Project timelines have varying importance in the workplace. As a marketing manager, the “hard deadlines” I set for our blog posts are, in reality, softer than the product updates our engineers strive to deliver every 8 weeks. As a manager, Director, C-level executive, it’s essential that your team deliver projects on time in order to keep your company efficient and effective.
So, how can you guarantee that happens?
Firstly, let’s explore:
Why Teams Miss Deadlines
The #1 reason that project deadlines are missed is due to “missing focus,” according to this article.
Another reason teams miss deadlines, according to Fast Company, is that executives fail to follow up. This can be due to the fact that they’re not personally great at keeping track of deadlines and schedules.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting this – we’ve all been there.
We plan a project that should take 6 weeks, and next thing we know the team has been working on it for 3 months.
To remedy this, Fast Company suggests a dashboard that provides the following functionality:
- Communicate the status of each project
- Everyone can see their name and accountability on the dashboard
- It is known that the dashboard is shared – team members who fall behind know it will be noted
Given this, to deliver projects on time, there are 2 essential factors:
- Focus / priorities MUST be defined and communicated across the team
- A dashboard is needed to communicate project status and hold team members accountable
How to Deliver Projects on Time
Communicate Priorities & Timelines
Priority Matrix is built on the premise of defining priorities and communicating them with your team. Let’s take the project of conducting an SEO audit for our site, as an example.
In the project below, the priorities and responsibilities of each team member are clearly laid out.
Our tip for managers: lay out the project goals, milestones, tasks, and deadlines, then delegate to each responsible team member.
You decide the priorities and their due dates, and delegate as necessary.
Alternatively laissez-faire managers use the project as a dashboard to gauge whether or not team members are focused on the right things.
For longer-term projects, using our built-in Gantt chart has tremendous benefits.
The Priority Matrix Gantt chart pulls due dates from your projects and tasks and presents them in a timeline format, so you can easily visualize the project timeline.
The Gantt chart also shows the progress level of each task; this makes it easier-than-ever to keep track of what’s on time and what’s falling behind.
In the same project, you can see the tasks that each member is responsible for, designated by the icon alongside each task.
Tasks turn red when they are overdue.
This makes for a quick visual overview of the status of the project.
The more red you see = the worse the status of the project.
When team members know that the dashboard is being used as a reference point for management and their fellow team members, they finish more work on time.
Nobody likes to fall behind publicly.
More importantly, though, with each task tied to a certain team member, it’s easy to check up to remove blocking factors or offer guidance.
This becomes just one step easier with our in-app chat.
Utilizing the in-app chat also serves as a great way to reduce complex email threads within your team.
Track Project Status
Priority Matrix offers reporting capabilities, which offer valuable project status insights to managers.
Let’s take a look at the following:
This is a report generated by Priority Matrix that shows the distribution of finished, “open”, and overdue tasks in a certain project.
By “zooming in” on the red zone, managers can quickly identify which parts of the project have fallen behind, and the responsible team members.
Meet Project Deadlines with Priority Matrix
By bringing together the capabilities provided in Priority Matrix, you will see:
- Your team completes a higher percentage of work on time
- You have a stronger grasp of project status
- Accountability increases
Ultimately, your team will deliver projects on time at a higher rate than ever.