Decision Making; General Management Practice

tHe tiGHt deadliNe

Primary Topic—Time Management and Personal Effectiveness

Additional Topics—Decision Making; General Management Practice

“Just one day out with the bug and the work comes pouring in,” said nursing office manager Susan Wagner. “You won’t believe everything I’ve got to do. It took half an hour to sort this stuff and decide what my priorities are.”

“What’s first?” asked secretary Betsy Adams. “The hottest item of real importance is the monthly overtime report. It’s due the

day after tomorrow. Trouble is, it takes 3 to 4 hours and right now I’ve got just”— Susan looked at her watch—“three-quarters of an hour before I jump into a series of interviews that will last the rest of the day.”

“I know that report is a bear,” Betsy said. “Remember, I’m the one who types it. When are you going to have it ready?”

“I was thinking of getting it started right now and finishing it tomorrow morning, though it’s a pain to try to pick up the calculations again once they’ve been started and dropped.”

Betsy said, “Our next 2 days are fairly open.” She grinned as she added, “Maybe wait and do it on the day it’s due? There’s nothing like a little deadline pressure to make us work efficiently.”

“More pressure I can do without,” Susan responded. “I’m half thinking that I should jump into it tomorrow and save the final day as a buffer in case I get inter- rupted or something goes wrong.”

Betsy shrugged and said, “Well, I’ll be ready when you’re ready for me. When can I probably expect it?”

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In their conversation, Susan and Betsy identified three choices for approaching the overtime report:

1. Start now and finish tomorrow. 2. Do it entirely tomorrow. 3. Do the report on the day it is due.

Put yourself in Susan’s position and select the approach you would take. Justify the approach by describing its advantages and by noting the disadvantages of the other alternatives.

78 Case 28: The Tight Deadline

© Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION. 8645

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