Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not Meeting Project Deadlines

A few days ago I mentioned a top five ways of working to achieve project deadlines. They were all fairly common sense, all fairly predictable, all fairly practical, but not actually the most common ways suggested. Usually we hear:

1. You only need to work smarter, not harder.

2. Have you thought of ways of improving the process to achieve the same result?

3. Have you got a plan to achieve it?

4. That is the deadline, I don't need to know any more information or hear any more excuses.

5. Just F'ing Do It

But you know what, that's all bullshit. It is bullshit because it is all blatantly obvious, there is not a single practical suggestion to help achieve the deadline. If the manager only picks up and restates deadline dates, then the manager is an administrator not a leader. It's no good saying improve the process, it's only good to actually improve the process. If people working for a manager cannot achieve their deadlines, then the manager needs to make a decision. Priorities need to be altered or new directions given - then it is leadership not administration.


Ann said...

Today I was in a meeting in which a team decided to defer completion of a project by 2 weeks as a result of an honest assessment of what can be achieved. One manager's response "I cannot accept this." My response "That's OK, you might not accept it but that's what's going to happen." And I wanted to add "So deal with it."

R N B said...

Exactly! But "so deal with it" does not necessarily mean "accept it", but it does mean "suggest a change of variable if you want it to happen".

Faisal said...

Superb post.