Deadline Syndrome – Quality Over Speed

deadlineIt’s 6 p.m. on a Friday night, and you just realized it’s your wedding anniversary. You didn’t get a card, you didn’t get a present, you didn’t send a text; you completely forgot.

But you don’t own up to forgetting. Instead, in a last ditch effort, you grab some flowers and a card on the way home. You scribble in a few short sentences, and you’re off. You then spend the next couple of weeks trying to patch things over with your spouse.

Okay, not all of us have been there. But most of us have been in a situation where we have a deadline and rush to finish something. Instead of owning up to the fact that we can’t produce quality work on time, we produce low-grade work just to spend even more time trying to smooth it over later. It’s deadline syndrome, and it happens all the time.

Oh, the Tangled Web We Weave

By not testing website launches or spending the time fixing errors, the project manager and associates will have to spend time going back to a particular project to make it work. There are several disadvantages to untangling a mess after the project is completed.

It’ll Take More Time

The project got out on time and the deadline was honored. In theory, some time was saved. But now, a project associate or manager has to go back and fix errors that weren’t initially discovered because not enough testing was done.

The associate or manager has to then test it and find the errors and fix them, which could have been done in a shorter amount of time when the project was in progress. This also takes valuable time away from other projects that need to be launched.

The Focus Isn’t on the Project

Trying to juggle several projects while dealing with patching up a past effort can often be overwhelming. Even if there are just a few small issues that need to be fixed, the focus may not be there. If the focus isn’t on the project, chances are that patches will be applied in a haphazard fashion and time will continue to be sucked by something that should be complete.

Something as simple as grammatical errors could take more time than is necessary. If the focus isn’t on the project, one or two errors may be fixed, but the other fifteen errors may be overlooked. This could go on for months as the associate on the project has to continually come back and fix errors.

Your Customers Will Be Dissatisfied

The people who paid you for the site launch or redesign will have to spend their time calling you and asking you to fix potential problems. Had the project been tested beforehand and errors worked out, they wouldn’t have to be on the phone with you.

A customer’s time on the phone with you means two things: they aren’t spending time doing their job, and they have to pay for you to fix the problem. It’s a lose-lose on their end, and they won’t be happy about it.

Simple Quality Fixes

We’ve all heard the term “quality over quantity.” We’ve been taught, and experienced, the idea that quality work should always be emphasized over rushed work. Yet it’s always hard to ask for extensions on work that may not be up to par.

Here are several simple fixes that may drastically improve the quality of your site launch or redesign:

  • Spelling and grammar. This is a no-brainer. If your spelling and grammar are off, your site is not going to look professional. If your site doesn’t look professional, potential customers may assume you aren’t trustworthy. Comb over your web writing. Read it out loud. Have someone else read it. Make sure it’s optimized for the web by adding white space, headings, and lists.
  • Links. Check that your links work the way you want them to. If you want links to open in a new tab, make sure they all do. Verify that the links are placed in the text in a relevant spot, and that they’ll successfully take the reader to the intended site.
  • Titles and meta data. Check your SEO page, and ensure each title says exactly what you want it to say. It should get to the point and let readers know what the page is about. The meta description on each page should be short and to the point. It should note what the reader will receive when he or she clicks on the page. A good meta description may be the difference between a visit to your page and disinterest.
  • Browser checks. To ensure everyone has access to your site, test it on as many browsers as you can. Check Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari to see how the site looks. Though it may not be squeaky clean, everything on your site should be accessible and functional.

These are quick fixes that can be done should there be a deadline approaching. But if more testing is needed and the product isn’t ready for launch, communicate.

Communication is incredibly important for any project. If the new site or redesign isn’t ready to be launched, the project team should get together and discuss the next course of action – and it shouldn’t be to make the deadline. Quality should always be emphasized over speed, both for the reputation of the company and the satisfaction of the customer.