According To Plan, He Said Mockingly

todd schnickI’ve been working hard on a client project for a week now.

It was a RUSH job, one of those projects that falls into your lap at the last minute, and that requires a full commitment of a whole team.

It is especially rewarding when all the parts play nicely together, and when everyone plays their role perfectly, on time, and on budget.

This morning is D-Day. This is the morning I run to the printer to pick up the project, and meet the client on his way to the airport.

And I’ve spent time all weekend writing the “if all goes according to plan” emails…

You know…the ones where you lay out contingency plans in case things don’t go according to plan.

This is the part of the project that most people hate. Especially, since typically things fall apart right at the end.

I admit I don’t like the anxiety of this part any more than anyone else does.

But, this is why you are paid the big bucks to manage. Because, as you well know and should admit to yourself…

Things RARELY go according to plan.

In fact, if you think about it, when a successful project has come and gone, you don’t often look back at the work itself, you remember and talk about the obstacles you had to overcome to get the job done.

This is the messy part about business, and sales, and marketing, and well, every damn facet of business.

In fact, planning for things to NOT go according to plan is part of the project itself. And if you let yourself be unprepared for when things go offtrack, you are fooling yourself.

For in the end, this is actually what makes business fun. And exciting.

Accept that things won’t go perfectly. Accept that not everyone will meet his deadline. Assume that things won’t come in under budget. Managing this is what makes the legends.

Because if you cannot handle these contingencies, you should find another line of work…

“OK, time to go to the printer. Let’s hope things go according to plan,” Todd said to himself, mockingly, and with a slightly evil smile…


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Drawing by Hugh.

  • Tim Berkesch

    If things always went according to plan we wouldn’t be needed, people would just do it themselves!

  • Todd Schnick