There are many reasons that projects are always late.  Understanding those reasons can help you improve your on-time performance.

One problem is with the way we estimate our durations.  We often insist on the most optimistic estimate of several sequential tasks.  The result is a statistical certainty that the project will be late.

Another problem is with human behavior: something called the “student syndrome,” a form of procrastination.  Frankly, many of us don’t begin to work on a task until it is nearly due.  In Project Management vernacular this means we work on a task at the latest possible time before the next task is due to start (instead of the earliest possible time we could have worked on our tasks).  This scenario also virtually guarantees a late project.

The good news is that there are schedule techniques and behavior changes that can address these problems, resulting in realistic schedules and on-time performance.


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