Consulting Lessons Learned 15: Setting deadlines

You need something urgent? Set a deadline!

Just because you are used to replying to emails within 24 hours doesn’t mean that your couterparts do the same.

Here is a very typical situation every junior consultant experiences at least a few times: Your project manager asks you to collect some feedback or input that is urgently required from a client or external expert. You send an email to him or her. Several day pass by, but you don’t receive an answer. After 2 days your project manager needs to escalate the topic.

What could you have done better? If you need something urgent, send an email including a deadline. You can do this politely: For example ask “as we urgently require this input, could you kindly provide us with the input by ….”.

Also, if it’s super urgent, make sure to call your counterpart. Some people don’t check emails regularly and doing an additional call with give you a direct feedback on by when you can expect a reply.

Categories: Best practices