This industry runs in fear of deadlines. Designers cower when the word is spoken and developers – well, ‘it takes as long as it takes’ is the standard response.
Just lately, as I approach probably the busiest I’ve ever been in my career I’ve learned to embrace the deadline and it’s become one of my biggest allies.
Deadlines set targets, they unite the project team (client included) and get them all focusing on a single goal and that is a good thing. Everyone needs to be singing from the same sheet if you want to deliver a knock-out project on time.
So what happens when you don’t have a deadline? Expectations differ, decisions become less urgent and prominence gets taken way from the project. This leads to a very unordered work-flow and ultimately makes the project much more difficult to manage.
On any given project, I tend to set numerous internal deadlines as well as numerous deadlines with the client. Why? I do this because it is much easier to manage a project in small chunks. It allows you to constantly assess how far you are from your goal and is a really good way of helping you to plan should you start to run behind or even in front.
Don’t fear the deadline!