That is usually what happens on most projects - you may be a little late on some target dates, a little early on others, but generally all of you are working towards the same dates, and hopefully the same priorities.
But what about when it doesn't work out, and deadlines are missed repeatedly?
Certainly you can apply contract penalties to a vendor, but that does not always help to achieve the desired effect of getting finished on time.
This can be particularly problematic as you near the end of the project, when there is still a lot left to get wrapped up. People may be getting tired and losing focus - but you need to keep them delivering, right to the end.
Tempers may flare, relationships can suffer, and you can end up with an even bigger mess on your hands if you are not careful, with little to show for your project as you near that all-important deadline. All the while, the clock is still ticking.
A family friend was plagued with this problem for many years - until he figured out the secret. He not only found out a way to keep a very important chronologically-challenged team member/stakeholder happy, but he also managed to bring things back on schedule, time and time again.
So how did he do it?
Listen to the podcast or read the full article on Gazza's Corner Blog.