Unit 05 :
We are behind schedule


material icon


Repeat these sentences with your teacher first.

  • wrap up (phr.)
  • bring me up to speed (phr.)
  • behind schedule (phr.)
  • ran into (phr.)
  • bush back (phr.)
  • tight (adj.)
  • can’t afford to (phr.)
  • occupied (adj.)
  • assign (v.)
  • on schedule (phr.)
  • hiccups (n.)
material icon-03


Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.



Okay everyone, before we wrap up the meeting, Sophie can you bring me up to speed on the annual report?

Well, we’re actually behind schedule. We ran into an issue with some of the sales numbers.

Well we’d better get those numbers right. Do we have to push back the deadline again?

It’s going to be tight, but I don’t think I can get it done any faster.

We can’t afford to delay the report any longer. Have you asked others to help you?

I’ve already asked around but everyone’s already pretty occupied.

Let me take care of that. I’ll assign someone to help you out.

Thanks. That’ll help us get back on schedule.

These hiccups are slowing things down and we really need to make this deadline.

material icon-03


Read the article with your teacher.

What to do when you are behind schedule?

Depending on the reasons why the project is behind schedule, your options vary. The methods listed here can help you work out a best solution in a multicultural environment.

Do overtime or extend the deadline

When the delay is minor, overtime is what you need in order to get back on track. If the delay isn’t minor and/or overtime is not an option, you could try to extend the deadline, especially when the delay is the result of an unavoidable accident nobody could have predicted.

Change the scope

If it turns out that a particular task requires much more effort than what you have initially estimated, or if the task is not as vital as it was originally deemed to be, then you can exclude it from the project scope and still make it on time. However, don’t forget to get the approval before you make the rescheduling.

Include more resources

If the project permits it, you can ask other departments for help or assign more people to the project. But always bear in mind: When new people come into the project, they need to be trained first and get acquainted with the project.


material icon


Answer the following questions to your teacher.

  1. Do you often get a chance to discuss the problems that your company is facing? How do you usually decide on the solutions?
  2. What do you think is the best way to reach a decision in a group discussion? Why do you think so?
material icon

Let’s practice

Choose the correct answer.

1. To be honest, I was worried that we could not _____ the deadline.

A. wrap
B. make
C. push
D. miss

2. Sorry, I’m _____ schedule. I’ll be late for the meeting.

A. after
B. behind
C. in
D. ahead

3. You go on ahead, I just need to ____ some work before I head home.

A. encounter
B. wrap up
C. run into
D. push back

4. We gotta wrap it up as soon as possible. We simply cannot ___ any more delays.

A. assign
B. push
C. extend
D. afford

5. Eddie, could you please ____ on where we are with the project?

A. fill us in
B. fill in us
C. fill on us
D. fill us on

6. _____ leave soon or we’ll miss the opening ceremony.

A. We had to
B. We’d better to
C. We’d better
D. We’d like to