A lack of planning on your part…


…does not constitute an emergency on my part.

I think I first ran into that saying in high school, but certainly no later than college. After a recent interaction with some rather unprepared people, I started thinking about the saying and how well it’s stood the test of time.

With the advent of the Internet and everything being automated and centralized and web-based, you might think there would be fewer last-minute crises in a given project. But the opposite seems to be true: projects have just as many moving parts and points of failure as they did when everything was analog. And if you need people with specialized skills to make the technology behave, you’d better make sure they’re available ahead of time.

Ultimately, it comes down to people and tasks and organization. If you’ve built a project structure or company culture where people budget their time wisely and manage vendor relationships with respect, you won’t have a nightmare in the last 48 hours before something is due. But if you just sail along blindly and hope it works out in the end, you may find that the people and technology you need to get the project done simply aren’t available on a moment’s notice.