WORKING AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS
SETTING DEADLINES, FLEXIBILITY AND MEETING DEADLINES
So you’ve broken down the project into smaller components that can be delivered at regular
intervals, allowing labour costs to be calculated and deadlines to be set for the teams that will carry out the work.
Now comes the point of delegating who will do each job and when they have to deliver it by.
When setting deadlines you need to understand that people work at different speeds and have a measure of flexibility built in to when the product will be finished.
The speed at which someone works has nothing to do with their competency to the job. Work ethic has nothing to do with it either, some people work just work faster than others. What’s more important than the speed at which someone works, is that the quality of the work they produce. Some people produce quality work quickly, others are the more persistent types that require more editing and nurturing. Forcing someone who is a persistent worker to work faster may get them to work faster in the short term, but it will not endear you to them should you constantly be on their back about needing to work faster.
Deadlines are not always flexible, but there should always be a 15-25% time contingency
upon producing the work involved. If you’re a fast worker and responsible for setting the
deadlines to which others will work, do not expect them complete their tasks in the same
timeframe you would yourself, you need to be realistic with your expectation of others.
Should you realise yourself, or be informed by those doing the work you’ve asked of them,
that you’ve drastically underestimated to amount of time to achieve the proposed outcomes in the time you’ve allocated them. Do not simply say tough luck work faster, as you may have to push back the deadline because it’s the only option available to complete the job to the standard you’re asking for.
Author - Matthew Scrutton is a freelance writer and multi-instrumentalist musician/composer
who holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours in Anthropology from La Trobe
University. He has keen interests in indigenous rights, migration, refugees, gender equality
and community development.