Project Management Challenge Series: Missed Deadlines

February 1, 2016 Tatyana Sussex

missed deadlines

 

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” ~ Denis Waitley

Missed deadlines cost money and break trust—an obvious statement that belies the fact that projects run late seemingly all the time.

missed deadlines

What drives missed deadlines? Sometimes an executive or a customer mandates an aggressive finish date leaving your project team no choice but to comply. Other times an end date is set with some rough calculations, but there’s no accurate way to track and manage resources and task completion along the way. Or, people are over-assigned.

The bottom line? If you want to build a reputation for getting projects done when you say you will, then finding a way to meet deadlines is imperative to your success. Even if going a smidge past deadline is a normal way of doing business in your organization, delivering projects late over time adds up, and not in a good way! You pay a price when you can’t keep your end of the bargain with customers and stakeholders.

The high cost of missing deadlines includes:

  • Losing the confidence of your team, boss and stakeholders
  • Losing existing clients and customers
  • Losing opportunities for business growth
  • Incurring overtime, especially toward the end of the project.
  • Overworking employees—who might choose to leave your organization
  • High stress, low morale and poor engagement from burnt out workers

Projects meet their deadlines because they’re not only well-planned down to every detail and resource, but they’re realistic. This means the schedule makes room for uncertainty and unexpected surprises. Team members are assigned to work based on their availability; the right software is used to provide accurate and updated insight into the plan, and it’s easy to identify which tasks are on schedule and which ones are running late.

This way, even if there’s a renegotiation of deadlines during the course of the project, you’re able to identify issues way before they occur; teams can plan, strategize, re-allocate resources and get the customer involved long before things blow up.

Here are some key benefits of meeting your project delivery dates:

  • You save money for your organization and your customers.
  • You gain the trust and confidence of your team, boss and stakeholders.
  • You create a culture where people actually believe in their deadlines.
  • You build customers and grow the business.
  • People want to work for and with you.
  • Work quality increases because people aren’t working fast and furiously.
  • You create a work environment that everyone wants to be part of.

Here’s how LiquidPlanner helps your team meet project completion dates

We created LiquidPlanner as an antidote to unreliable scheduling tools and missed deadlines. Our software was created around the belief that teams work best when they can make best/worst case estimates that account for the uncertainty inherent in all projects, and when they can rely on a scheduling engine that automatically updates whenever plan items change. Here are some of our unique features that help teams make their deadlines:

Ranged estimates

LiquidPlanner manages uncertainty by using ranged estimations based on best case/worst case scenarios. Building schedules around two-point estimates based on effort gives teams realistic dates because the risk is built in. This means that project managers and team leaders can speak with confidence about project status and delivery dates because they’re rooted in reality.

Predictive finish dates

LiquidPlanner’s scheduling engine calculates all
plan details—estimates, assigned resources—and delivers an expected delivery date all the way up to the project level. And every time a change is made, the scheduler automatically recalculates the plan and gives you the latest statistical likelihood of achieving your given finish dates.

Resource-driven scheduling engine

Our scheduling engine reflects how resources are allocated—from project costing to capacity planning that incorporates everyone’s availability. This type of real picture helps you distribute resources effectively, see where you might be falling short (or going over) and keep the project on budget and on time. Meeting your deadlines is not an impossible task. With the right scheduling software and a realistic approach that accounts for uncertainty and all of your available resources, you’ll master the art of delivering projects on time. Your customers, team and organization will love you for it.

Project management is hard work! This blog represents Part Nine of our nine-part eBook about common PM pain points. To learn more about how to solve PM challenges, and turn them into opportunities, download our eBook, “How to Solve the Top 9 Project Management Challenges.”

top 9 project management challenges

 

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