project management – Adding a new developer just before deadline is horrible. But what is not?

Imagine a project is assigned to a team, deadline is estimated as 8 months. After 6 months it becomes apparent the project will most certainly not be complete on time(e.g a law changes or a hidden monumental hurdle is discovered or the lead dev gets hit by a bus etc.). But the project is important (e.g. loose an important client on failure or have to pay reparations).

One solution we all agree is horrible is add more developers, especially new to the company. They will need at least a month to get up to speed and occupy the rest of the team during that time.

One solution we all agree is awesome is prevention. But such situations do happen.

What is a reasonable solution in such a situation for the manager of the team, provided they have plenty of leverage for additional people, funding, client negotiation etc?