project management

3 Challenges that Threaten Your Deadline


Project Management - Part 4

Deadlines are absolutely crucial to any project. Without them, we have no accountability for achieving our goals. Though important, these deadlines can often seem out of reach. How do we as leaders make sure we accomplish what we need to before the cut-off?

As we continue our Project Management series, we hope you are learning lots about managing your teams and objectives. Today let's tackle our last two points.

7. Get Feedback & 8. Adjust Your Plan Accordingly

Healthy team members are usually good at giving constructive feedback and that usually means the leader has to adjust the plan. Every leader needs to be flexible because things often don't go according to the original plan.

When it comes to flexibility, I think our culture code, "We mess with the methods," stands out the most. To me, this statement gives us permission to try new things in new ways and if one isn't working we can try another way.

I think it's important to remember that what you tolerate becomes your standard so culture will drift where there is no accountability. We guard our culture by creating that healthy accountability amongst our teams. We can do this by scheduling regular intervals to check on the project. Whether that is every day or once a week, we need to make a point to review the progress of the project and make any adjustments if necessary.

You need to trust your team. Even though you have a vision and a plan in place, your team are the experts because they are in the trenches every day making it a reality. If they have suggestions, keep an open mind and listen to what they're saying.

The 3 Ongoing Challenges That Threaten Meeting a Project's Deadline

1. Under-communication

Communication is king and I don't believe it is possible to over-communicate with your team. Schedule weekly meetings or "huddles" so that everyone has the most recent updates and any issues can be addressed. Meet even if not everyone is available and then update those who couldn't attend.

2. Unforeseen Obstacles

As a leader, it is important to prepare for any obstacles in advance as much as possible so that you can handle them before they become big problems. As Solomon said in Proverbs, "The wise see trouble coming and avoid it."

3. Under-resourced Teams

It's your responsibility as a project manager to provide your team with the appropriate resources and information so that they can complete the project on time.

What If Part of the Project Fails?

There is always a human element to every project so you should expect mistakes and setbacks. How you respond to mistakes is so important because it sets the tone for how your team will respond moving forward.

If you overreact, you will create a culture of fear and your team will be afraid to make mistakes and will stop taking risks. If you under-react, you will create a lackadaisical culture and again, what you tolerate will become your standard.


Breaking the project into small bite-sized pieces and regularly reviewing and revising allows for more celebrations. Celebrate the victories with your team as well as make corrections as needed. What you celebrate gets repeated so it's a way to keep your team motivated as well as a way to establish the culture you want to be repeated.

Accountability is Vital

Accountability is not just correcting what is wrong but is also rewarding what is right. I see accountability in three things:

a) When winning is rewarded.

b) When losing is penalized.

c) When mediocrity is challenged.

If these three things never occur, you don't have accountability and without it there is dysfunction.

In my opinion, accountability is most important in the church, because without it, we can get off course and away from our mission. And we know that our mission has eternal consequences; people's eternities are literally at stake because the church is the hope of the world and Jesus gave us a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches unchurched people love to attend.

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