Meeting deadlines is very important in taking up any assignment. It applies to almost all activities of our life. Accepting the deadlines and adhering to it, is a common phenomenon applicable to all our professional and social activities. No one can overlook it. Ignorance to it obstructs the momentum of the work process and weakens the growth rate. Due date is a base of any project. If you fail to comply with due date stipulations, not only you but also the firm you are working for is put in an awkward situation before its customers. A precise action-plan and its committed implementation are required to meet the deadline. Further, punctuality in carrying out phase to phase activities as per the action-plan is very vital in the process of accomplishing the target. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to gear up your whole team to achieve the task as per your desired level. Once you discipline yourself in respect of working on the action plan, you can insist your team members follow the guidelines of the action-plan set by you. When the hardship put in by the team members, returns with results, they get satisfied and further encouraged to strictly work on the set plan. But as a team head, you need to motivate them as an when they seem worried and fatigued. Your motivation will make them more serious about meeting the deadlines.
For an organization, fixing up a target date is very important in respect of taking up any undertaking. If the organization is sensible about it, the growth and prosperity will not be a bottleneck. In the same way, for an organization, the target date is very essential to abide by from the legal point of view. If the company fails to fulfill the contractual obligations in time, it is supposed to bear the monetary loss or face the legal action. Whenever we fix a target date, our minds get alarmed and awakened towards the requirements we need to comply with, and it pushes us to intensify our efforts. When our efforts are converted into success, our confidence grows, and with the increased level of confidence, we become capable enough to embrace more challenges. We are encouraged to reach the milestone. It is seen from the behavioral research that we perform well and produce the best when we are challenged with the target date. The due date also makes us focus on particular tasks, and the focused attention helps us to prepare accurate planning. Through such precise action plans, we are encouraged to adopt the concept of meeting deadline. But the ground reality reveals that the managers depict plans on papers, but miss out this because they do not develop the culture of maintaining deadlines among the employees. This is particularly true when the team members are not committed to the deadline concept
Setting a realistic target is very very important. A target that is not reachable can work as a discouraging factor and demoralizes the spirit of team members. A concrete groundwork, detailed calculations and a lot of homework are required before setting the pragmatic target. Schedules are to be fixed with a rational thought on factual grounds so that they are achieved without any hassles. Internal and external factors are to be taken care of while deciding a due date for achieving a specific target. All the permutations and combinations with respect to an activity are to be thoroughly assessed before setting any deadline. Otherwise, the deadline will become a paper plan only. If by any chance, achieving the deadline is impossible, it is better to interact with the authority concerned and present all the facts before him. The manager’s responsibility lies on this very fact that the deadline is fixed on the basis of statistical data analysis, research of past data, scanning of information etc. And once the deadline is set, it is to be ensured that the same does not fail, at any cost.
Positive work environment and the culture derived there from plays a very vital role in enforcing strict adherence to the time schedule. Team members follow their leaders, and if they find the leaders lacking the ability to complete the work within the set time frame, they will also tend to a habitual deferment from the stipulated schedule. It will work as a contagious disease. Once you start to fail in achieving the deadlines, others will also be on the same track. And ultimately, a colossal loss will take place in the business. So, the first and foremost thing for a manager is to set his own example by maintaining the deadlines while completing the job. Further, one of the most desired qualities of a manager is to praise his team members when they reach the target within a scheduled time span. But at the same time, he has to ensure that no one compromises or ignores the required standard of quality while doing the job just in order to get appreciation and reward.
Dilution of goal:
If the target is not realistic, all efforts stand meaningless. It’s like a boat without sailing. A realistic target is to be set through discussions so that it can be attained within a specific time period. However, it happens that even after a precise planning, the target is not achieved and the company stands to suffer losses in terms of money and customer confidence. Monetary losses, somehow, can be made up, but customer confidence, an intangible asset for any company, cannot be regained easily. Once a customer distracts his attention from you, it is not easy to divert his mind once again towards you. To win customer satisfaction, a manager has to first provide quality goods/services to customers, and for that, he has to make his workforce produce quality goods/services. He, in order to motivate his people, may introduce a reward system by which the workforce is given an extra bonus, incentives, promotion, etc. The reward system should be linked with the ratio of customer satisfaction versus project completion. This arrangement will stimulate the team members to realize the importance of meeting deadlines and thereby, they will put their all efforts to ensure maintaining time schedule.
You have to inform all your team members about the deliverables and the importance of timely delivery of the same. You have also to inform the details of the deliverables to the stakeholders. Knowledge about ins and outs of the stakeholders will make your team members aware of the complete schedule of the job. Stakeholders may be internal or external customers. And, it is very important to know the exact application or intended use of the deliverables. For example, an integrated steel plant releases an order on your company for a ladle handling crane to transfer the hot metal from a steel melting shop to a structural mill. If the crane is not supplied in time, the purpose of ordering the equipment to you shall remain null and void as their production will be hampered drastically. Such action will augment customer’s dissatisfaction towards your firm. If you are aware of the importance of timely delivery of the deliverables, you will know the disastrous consequences in the event of a failure in timely delivery. Under these circumstances, you have to knit all your members closely in such a way that they focus their whole attention on the activities of supplying the equipment or any deliverable on time. As a manager, if you generate the behavior of focusing on this vital aspect among your colleagues, you will definitely reach the deadlines.
Each and every team member needs to be assigned with a clear-cut responsibility. Their roles are to be specifically defined to enable them to start their jobs without any ambiguity from the beginning itself. It is to be ensured that everyone is having a clear understanding of his role. This clarity will excite the team members to complete their assignments within the time frame stipulated. And if this concept has adhered strictly, the job never gets delayed. Further, another advantage of having clarity about the functions is one can commence the corrective actions well in advance, in case of any delay is anticipated by the team. It also avails the opportunities of open communication, responsiveness and the implementation of a fresh plan of action. It is ensured that team members have all the resources at their disposal to supply the deliverables by the due date.
It is but natural to maintain a positive and constructive work environment with a system of feedback generation, so that timely completion of the job is made feasible. In this way, you can achieve a dual advantage – one; you can maintain a time schedule and the other; a tremendous customer satisfaction.