Pradip Khakhar Product Manager and Founder - The Product Angle

Team Member Misses Deadlines

53 sec read

The Product Angle

In the first practice problem, the problem is a team member misses deadlines. How should you handle this situation? However, in this new segment, we are trying something new with this Practice Problems segment. Want to read the details click here.

Practice Problem: Create a plan to talk to a team member who misses deadlines.

Bonus: Explore why a deadline is imposed in the first place (and if it’s really needed).

Timed: In 15 mins or less

A word of caution

Our practice problems are designed to get you to think about how to attack a problem and to develop a mindset. However, when negotiating or as you build products within your cross-functional teams there are variables that we have zero ideas about and the circumstances are different.

Therefore, as you review to use this resource as a guide or framework. Remember for example, one size doe NOT fit all.

What would YOU do? 👇

Let us know in the comments below:

  1. How you would handle this situation, and/ or
  2. What you would do differently.

[gs_faq id=”1010″]


Have ideas and suggestions for future problems?

We love to hear from you, let us know what ideas and suggestion you would like to see here. The best way to do this to be a subscriber for our Product Negotiations newsletter and let us know (benefit of subscribing).

Ready to subscribe? Drop your email in below:


Learning a new skill or constantly improving and keeping your skills sharp should be easy.

Pradip Khakhar Product Manager and Founder - The Product Angle

4 Replies to “Team Member Misses Deadlines”

  1. Sometimes, missed deadlines can be the result of bad estimation on the part of the person missing them. In this case, it’s likely more constructive to talk about their estimations and help them with that.

    I had this conversation with a coworker, and got him to break out the estimation into smaller tasks, and on which he placed optimistic and pessimistic versions of his time estimates. It really helped him understand he was usually on the optimistic side.

    Other times, deadlines being missed is caused by unrealistic expectations by PMs, managers, etc. In this case, it’s really not the fault of the one missing their deadlines, apart from perhaps saying “no” more often.

    1. Exactly Mike. It’s so easy to simply blame the person (or team) missing the deadline. Understanding the why is very important. Once the root cause has been identified create a plan to avoid in the future. Like how you mentioned breaking down the estimation into smaller tasks. ✅ Come with solutions.

  2. I’ve found it’s best to be honest and to the point. Everyone misses deadlines.

    There are alot of factors involved. I like doing deadline postmortems to work out what was going on. I don’t think deadlines are a bad things by default.

    Working out what factors are involved in the missed deadline is the first step. Could be too much taken on or the deadline was wrong for what was being done, maybe something else was delayed, a key member was sick, etc.

    Best to have a good conversation about it try work out what happened and learn from it.

    If deadlines are used right they can be really powerful and offer alot of structure around a project and provide those important milestones.

    1. Absolutely, James. When a deadline is missed its often very easy to blame the person (or team) who missed the deadline without understanding the why.

      Digging deeper and understanding the root cause behind the missed deadline can uncover things that you may not have known otherwise.

      When having that conversation it’s easy to go in with a negative or authoritative tone, which will only push the person (or team) to become defensive.

Leave a Reply

You have to agree to the comment policy.

Get the latest articles delivered to your inbox