Track of Deadlines: Expectations vs. Reality
How often is it that you plan, set a deadline and commit to something, but then as the deadline approaches, you encounter unexpected delays that result in you missing the deadline? Too often? Planning is common – but when the plan itself is flawed, not much can go right, right? Tracking deadlines will help you come up with better plans that will ensure you do not miss deadlines.
If you miss setting realistic goals, you will miss deadlines
Everybody knows how important deadlines are – it gives your firm credibility, makes you more accountable, improves efficiency etc etc. There are many many points that establish the importance of deadlines and the benefits gained from it – but there are 1001 articles and blogs that talk about them and almost everybody is aware of it as well. Moreover, since you are here looking for efficient and smart ways to track deadlines, we know you are well aware of the importance of deadlines and that is why you are looking for ways to track it. Hence, we won’t delve into the topic further.
Deadlines can be a great motivator, but if you set unrealistic goals, a deadline is a trap that you will fall into over and over again. There are many reasons why people tend to fall into the trap – a few common ones are,
– Trying hard to impress / please the client – a classic case commonly seen in newly founded law firms.
– You are aware of the timeline, but are afraid to communicate the same to the client for fear of losing them – bear in mind, you lose more by committing and then not delivering.
– You do not factor in holidays and other emergencies.
– Unexpected human delays such as errors, illness of staff etc.
How to track deadlines?
Expectations can never be equal to reality. That is why the words are not synonyms. But by reducing the gap between expectations and reality, you can make swift progress. Tracking deadlines can help you narrow that gap. There are many efficient and smart ways to track deadlines. A software will enable you to factor in and evaluate various parameters before you commit to a deadline.
Case management software and a case diary are great ways to track deadlines. They give you better visibility of the schedules and allow you to consider holidays, workforce allocation etc. before you commit to a deadline. You can review first and then commit. Once you commit, they send out effective reminders and alerts that ensure you never miss a deadline again.
The deadline dead-end
Time management – when you cannot find more time, managing priorities is the way to go. Priority management is a real thing and it can help you stay in sync and ensure that you never miss a deadline again. With an efficient tool such as Manage My Lawsuits’s case management software, you can plan beforehand with the resources you have at hand and make efficient use of time. You can also assign tasks based on the team availability. If you feel the need for more resources, you can reevaluate your hiring goals. Finding a balance between expectations and reality will help you improve performance.
Reminders and alerts are also useful features that make sure you are notified well in advance about upcoming deadlines. This enables you to plan better and finish things on time. Keeping a track of objectives will help you define your goal better.
A case diary will give you a clear idea of upcoming holidays. You can plan accordingly and have sufficient buffer time to cope with delays arising due to planned and unplanned leaves.
A software based tool allows you to have better control of events. But no matter how much ever you plan or prepare, there will be unforeseen circumstances that can throw things off track. Buffer time helps you have sufficient cushioning to deal with unpredictability. By having buffer time, you can give yourself a little extra breathing space. If you deliver early, the client will be happy. If you deliver on time, the client will still be happy. Committing to the right deadline and delivering on time is a win-win for both you and your client – and a good case management software like Manage My Lawsuits allows you to do just that!