Completing a project before the deadline is a great feeling followed by many benefits. The client is satisfied with the timely delivery, and the brand reputation improves in the market. However, it is not the end of the world if your team miss the deadline because of some unavoidable situation.
It is okay to miss a deadline even in the competitive world as today. However, only a genuine reason can save the face of your brand in front of the client. Then it is time to create an action plan to get things done before the new deadline.
Here are some tips for managing project delays and meeting the next deadline to save brand reputation.
1) Notify Stakeholders
You should start by notifying the stakeholders about the delay and the reasons for it. The investors and upper management people may help with a solution to avoid the situation in future. They will understand a genuine reason as project delays are not a rare sight in the corporate world.
Moreover, these people may have to answer the client directly about the delay for a significant project. They are responsible for providing enough resources to the employees for the tasks. It makes no sense to expect someone to get the job done without the required tools and manpower.
2) Convey the Delay to the Client
Communicating the delay to the client is a hard task because their reaction is unknown. An important project may receive some frustrating remarks, but you need to remain calm. It is essential to accept your mistakes and assure the clients of delivery as soon as possible.
Speak the language of the solution to the client to make them understand you have a concrete plan. Do not use some fake excuse that may damage the situation even more. Your honesty while communicating the delay will help create a healthy relationship with the client.
3) Call a Team Meeting
It is now time for a team meeting to create a plan for the next deadline. You might have to make some changes to the team based on the performance of employees. They will understand the reason if you replace them with someone more efficient.
Do not criticise the team to an extreme because it may damage their relationship with the organisation. Employees’ loyalty is more important than a missed deadline if they are skilful enough. There will be some changes to the strategy as well towards the project management with some brainstorming ideas.
4) Provide the Resources
Clients will make you work with a limited budget to make the company some money. However, it should not cause a serious lack of resources to make the project completion on time an unreasonable demand. Allocate enough employees to the project and give them the tool to complete the job.
You can also ask the stakeholders to increase the budget for the project. The employees don’t have to go through excessive stress to use the older technology and tools. For investment, you can apply for online loans in Ireland from direct lenders.
5) Come Up with a New Deadline
Once the strategy and roles are clear, you need to develop a new deadline for the project. It should remain reasonable to avoid the extreme level of stress on the employees. The quality is still important than a result with plenty of inaccuracies and errors.
Suggest the new timeline to the stakeholders to get their approval. You can then communicate with the clients to give them an exact time for delivery. If the client disagrees with the new deadline, you need to repeat the above step and come up with a new deadline.
6) Priorities the Tasks
Time management is critical to meet the deadline of any project. Put the tasks from the delayed project as a priority in the schedule of involved employees. Other unimportant tasks can wait until the project is back on track.
Teach them the concept of creative procrastination where the unproductive activities are procrastinated. You can ask the management to put the administrative tasks such as entering work hours or submitting progress reports on hold. They may have to spend some extra hours on the project, and the organisation should compensate for their time.
As a leader, you must anticipate the situations that can cause delays to a project in future. It will give you time to tackle the situation before it hits the project. It will avoid another delay that will cause more damage to the organisation.
Many managers use project managers tools to make sure the project is right on track. You can keep track of individual performances to ensure everyone is working hard this time. The planning should have a session to write down the risks and some possible solutions for them.
8) Improve Communication
Successful completion of collaborative projects depends on teamwork. Communication is at the heart of great teamwork to streamline the different process. It will help them share ideas, progress, and the required information.
Clear communication will make sure the subordinates understand their roles, responsibilities, and associated consequences for the managers and employees. Therefore, ensure the employees have a proper communication channel to interact with each other and the manager. Some corporate hierarchy does not interrupt their queries, doubts, or inputs.
To sum up, it is possible to reduce the damage to minimal after a delay with the right strategy. You need to make sure the team is ready to complete the project before the next deadline. Therefore, take charge of the project more effectively and execute the plan without dwelling upon the previous mistakes.