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Deadlines April 29, 2008

Posted by Tariq Ahmed in Project Management.

Deadlines, target dates, call them what you will, but every project has dates and deliverables. When deadlines are tight, I often see underlings commit to a date, and when that date arrives, they quick add the infamous caveat “Monday… end of day Monday”.
Monday becomes EOD Monday, which then becomes midnight, which then becomes Tuesday morning and so on.

A company should have a unified policy as to what due dates mean. The 1st, doesn’t mean end of day, it means that morning. It means the deliverable is ready for demonstration, testing, release or whatever the case may be.



1. David - April 29, 2008

Yes, but unless the task takes a single day, there should be status regarding the progress of te task towards the deadline at appropriate times. If its a two week project, then one would expect 50% completion on a week. The task status should be updated, by those assigned to it, in a project management tool.

A manager that walks in the day of a deadline and is surprised by the status (late status in this case) has bad management practice.



2. aqua - May 3, 2008


I had a very bad experience with a manager who used to set me unbelievably tight deadlines. It had a very bad effect on me and now that I have left that prison, I still am very badly affected in the way that I will sometimes purposefully miss deadlines just to see what the reaction of my manager is. If they are flexible, I know that I can stay and work effectively for them. If they are completely unreasonable and do not communicate effectively then I know that it is time to find a new job with a better manager.

3. Linda Griffin - May 5, 2008

Every deadline/target date is not equally important. Any project of more than a couple of days will(should) have several intermediate targets that demonstrate progress towards the final result. Missed intermediate targets are a definite red flag that something needs to be adjusted and gives you and your manager the opportunity to make corrections.

4. Darth Sidious - May 5, 2008

You guys make some very valid points. I think Lord Vader is generally frustrated by people who promise him that something will be done on a Monday, and come Monday… they’re now saying end of Monday. So to keep confusion and excuses at a minimum, when you promise a day – the company has defined that as end of business of that day, or morning of, for consistency purposes.

Once I saw him choke out a General using the Force just because he accidentally let, what seemed like, an insignificant ship get through.

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