My son has a group of friends that hang out with each other fairly consistently. They have been hanging out with each other for many years, having grown up together from their first schooling, through middle school and on to high school. They had a "sleep over" party they other night, and the start time was articulated differently for those that were going to attend. For most, the start time was defined at for example, 1900 hours or 7:00 pm. However, for some, the start time was identified as 1800 hours or 6:00 pm. The reason for that is there is a contingent that is usually late to the party, and it matters the start time. I told my son that this is a classic project management technique and that his friend is using what some project managers use to ensure the schedule progresses as planned, or as much as can be done. Some argue that this setting the deadline or start time a little off, sets precedent that nothing starts or finishes as the project plan would suggest, leaving the project manager in a position of not perhaps, being considered trustworthy when it comes to dates and times. Personally, I think you have to modify what you do for the situation and his is one of many approaches that can be taken.

What do you think? Is it okay for the project manager to pad the schedule like this, to tell the team member a different expected time for delivery (or in this case arrival)? Have you done this before?