These aren’t lame excuses, they are actually obtainable in the management of human resources.
Divide the project into manageable chunks among your team. A specialized team is more productive compared to a team where each employee has to run the same process from top to bottom.
Set deadlines for the completion of each chunk of the project.
Always allocate adequate resources as a means of error tolerance. It’s just another way of curbing errors. Although, on the long run, the team needs to know how to efficiently and effectively maximize resources. Else, the business will be losing so much to “unforseen” circumstances.
Always review deadlines that were not met. Understand what went wrong. Interact with your team and ensure that there is percentage error reduction in subsequent projects.
Organise occasional project and time management trainings for you and your team.
At times, a team has to let go of team members who always fail to beat deadlines. You should be bold enough to make that call when necessary.