IN THIS SUMMARY
According to Carrison, when organizations face critical high-pressure deadlines, unique and creative skills and strategies, as well as major changes in management methods, operations, customer relationships, and other fundamental business processes, are needed to make the impossible possible. Deadline! profiles six well-known organizations (Turner Construction Company, Airborne Express, the Mars Odyssey 2001 mission, the FBI, Boeing, and, Conoco), recounting how executives, managers, and team members in these organizations raced against time and won.These stories provide an essential management primer, illuminating basic business principles that are applicable well beyond deadline management, and that any organization can use to enhance everyday performance. Leaders, managers, entrepreneurs, and workers at every level of any organization are provided the kind of valuable information that they can use to create, what Ian Mitroff calls, proactive crisis-leadership programs (Essential Guide to Managing Corporate Crisis, 1997). This proactive stance is a way of planning as Andrew Grove advocates: "the way a fire department plans"-mandatory in a socio-economic environment, where business as usual has increasingly taken on the mantle of crisis.The lessons learned from the successful completion of these killer-deadline projects also provide a valuable template for project management. In each of Carrison’s examples, the deadline was driven by basic project management principles, including: drive the deadline by its objectives, manage the initiative, using a staged approach, engage all stakeholders and encourage teamwork, create total commitment to the deadline, ensure success through planning, and, as a means of controlling the number and severity of surprises, monitor events against the plan.Because the times demand that organizations develop the ability to act decisively so as to create the flexibility required to change directions quickly and continuously, the lessons presented, and the attendant themes, provide an invaluable tool, not only for responding to unique situations, but also for enhancing overall performance in strategy, customer satisfaction, innovation, human resources, leadership, management, personal growth, productivity, technology, and teamwork.