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Part II: Time Management Techniques > When Things Go Wrong

Chapter 17. When Things Go Wrong

There will be times when nothing you can do will prevent the worst from happening. If a deadline or quality standard is missed, here are some different solutions you can try to get back on track.

  1. Renegotiate: The simplest action when you can’t make a deadline is to renegotiate the due date. Perhaps there is enough flexibility that a day or two longer doesn’t really matter.

  2. Recover Lost Time During Later Steps: If, in the early stages of a project, a step takes longer than planned, reexamine time allocations for the remaining steps. Perhaps other time can be saved so that overall time on the project will not increase.

  3. Narrow the Scope of the Project: Once underway you may find it will take longer than planned to accomplish everything you planned. When time is critical, you may have to eliminate some nonessential things to meet the deadline.

  4. Deploy More Resources: You may need to put more people or machines on the project. This option clearly increases the cost, so it represents a decision that weighs the cost against the importance of the deadline.

  5. Accept Substitutions: When a needed item is not available, you may be able to substitute a comparable item to meet your deadline.

  6. Seek Alternative Sources: When a supplier you are depending upon cannot deliver within your time frame, look for other suppliers who can. (You may choose to pursue other sources before accepting substitutions.)

  7. Accept Partial Delivery: Sometimes a supplier cannot deliver an entire order but can deliver the amount you need to get you past a critical point. After that, the remainder of the order can be delivered to everyone’s satisfaction.

  8. Offer Incentives: This option calls for going beyond the terms of an agreement to get someone you are dependent upon to put forth extra effort. It might be a bonus clause in a contract for on-time delivery, a penalty clause for late delivery, or simply buying someone lunch.

  9. Demand Compliance: Sometimes it is necessary to stand up for your rights and demand delivery according to the agreement. Occasionally, an appeal to a higher authority will produce the desired results.



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