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The damage you do when you set a bad deadline

Our practice was recently given a task with a very bad deadline, not unusual in general practice. Set by someone uninformed of what the task involved and who hadn’t tried to find out. It was unrealistic, potentially impossible and I’m sure whoever set it had not even considered how damaging it was. 

Set a bad deadline, one that’s unrealistically short or unachievable, and it’s damaging in many ways.

It DEMOTIVATES especially when it can’t be refused or pushed back. 

It DAMAGES THE RELATIONSHIP between those who set the deadline and those tasked with meeting it.

if the deadline is too short the request is likely hurried with a LACK OF CLARITY of what is required.

Without enough time to deliver it will IMPACT ON QUALITY resulting in a bad job.

If that’s accepted then it SETS EXPECTATIONS for the future - if a bad job is alright this time then it’s also likely to be accepted next time. 

It’s DISRESPECTFUL. How low are you, and what you do regarded, if someone’s happy to give you a bad deadline.

Whoever is setting a bad deadline is clearly showing how UNPROFESSIONAL they are. 

So if you’re NHSE, CQC, a CCG or a Practice Manager, think about it, and don’t set a damaging deadline?


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