Many project managers assume that their job is to push team members to finish their tasks on time. Big mistake. A project manager doing this is probably not helping the project finish any earlier, while destroying his chances of getting a quality deliverable. Let me explain.
To start off, most deadlines are ficititious. “Dead” lines should not move. We all know how much they actually do on projects. The reason is that most deadlines are just meaningless ultimatums. A point in time set by someone and people start honoring that deadline. Some deadlines I have to admit are not fictitious. For example, when I worked on the Year 2000 remediation programs (Y2K) these were real deadlines. It was a point in time that could not be moved. there are more I admit, but they are rare.
What happens when someone sets a fictitious deadline? Unfortunately, because project managers are trained to watch time through schedules, and do not have as much training in scope, quality, and even cost management, they end up focusing on time and time alone, and at all cost.
I know this is heresy to some traditional project managers, but so what if we miss a deadline, when the quality of the deliverable is of higher importance and priority to the client? I do not think on most projects missing by a few days or a few weeks have as big an impact as losing the customer confidence because the delivery was lousy on the scope or quality side of things. In most projects where I am a client, I prefer to be given a chance to negotiate the priority of time, cost, scope with the project manager rather than him taking decisions on his own and determining that he must meet the schedule no matter what.
When I am the supplier (seller) I find most clients cooperative when you explain to them why you need the extra time and the value they will get from a little bit more time until delivery. Actually, many show respect and appreciate the brave move by a project manager to decide that he will not allow delivery to customer if he is not satisfied with the deliverable. This builds respect and trust, and the opposite happens when we deliver to deadline but miss important aspects of quality delivery.
I welcome comments and feedback on this even if contrary to my veiwpoint.