17 December 2010

#Fail Friday: Missing the deadline

A few weeks ago I missed a key deadline.  I missed the deadline because I thought my project was 4 weeks long and in fact it was only three.  The deadline was essentially driven by a fixed cost engagement.  It wasn't so much a schedule deadline as much as a number of day effort deadline.

My response, when I earned of it two days before the actual deadline was to rush, to work long days and try to recover.

The result, as expected: quality deteriorated, I made mistakes which had to be fixed and I ended up delivering 2 days later than I was originally planning.  I would have been better off just maintaining my pace and I would have had a better product earlier.

I know better than to do this but I still  make mistakes.

Why did I go wrong?  I mis-read the brief and didn't check back with anyone about my work plan.  The solution is the usual one: Communicate, communicate and communicate.  Then communicate some more.


  1. Anonymous7:09 am

    This happens to the best of us. Was this a development thing? I would assume as an independent developer (if this is the case) it's easy to not get feedback on things. It all depends on you!

    I have to wonder though, was the success of this deadline solely on your shoulders alone?

  2. It was a consulting gig and I was working it alone, so yes, it was all about me really. It was me that had to wear the days of work for no pay. A pain, but not a killer.

    I did have a team I was working with at head office, but that's where I failed to check in.

    As for the client - their deadline was met so it was probably invisible to them.

  3. Anonymous6:29 am

    I use a quote in these situations.

    “Be eternally suspicious, take nothing for granted, investigate everything. Program success is obtained only by enormous attention to detail everywhere.”