It is my opinion that deadlines belong to an undisciplined company.

I have no good stories of deadlines

Against the backdrop of the Bitcoin bull run of December 2017, we were racing against time to finish building NuMoney, our cryptocurrency exchange. We wanted to ride the wave and capture as much market share as possible in building the single largest cryptocurrency exchange in Southeast Asia before the inevitable crash happen. So I did what was immediately obvious: I pushed hard on deadlines on every engineer.

What resulted was a tremendously stressful environment for everyone, including myself because we were missing every deadline; everyone was working late(r).

We missed the first deadline, then I gave ourselves another month; and another two months. It was finally released many months later.

Long story short? Deadlines did nothing to get a project released.

It is not just me, NASA agrees.

NASA did a study on deadlines, and their conclusion is the same. An identical project was given two teams; one with a deadline and another without. And both teams finished the project with no discernible difference in delivery dates.

The difference is that the team without deadline worked was much happier and delivered code that was of way higher quality.

The right way to manage deadlines

In my opinion, the right way to manage deadlines is reactive management that is flexible with the project scope. If a project is taking far too long, we will reduce the scope of work needed. Life is short; work without deadlines.