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The Importance of Deadlines

imporatnce of deadlines

The Importance of Deadlines

The importance of Deadlines. Deadlines help us work together toward achieving a shared goal; they clarify what needs to be delivered and when.

Deadlines help us to control costs. If a deadline is missed and a task goes on, then someone is bearing the additional cost, either the client or the vendor, neither of which is desirable. 


If you agree that a project will run for five months for a fixed cost of $50,000.00 and the project runs for six months, then there is an additional cost to the project of that extra month. This may potentially be a variation that the client has to pay if they were the cause of the delay or a cost that the vendor has to absorb, which reduces their profit margin for the project. If the project gets delayed long enough, you can end up with the following scenarios- 

  • The return on investment for the client ends up being negative (if they have to wear additional costs) or 
  • The vendor loses money on the project (if they wear the additional costs) or
  • Worst case scenario- both of the above are true.

Timelines within the project can be managed and manipulated to ensure that the deadlines get met. You might be wondering what the difference is between these two terms. At a high level, the timeline is the sequence of events that make up the project, and the deadline is the fixed date that things must happen by. Manipulating the timeline can be done without harming the project’s costs (e.g. moving tasks to suit people’s availabilities without changing go-live or completion dates). However, moving the deadline will damage the costs of the project (someone’s got to pay for that extra time).

A good project team (client and vendor) will manage these timelines to ensure the project deadlines are met, and no one has to bear any additional costs. The importance of working together and effectively communicating within projects to achieve these goals cannot be reinforced enough. There will always be external risks to projects staying within budget and hitting deadlines (Covid, weather etc.), but taking into account the above points will minimise internal risks.

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