When we talk about IT Implementation project, it is impossible to neglect project deadlines assigned by the client, project manager or your management. Knowing how ‘deadline’ is perceived as a Stop Watch ticking in front of the implementation team, here are some tips on how to manage the pressure and deal with a missed deadline:
Set achievable deadline: Typically, project deadlines are set by both parties in the pre implementation phase. If we as HMIS provider feel that the deadline is not achievable, this is the ideal time to speak.
If the deadline will be missed, report as soon as possible: Alert your manager or the client as soon as you realize that you cannot deliver within the deadline. This will give them some time for risk management.
Discuss with the ‘champion’ from the client side: If the team feel that the deadline assigned falls in the category of ‘never-going-to-make-it’, speak with the champion from the client side. Champions usually have a fair idea of how much time it takes for delivery and can help in convincing the client about pushing the deadline.
Pro active communication with clients: Sometimes, implementation team cannot achieve the deadline because they are dependent on client for data/inputs/sign off/feedback. In that case, communicate with the client well in advance so they have enough time to swing their team in action.
While HMIS providers may not be able to hit the deadline assigned, by employing pro active discipline and efficient project management, one can definitely have a good shot at success.