1. Fix and Agree to a Sensible Deadline
Most of the time, meeting a deadline becomes a problem when it is agreed without understanding the intricacies of the project appropriately. Gain insights on the project by analyzing its trend, project scope, plan and the deliverables. Unless you understand what the project is about, you won’t be able to forecast when exactly you will be able to deliver the results.
Do not agree to a deadline if you are not convinced about completing the assignment on time. Client satisfaction can be obtained only with a quality delivery rather a quick one. Fix a sensible deadline if you want to properly meet the work deadline.
2. Break Down the Projects
Always break down the projects into small activities and fix milestones for each activity. When the project is broken down into small steps, it becomes easier to carefully monitor them, action items and the performance of the teams. Creating a project team organization chart or a work breakdown structure at this stage will help to meet the project objectives as scheduled. Check again whether the milestones are sensible enough to complete the project and the employees are not overly pushed to complete each step.
3. Do Not Overcommit
Overcommitting beyond your capabilities always leads to project disasters. Just to impress the clients, the project managers sometimes commit to the assignment which is beyond their team’s ability and skills. Overcommitting not only lead to client dissatisfaction, but also creates conflicts among the teams. The project manager tends to push the teams beyond their boundaries. As a result, the team spirit and the employee motivation go out of the scene which often ends in project failure.
4. Assign the Tasks Appropriately
If you are working in a team environment, be it a virtual team or a real one, assign work appropriately. Each step should have a stakeholder who is responsible for meeting the deadline or the milestone. Once the work breakdown structure is defined, check whether the project team has enough information on the stakeholders. They should have adequate knowledge on the project schedules to complete the tasks as planned. Each member should have the right role and responsibilities assigned. They should also have at least one supervisor or a manager to report their project activities.
5. Time Management
Having time management skills is vital to meet your work deadlines effectively. Be serious about the deadlines and continuously work on managing your time well. Remember to plan your schedules for accomplishing the important goals by prioritizing your tasks. This action will help a great deal to complete the project on time.
6. Create an Online or an Offline Checklist
Create an offline or online checklist for recording the project activities and the deadlines. Many useful tools and software are available to build an online checklist for your projects. Your checklist should have the columns assigned for the project objectives, start date, end date and the current status. These checklists help you to effectively identify the current status of the project tasks.
7. One Step at a Time
In order to complete the project prior to the lead time, the project manager tends to push the team to meet the end deliverables as quickly as possible. Pressurizing the team will lead to project catastrophe. Always move one step at a time if you are keen on meeting the deadline without any failures.
8. Monitor Whether the Project is on Track
Monitoring the team incisively is critical for meeting the project deadline appropriately. Automate the processes by using software tools. You can also create your project team organization chart in a tool like Visio where you can generate reports periodically to assess the current state of your project objectives.
9. Always Have a Cushion Time
Expect the unexpected, is the mantra that the project manager should always keep in mind. There are instances where an emergency in a team member's personal life, a few technical problems, or some organizational issues come up unexpectedly, as an intrusion to complete your projects as planned. Always have a cushion time while planning your project phases to cope up with such scenarios. This will protect your projects from ruin.
10. Communicate the Plan and Deadline
Remember to add this checklist in your project planning documentation. Are you managing a virtual team? Creating a communication plan for your virtual team is very important to complete the project on time. Make sure that the entire team is aware of the deadline fixed to meet the end deliverables.
Meet Work Deadlines and be Productive
Following the above suggestions will definitely help you to be more productive by appropriately meeting work deadlines. Take the deadlines seriously, build a brand loyalty and be successful in all the projects you are involved in.