Remember one golden rule of timeline extensions: Never request for it in the last minute.
Even if your request is genuine, your manager or client will assume you have been slacking. Follow these 3 steps to confidently request timeline extensions:
1. Request for extension at least 2 weeks prior to deadline: This is the most crucial step. This means you have 100% clarity on project execution. Specify extra number of days you require for work completion.
2. Compose a simple table justifying challenges and solution: This should take less than 10 minutes. Disclose challenges and solution titles in 2 columns. Include key metrics pertaining to resource availability, vendor contingencies, data credibility etc.
3. Specify you timeline extension as a high priority message – Your manager and/or client should approve your request within 24 hours. This is how you hold them accountable on critical projects.
Such a systematic communication will ensure that you requests are honored amicably. It also garners greater respect for your work ethic.
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