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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2002
DEADLINE - How premier organizations win the race against time.
I am not a premier organization by the stretch of anyone's imagination so how much help can I hope for in winning my own race against time from the lessons learned and applied by premier organizations. I was delighted to find, quite a bit.
Carrison has researched six organizations from law enforcement to the private sector to aerospace, entities all faced with great challenge, and brought us the benefit of their experience. Given that to make use of this experience will require some discipline on our part, we can be off and running with this very good read. Here's one I hope I would have employed even had I not read it here, "Involve those who can inhibit you early in the process." Here's another, "Involve your customer with the beta test." Sounds risky but imagine that to do so could actually reduce risk in that the customer, like other members of the team, will tend to share the sense of failure on the road to success and thus feel a greater sense of success in the outcome. Here's another gem, "Be willing to subjugate your personality in the interest of the deadline." It reminds me of the plaque said to reside on President Reagan's desk which conveyed that there was no limit to what could be achieved if you just didn't care who got the credit.
It was refreshing to see the human side revealed so well in what could be a dreary and didactic review of how best to use one's time. Whether the goal is lofty or not so lofty, herein lie excellent examples from real world endeavors from which to garner tidbits for our real world. And, to leave with a hook, the closing chapter, "Recurring Themes of Deadline Management" is especially revealing. Great research, great read.
David Heidelberger
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
Deadline is a very interesting read especially to those of you that work in the Construction and Commerical/ Manufacturing Industries. The author gives us (6) stories, several of which give the reader an excellant overview of what it takes to get a project finished within a time frame (in those respective industries). They are suspenseful stories. I would say that I wish there were more story lines in this regard on how the individuals involved solved the problems and got their projects completed within the deadlines imposed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2002
Dan Carrison knows how to tell a good story but, perhaps more importantly, he knows how to take that story and turn it into something more: a valuable learning experience. I took away key lessons from every chapter in this book. The techniques that especially resonated for me were partnering (even with an adversary) and accepting risk. The principles that he reviews will help me out in the future as I "race against time" to meet deadlines in my own workplace.
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on June 29, 2013
In this book Dan shares "numerous, practical deadline-management techniques" through a number of case studies. As listed in the introductions these include learning how to:

" -Prepare for a deadline template for future deadlines

-Begin before the starter's gun, and without the expected conditions

-Create a deadline-oriented corporate culture, in which your people eat deadlines for breakfast

-Make it easier for your consumers to make their deadlines

-Mold your "free spirits" into a confident deadline team

-Move "slower" and be "faster" in the long run

-Stay in "the driver's seat" during even the most critical deadlines

-Maintain a state of deadline readiness

-Celebrate problems within an open, sharing, team environment

-Think beyond the deadline ".

The learnings and lessons from this book are distributed through six chapters each re-telling a deadline-based challenge.

Below is a summary of excerpts that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Although not all deadlines require a safety director, they do require a similar guardian to protect enthusiastic "corporate soldiers" from themselves. Deadlines create a crisis environment; under pressure we are all apt to risk, if not our own safety, our better judgement... Emil's leadership style of pushing - and of delegating someone to push back occasionally - is worth emulating on any time-critical project." 2- " 1- In the interest of time, partner with your adversary, 2- Encourage your customer to be part of the delivery process. Make it "we", not "they". 3- Start where you can; don't wait to "clear the decks." 4- Put all decision makers, or their empowered delegates, under one roof for the duration of the deadline. 5- Decentralize the command structure. Let those closest to the task make the decisions. 6- Make everybody a believer in the schedule. No one anywhere should give the impression that the deadline could slip. 7) Be intense. Take advantage of every opportunity NOW. 8) Understand why you're off schedule before you develop a recovery schedule. 9) Improve agencies, review boards, gatekeepers, etc., early on in the process. 10) Bring your other project "allies" on board before they're actually needed. 11) Appoint a protective counterparty to "driven management". 12) Burn your boats, like Ceasar. Show your team there is not alternative to victory. 13) Make the deadline a high profile project, so that everybody involved, from the top down, is proud to be part of it. 14) Settle conflicts immediately; don't allow a cooling-off period. 15) Include a "sharing clause" in your contract, then share the savings among your team members when the deadline is beaten ahead of time. 16) Delegate team members to anticipate future problems. 17) If it is truly a "mission impossible," don't accept it. Either present a more realistic schedule or walk away. 18) Embrace the deadline!."

2- "1- While loyally representing your own organization, be an advocate for the "other side." 2- Create a corporate culture in which risks will be taken. 3- Involve the customer in the beta test. 4- Create a deadline-oriented corporate culture. 5- Instill a "zero error tolerated" mentality. 6- Identify "points of visibility" throughout your processes. 7- Appoint a single voice of authority. 8- Make it easy for the customer to make the deadline. 9- Hang on to your counterpart in another organization. 10- Protect your own people from having to choose between priorities. 11- Never identify an even higher priority within your "high priorities." 12- Proactively prevent a "let down" after a major success. 13- Develop a parallel plan. 14- Remember - deadlines being out your best."

