06 July 2006


Everything has a deadline.

Although the deadline is not mentioned some time, it won't just disappear. Anyone can miss a deadline, but nobody can avoid it. If the task isn't fixed before the deadline, nobody really cares. After all, there is still plenty of time, and nothing is urgent until the last minute. If it is closed to the deadline, someone who's above will start to remind whoever is held responsible for the task of the deadline, but no serious action will be taken. If after the deadline the deliverable is still not yet available, the original deadline is then announced dead, but immediately a new tighter deadline is born in order to make sure that the task will be completed soon.

The one who kills the deadline may receive severe punishment, but still it does not solve the problem. Everyone is tempted to put the blame on the problem maker, and focuses on why the deadline is missed. Nobody cares about how to reallocate resources, set everything back on the right track, and ultimately get things done right. People simply ignore the fact that the problem maker may at least know where the problems are, and if given a second chance may be able to come up with a simple method to bring the task to completion. When things go wrong, asking for everything is more powerful than blaming for nothing. When there are questions asked, something at least gets moving. People drilling on the same old problem basically fix nothing, and eventually will become the problem makers themselves.

The task will sooner or later be fixed by someone else. If it's a big task, then the one who gets it done will be seen as a life savior, and receive all the credits and rewards. If it's a small task, even if nobody recognizes any efforts spent, there is still an improvement made, regardless of how insignificant the contribution is.

Deadline actually means nothing. Life has a deadline too, but no one on earth knows the deadline for life. Fact is, nobody really wants to know...

As long as each touchpoint delivers positive experience, who cares about when the deadline is.

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