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:


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.



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.
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