Why deadlines are important

Project leads are accountable for delivering the project, and part of the responsibility is determining when the project will be delivered. Setting a target date is important because it helps with planning and knowing when something will be done, which is used to determine costs and revenues. The time and effort spent to build the feature is the cost; the output is the return.

As a stakeholder, I want a project lead who’s neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but realistic. Optimistic project leads set a short deadline, which leads to underperformance and stress the closer they get to the target date. Pessimistic project leads set a long deadline—which looks good initially—but causes the organization to miss out on newer opportunities. As Parkinson’s Law states, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” Such teams’ performance misses the mark when compared to others, which leads them to be the first on the chopping block.

Thus, the best project lead is realistic, where deadlines are neither too long nor too short. This strikes a healthy balance between expectations and performance. Also, business is able to plan and predict the next set of work. This minimizes disruptions since management loves consistency.

Please support this site and join our Discord!