When employees miss a deadline, they don’t always realise the extent of problems it causes towards their company’s success. A manager understands the meaning of deadlines because of the importance of maintaining reputable appearances with clients, or having the necessary information to make decisions while an opportunity is available.
There are means available to ensure projects can be completed efficiently and on time.
Determine a Reasonable Time Frame
Very few things are more frustrating to an employee than unrealistic expectations. Great employees are hired because they can accomplish great results in a fast-paced environment, but they need time to provide the best work they can accomplish which meets the needs of clients and is therefore in turn, in the best interests of the company by which they are employed.
Choose the Right Team
Versatility is a good trait in employees, but they perform better when assigned to projects within their individual specialties. Since most projects entail multiple stages, it always works well to put people together who can complement each other’s skills with their own contributions to the project. When every team member understands what their role is and how they are expected to contribute to the project, the team is going to function well and have their assignments finished on time.
Use Resource Planner Software
Resource planning software is available to help organise projects and keep the team on track. It’s understandable that employees may be a bit behind one week and end up ahead of schedule the following week. Software which keeps track of ongoing project needs can account for such fluctuations and make sure the final deadline is met.
The planning board feature integrated into the software allows resource planners to see exactly what needs to be done, and what’s needed to do it. If something is missing in the project plan, a resource request can be added which will prevent errors from occurring further down the line.
When software presents all this information in an easily readable format, managers can report positive evidence to their supervisors that the project is proceeding according to schedule which in turn assures the deadline is going to be met.
Divide the Project into Sections
Because projects entail multiple stages, it helps to define the job in sections so the employees understand the timeline for the overall project. Setting weekly and monthly goals lets the team know what the manager expects from them and whether or not they are keeping up with the timeline as planned for the end success of a project.
In turn, the manager knows how far along the project is at the moment and whether or not the overall plan needs to be adjusted to assure the success of the project within the given time frame.
There will be times, especially with longer projects, in which the team falls behind. This is when the manager needs to step in to offer support rather than chastisement. There may be a solution as simple as a letting them know about a resource they weren’t aware was available, in other instances the solution might require authorisation for the employees to access a resource which wasn’t previously allowed for them to use.
Emphasise Deadlines with Rewards and Penalties
The importance of deadlines has to be emphasised in order for employees to take them seriously. Rewards are proven to be a better motivation than penalties, but both can be effective. Rewards don’t have to be elaborate, simply buying lunch for the team who finishes a project early will motivate them and other teams to perform well for the satisfaction of knowing they earn the manager’s respect when they do a great job. Likewise, for most people the disapproval of their boss is sufficient penalty to prevent further missed deadlines.
Due to the fast pace that is required of modern businesses, deadlines are a necessity which must be met. Often, even if a missed deadline can be compensated for, it means the next project is late getting started and is turned in late also. A well organised team which turns in projects on time won’t continue to get further behind on each new project.