How to recognize an artificial deadline using cost of delay?
Business world is full of deadlines. Sometimes they cause unnecessary stress for the employees and for the organization, sometimes they contain a really important message how something cannot be late. So how to know when a deadline is reasonable and when it is artificial?
My claim is simply the following:
If the form of the cost of delay curve does not change near the deadline, the deadline is artificial.
Let's take a couple of examples.
In this case the deadline is artificial. You can ask why that particular date was selected? Why not week later or week earlier? It is hard to see the reasoning for this deadline. If there are no bigger cost of delay items waiting to be done, this should be just done as soon as possible. If there are, this task is a wrong one to do.
What to do with an artificial deadline?
If I hear a deadline that seems to be artificial, I always ask how the date was decided? It may well be that I'm missing some important information that I didn't know earlier. In that case the deadline isn't artificial and I just learned something relevant. On the other hand if it appears that the date was "just selected", it gives me an opportunity to have a discussion about the concept of cost of delay.
If you can figure out a situation where the cost of delay curve does not change format but deadline still makes sense, I would be interested to hear.