Have a complex project with an aggressive deadline that got you tossing and turning at night?
Maybe the deadline has been mandated by an upper management. Perhaps it’s due to requirements and interdependencies from other projects. Or maybe time is tight because the estimate used to calculate the timeline was based on some poor assumptions. In any case, here are some ways to make your deadlines more workable:
Can you manage the manager?
Sometimes management purposefully pads the project deadline in their favor so that they have time for decision-making and sometimes they simply want to push things along without having to personally intercede. In any case, try to talk to key stakeholders and management to see if there is any room for revision. Determine what is the real and actual cost of not delivering on time. There may be room for negotiation.
Can you review dependencies?
If your timeline is ruled by dependencies, talk to the managers of the related projects to map out the actual interconnections. Review with them the place and value of your project to get more buy-in to allow the time to do the job right. See if you can reorganize things so that reasonable time is given to your project.
Can you re-check assumptions?
Find out what facts and assumptions were put in play when the estimate was first determined. You might discover miscalculations that can work in your favor.
Can you find better ways to organize the project?
When it comes to projects with short deadlines, there are two avenues to take to make the process more workable: see what can be done to change the deadline and organize the process in the optimal way to meet the deadline. Consider best practices techniques as well as the ‘short iterations’ approach inspired by Agile. With these efforts in play, you may have a much more achievable deadline.
If anything, try using ClicData to help you better manage your projects, we have some cool dashboards which might just be what you need to keep your projects on track.