3 Solutions For A Team Who Is Consistently Missing Deliverables & Deadlines
When a project team begins missing deadlines and deliverables, it can feel like a nightmare. Stakeholders and upper-level managers may be angry, and the overall goals of your project can be threatened.
Unfortunately, even the best project teams can experience unforeseen delays and problems, causing delays and missed deadlines. But, you can help get your team back on track and stay on track by using these three solutions.
1. Rework Your Schedule Immediately
In some cases, stakeholders may refuse to authorize future work until a plan is in place to address missed deliverables, and depending on the contractual obligations of your team, failure to complete missed work as soon as possible may result in financial penalties.
Always assume missed deliverables require completion as soon as possible. As a result, you must not wait to rework the schedule. Begin revisiting the issues leading up to the missed deadline immediately. Look for the key causes of the delays, and determine what could have been used to avoid the pitfall in the first place.
2. Assume Predictable Delays in Planning
Delays are inevitable in project management. The concept, commonly known as “Murphy’s law,” which means you need to assume delays will occur before they materialize, applies to projects as well as other events in life. But, knowing that delays will occur is part of the best way to prevent them and restore order after deliverables are missed.
For example, if milestone A involves long-term activities that are high-risk, you should build a buffer into the activities during the planning phase. This will allow your team to successfully manage delays, and it may help to deliver the project according to the schedule as well. Of course, the key to building in delays without contributing to delays is maintaining a sense of urgency throughout the project. In other words, do not assume not using the built-in delay times will result in “free time” before a project is completed.
3. Provide Additional Training to Your Team
A project team that consistently misses deadlines and deliverables may be struggling with the size and complexity of your project. This may include insufficient grasp of project management software, inconsistencies in the management processes and problems with basic project management principles. As a result, you may need to provide additional training to your staff if delays seem to be recurring without reason.
Of course, identifying the causes of the delays is the best way to define what type of training program will be best-suited for your team members. Furthermore, the training program should build on your team’s existing knowledge and experience with project management tools and resources.
A project team requires time and patience to become effective, and you can enhance your team’s skill sets if you know what to do when the schedule falls behind. Rather than getting angry or frustrated when your project team fails to meet your expectations, consider implementing these three solutions.
- Add missed deliverables to the schedule as soon as they occur, and provide a delivery time to stakeholders.
- Account for predictable delays during the initial project planning phase.
- Provide additional instruction and training to your team members when deliverables are not being met.