There are several different project management levers you can pull when a team member misses a deadline, but there is one that you should always do before anything else.

Make a new deadline.

Deadlines drive behavior on a project. Most professionals will do their level best to meet project schedules (assuming the schedule is reasonable, but that deserves another post entirely.)

When a deadline passes, all of the pain that comes from missing the target has already been felt. The task that was being worked falls into a state of limbo and it often becomes ambiguous to the team member whether they should be working on their next task or continue working the current (now late) task to completion.

To remedy this and to enforce the desired behavior moving forward, a new deadline should be set immediately. This will ensure the proper priority is set to the late task and will re-instate some pressure to hit the new deadline.

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