It seems like our projects are always a crunch at the end, with some tasks not being completed, and others rushed to completion and then containing errors. What's a way to avoid this?
We teach Jim Rust's "half-life" approach to project management so that projects are delivered on time, on budget. The essence of the "half-life" approach is to do as good a job as you can do in half the time you have. Then you assess where you are. In producing the "half-life" product, you no doubt have questions or need additional information. Perhaps you had a creative insight that you didn't have at the beginning of the project. Perhaps an aspect of the project is more complicated than you anticipated. At the mid-point, you do a new project plan, but you are much smarter, and it will be a better plan. We use this approach with great effectiveness to keep our projects on track and on budget.