3- "1- Be willing to subjugate your personality in the interests of the deadline. 2- Margin can be doled out incrementally or given away up front. Consider creating a marketplace to swap margin. 3- Make use of award-based incentives for your deadline team. 4- Model your team after your counterpart's team structure. 5- Mold your "free spirits" into a functioning team. 6- Prevent burnout proactively on the part of your team members. 7- Cultivate leadership by letting your team decide major issues. 8- Make your deadline highly visible. 9- Discourage subcultures by encouraging the Big Picture."

4- "1- Remain in the driver's seat throughout the deadline. 2- Provide your team with the tools needed to meet the deadline. 3- Put the customer first to eliminate subsequent second-guessing. 4- Maintain a deadline log. 5- Conduct debriefings after each deadline. 6- Incorporate "lessons learned" into company policy. 7- Create a deadline template to deal with a sudden deadline. 8- Maintain a state of readiness - departmentally and personally. 9- Make sure your deadline team remains "likable.""

5- "1- Be sure you are listening to the customer. 2- Create conditions in which your people are forthcoming about their problems. 3- Share early and share often. 4- Constructive use of peer pressure is a management tool. 5- Panic early. 6- Public relations, when it shares the risk, can be a great partner in meeting the deadline. 7- Have one plan, not many agendas. 8- Celebrate the significant milestones, rather than wait until the end date. 9- Offer your customers a challenge they cannot refuse. 10- Think beyond the immediate requirements of the deadline. 11- Don't let your customers miss their deadlines."

6- "1- Even short-term deadlines require front-end loading. 2- Recruit by personality as much as by experience. 3- Invest in across-the-board leadership cultivation. 4- Present a unified front of executive support. 5- Partner with the passion of the workforce. 6- Closure is a managerial responsibility. 7- Volunteerism may be the ultimate deadline management tool."

7- "Each of the deadlines described in this book involved risk...Yet, one could not find more conservative organizations! The inherent risks in these projects were not accepted by corporate swash-bucklers who revel in danger. These challenges were accepted by serious professionals who immediately went about finding ways to reduce the risk, by preparing backup plans, by brainstorming creative solutions, and even by taking out literal insurance policies."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2002
Deadline is a well written, enjoyable read. And you don't even have to be an executive, or in management, to benefit from the experience of the successful business and law enforcement teams on which these case studies focus.
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on March 9, 2004
Most other reviews here are pretty much on the mark - here's a great read with salient lessions drawn from a number of 'premier organizations' about how they've managed to succeed against what are, quite often, immoveable deadlines.
In some instances (FBI kidnapping) I was left somewhat disappointed at the simple instance provided and the lack of any suggestion of reaction to an impending deadline by the agents involved. They pondered, realised and nabbed the offender which was great but I failed to find within the situation given any real scenarios that involved their responses to an impending deadline in a situation where things appeared lost.
However, having said that, Carrison certainly hones in on the FBIs ongoing case analysis and reviews - post incident reviews that provide the necessary updates to current method that do provide controlled approach that limits wasted effort.
At the end of each chapter is a series of bullet points that reiterate the lessons provided.
All in all, a good read and a valuable set of lessons that can be taken away, reflected upon and then applied as appropriate.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2002
To date, I've only read the chapter on Conoco's response to aiding the community in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison. I look forward to reading the remainder of the book over the holidays.
Dan Carison has acurately captured what I witnessed first-hand in coordinating the "Weekend of Caring" efforts that Conoco employees undertook with regards to assisting those in time of need. I still have a hard time reading some segments of this story without showing emotion...the author captures details that are forever burned in my memory. I've told many others of Dan's gift in capturing the human elements of the story - the details are an exact duplication of what I felt - the hair on the back of my neck stands out each time I read various segments of the book I'm familiar with. There truly are lessons to be learned regarding tight to impossible deadlines whether that be personally or corporately.
My hat is off to the author for capturing a remarkable story!
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on November 24, 2002
While writen primarily for persons in the business world, "Deadline!" will be of interest to the general reader as well. The author provides interesting insights into the workings of five major corporations and one governement agency, each navigating their way through the difficulties of meeting major internal an external deadlines. One cannot help comparing one's own experiences in an organization with with is described in the six diverse organizations described in the book, in my case the academic world. The author wisely does not offer a cookbook approach. Each situation requires fresh thinking and constant adjustments within the context of a process with a date certain ending point. The decisions made by persons with strong company loyalties and the willingness to take risks offer a stimulating and often an inspirational read.
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on January 18, 2003
I've just returned from a six-part seminar! My attendance to seminars is always based upon my belief that I can gain at least one important and useful "nugget" to employ in my business or personal life.
Author Dan Carrison embarrasses me! I gained so much critical information through the small "entry fee" that I feel I've paid far too little. Dan's selection of companies and projects for discussion makes this book and its lessons very interesting and quite easy to assimilate.
The writing style is very engaging, descriptive and motivating. "Deadline" has supplied such a "pouch of nuggets" it has made the cut and moved onto my credenza.
If you manage any projects, buy this book!
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on October 28, 2002
When I see the amazing things that get done in American business, I often wonder, "How'd they DO that?" This book answers the question - for some pretty amazing projects. And there's also some important lessons here, no matter what kind of work you may be in. Like a lot of people, I tend to put work off until the last minute. If you're like that, too, these stories will make your hair stand on end. EVERY minute is the "last minute." Huge amounts of money on the line. And it reads more like an adventure story than a dull business book.
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