I learned the power of deadlines when I was beginning my career as a product manager. A core responsibility of a PM is to ship product. It seems obvious but it’s easier said than done.
Shipping earlier means getting value to your customers and learning faster. Beyond that, setting a release date provides a deadline for the team. This deadline acts as a forcing function. The constraint of time forces you to focus on the task at hand, rank what’s most important, and cut what’s not.
I’m seeing this now with a big project we’re working on at Moved. Not only are we shipping new product but we’re making big changes to the way we operate internally. The project involves everyone in the company, making communication and coordination essential. Each person has their role and we’re all focused on getting to the finish line. Even after the “finish line” (launch) there’s a lot of work to make sure all goes well into the future.
Deadlines can be stressful but they can also create moments of magic. Seeing everyone rally and execute in crunch time is a thing of beauty.
There’s more work to do but it’s useful to take a step back and appreciate the big moments as they’re happening. Thanks to this blog for allowing me a few minutes to do that. Now back to work.