Whether it’s procrastination, unforeseen circumstances, a nagging client or an out-of-touch employee, we cannot afford to have setbacks or missed deadlines. In business, not meeting deadlines means lost money and lost clients.
Crafting the perfect timeline isn’t really something that’s within any company’s reach. That doesn’t mean we can’t streamline, and analyze our management process to make it better. At Indeema, we value our reputation, and our clients. We take the necessary steps to mitigate risk of not fulfilling our deadlines.
To feel confident that a project will be done on or before time, you need to avoid the following top 5 reasons deadlines are missed.
1. Last minute changes or unreal expectations
The sense of completion can often be eclipsed by what is seen as a small change. This lack of planning and communication creates an emergency which goes unperceived by management. This alone can have a devastating outcome on a staff's morale resulting in resentment of your co-workers, in turn snowballing into a project's quality.
Related: Why You Need Project Planning Stage
Sticking to an outline, which includes all involved parties, avoids most pitfalls from occurring. Outlines are used by all trades, from medical to military aspects; the reason being it works. The outline can allow for small changes if management understand what they're asking, preventing a request with unreal expectations.
2. Inadequate communication
The Greek philosopher Epictetus once said, “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Empty words and empty promises are meaningless in a business setting. They give us a false sense of security and progress. Miscommunication can deal a lethal blow to a young fledgling company or even a well-financed corporate project.
Communication is tied into every process whether big or small. Every task and subtask requires some level of communication for proper and timely completion.
The development team talks to the project manager, who in turn talks to the client. If this chain of command is somehow tampered with or broken, it can lead to setbacks, which add up and may turn into a missed deadline.
You can’t have a client ordering tasks to be done in a certain time without consulting with the technical team, because this leads to dissonance. A fully broken-down scope and task list need to be agreed upon and only altered with bilateral communication.
3. Issues are avoided or put aside for later
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring an issue for the sake of project completion. This will most definitely backfire, and when it does, you will be left with a subpar reputation and angry customers.
Our testing protocols and procedures are in place because we know that even a small bug can mean a disinterested user. We involve our QA team right from the first stage, and keep them running alongside the rest of the team to test every task.
Other issues and problems, like a client being unsatisfied with something should be nipped in the bud as quick as possible. Through effective communication and a proper scope, most issues can be hashed out or altogether avoided.
4. Not everyone is on the same page
Harmonization allows for all aspects of your team to come together on a project. Each member executing their portion to the best of their ability with confidence gained during the planning process, especially if they are directly involved in the planning stage.
Related: The importance of project planning
Without having knowledge of your project's scope, project members deviate, causing another member strife as they are forced to rework their portion. This will cause a need for micromanagement, increasing last minute changes. If what is expected of each of your members is written with clear guidelines and realistic timelines, the project members are able to multitask more effectively on other projects.
5. Management risks
Last but not least, there are situations beyond our control that may have an effect on the deadline. Although the development process shouldn’t depend on a single person, if one of the team members falls ill, goes on vacation, or has a family emergency, it could set the project back because finding a replacement is always a challenge.
Other risks include but are not limited to bugs in the frameworks and programs used to make and mold a piece of software.
Make a plan, implement it, and voilà, project complete. Is it that simple? It can be if you you and your client have realistic expectations and a clear set of goals, multiple communication methods, problems are solved and issues avoided, and everyone is working together in an organized manner. If you keep these top 5 points in mind when you start your next project, success will be within your reach. Indeema’s staff is well-versed in keeping to deadlines, as shown in our extensive expertise, so let us know how we can help you achieve your goals today!