What is a fixed-date project?
Fixed-date projects are a challenge
How to plan a fixed-date project
Four ways to manage your time with a set date. Get back in your projects
2. Stop the project
3. Accelerate the project
4. Re-negotiate the fixed dates

How to convince management to extend time
How to stay on top your schedule
More tips
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What is a fixed-date project?
A fixed-date project is one with a set delivery date. The deadline is mandatory, so we cannot plan the project using best-practice scheduling techniques.
Here are some examples:
Compliance and legal projects to help the company comply with new regulations that are introduced on a specific day
Construction work in an area with weather restrictions, such as Antarctica and the Middle East, is not permitted.
Product creation for which the launch date has been published
Client projects where the date is a contractual obligation
Projects that must be timed to coincide with certain events, e.g. Holiday seasons or the end of an old product.
Weddings — event planners excel at managing fixed-date projects. Every event has a set date and must be delivered on time.

When I asked J. LeRoy Ward, PMP and PgMP winner of the PMI Eric Jenett Project Management Excellence Award, his opinion was that fixed delivery dates are important for revenue generation, service to a customer, or maintaining operations.
“For example, many telecom projects have set end dates. This is often done on weekends when the telecom switch (the computer that runs the phone and data system in large buildings or groups of buildings) needs to be replaced with a new switch. Another example is outsourcing operations or functions. To ensure continuity of operations, a company must test everything before it moves to outsource services like payroll.
Fixed-date projects are a challenge
Fixed-end projects present a unique planning challenge for project managers. Instead of being able analyze and plan, you are told what and when to do it.
When implementation time is fast approaching, the analysis part of planning must take on a new spin.
Ward stated that the main challenge is the availability and allocation of resources to complete the job by the deadline.
How to plan a fixed-date project
No matter the reason, time-bound projects must be planned in the same way as those without time constraints.
You can ignore the fixed delivery date and work out the end date.
This is known as a forward pass through the plan.
If your schedule shows you can deliver on time, that’s great. If you are unable to deliver by the expected date, get into proactive planning mode.
Given the right resources, a budget limit, and a tight project scope, it is not often impossible to deliver on schedule. However, projects rarely meet these criteria.
Fixed-date projects:
You can plan creatively to cut down on time.
Your sponsor can help you get through bureaucracy.

PRINCE2(r), or any other project methodology or standard, has a very limited approach to managing fixed-date projects. I have compiled some best practices advice to help you meet your delivery dates if they are given to you.