Years ago, many pizzerias advertised a 30/60-minute-or-less guarantee that basically promised customers that their pizza would arrive warm and timely. Isn't it odd that their selling pitch was speed and not tastiness? Fast forward a couple decades and many pizzerias have rethought that approach after one too many deliverymen wrecked while racing against the clock.
DDCP (don't deliver cold pizza) is an acronym my dad told me about when I was younger. He said that he uses the acronym to remind his team that it’s important to meet the expectations of customers whether or not a deadline is in place.
In order to make the DDCP philosophy effective, you have to know your customer’s goals from top to bottom. A particular project’s goals support a hierarchy of other goals, and if you truly understand the hierarchy, a deadline becomes less important. Your goal as an employee or service provider is to help your customer (or company) meet their goals.
My world is filled with expectations, deadlines, timelines, and whatever else you want to call them, but I try not to interpret them as they are. I’ve disciplined myself to understand that the best way I can serve my customers is by making sure that the solutions I provide come at a time when they’re relevant and needed. I do provide time estimates for my customers, but I sell them as they are -- just estimates. What I don't estimate, however, is the quality or temperature of the pizza I deliver. The pizza should be hot and tasty every single time.