The battle of real versus artificial deadlines
This excellent article looks at the different types of deadlines and the impact they have. The key point for me, and not something I had seen previously defined, is the distinction between real and artificial deadlines:
Real deadlines have a direct (and often large) economic consequence. Not meeting the deadline will seriously jeopardize some future outcome. Artificial deadlines don’t work like that. There may be an economic impact, but the link between “hitting the date” and the economic impact will be a lot more subtle and abstract.
It also provides guidance for determining if a given deadline is real or artificial:
A good question to discern the difference between a real and artificial deadline is to ask how much it will cost if you’re a day late. Or a week late. If that $ is big and immediate then it is real.