Setting Deadlines

Posted on September 13, 2011 by


There is nothing wrong with creating deadlines, sometimes that is what it takes for some people to finish up a project.  Deadlines are a great way to help groups work together and ultimately get their ducks in order and meet a goal.

The issue becomes when an internal deadline is projected externally.  For example, if a company is working on a new product and provide or leak their deadline publicly this can end up creating more disappointment than anything else.  Think from the perspective of your potential customer, there is nothing worse than a let down.  Waiting a week might increase a companies rate of decay or even turn off customers from the start.  Ultimately, the company is indifferent to the new deadline or release date, but it is an entirely different story for the customer.

The king of externally projected deadlines or releases is Apple Inc. who builds hype through slowly leaking information about their new products; launch time, features, and possibly even ‘losing’ one of their prototypes.

When setting a deadline a team should look at both long term and short term goals.  Who are you releasing the product too?  Small sample or entire public?  How polished should the product be?  Get as much input from the technical team or production team in formulating not only a best case deadline, but also one that includes potential delays.

There is nothing wrong with pushing out deadlines, but think of your customer before promising something you cannot deliver.


Tell us about deadline issues you have had in your past!  How would you have fixed the situation?