Prepare the Project Management Parachute

Being Prepared for When Things Go Wrong

As the great Mike Tyson once said:

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

 

The source of this quote is as questionable as it sounds. I would nevertheless like to delve into an important lesson from the words of Iron Mike – You might have a plan…until something goes wrong.

 

I have decided to discuss the importance of a backup plan – simply because things don’t always go as hoped. What led me to realize the need for this blog post was the overwhelming response to a question I posted on LinkedIn:

prokect-management-2

Prior to this quote, I always believed having a plan B was obvious. After reading Elizabeth Holmes’ views, I realized that this issue may not be so black and white. There’s credit to what she says, but there’s also another way to look at the issue.

 

I found the following example of having a plan B to fall in this grey area. Emergency services, such as a fire department, use their “plan B” to be prepared for every scenario.

 

A fire department will develop hypothetical emergencies. Once they establish potential problems, they develop a solution for each one.

project-management-1

 

Despite the rigorous planning these emergency experts conduct, they are not immune to unforeseen issues that arise on a regular basis. They are, however, better equipped to deal with the new issue than someone who does not have a plan B, as they anticipate something will go wrong, and are not in shock when it does.

 

This is a concept that could have huge benefits if successfully implemented in a company. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, in order to overcome almost any unexpected obstacle.    

 

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
Christopher Smith on sabtwitterChristopher Smith on sablinkedinChristopher Smith on sabgoogleChristopher Smith on sabfacebook