Meme Monday: Deadlines

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Tom LaRock (blog|twitter) has assigned an interesting topic for Meme Monday this month, working with deadlines.

Some people hate deadlines. Some people love deadlines. But when you have one, there’s a good chance you need to really meet that deadline or there could be repercussions.

I have a tip that I’ve found useful in the past. When I have a deadline for delivery of X, I evaluate that requirement and determine what, if anything, is dependent upon other people. I’ve found this to be the biggest issue because my deadline is seldom their deadline. So if there are parts of my deadline where I’m dependent on others, that’s my first task: Go have a chat.

Here are a few questions:

  • Is X a deadline for them?
  • If so, when do they expect to deliver?
  • If that negatively affects my deadline, can they adjust? If not, you may need to talk to someone about your deadline.
  • If it’s not a deadline for them, when can they deliver?
  • Can I hold you to that? Meaning, I’ve just given the other person a deadline.

Obviously you can’t just storm into an office and start rearranging people’s schedules (trust me, they get upset). You’ll need to work with them. But, it needs to be your first priority because, you can put yourself on a 24/7 alert to make a deadline if you want to, but, unless you’re in management, you don’t get that kind of control over your fellows.

To make your deadline, priority one is to recognize your dependencies on others.

OK, fine, but what do you think?