Plan B and Risk Management

On a recent holiday with my family, we thought we would try the world of para-sailing. Usually, I am pretty conservative in my outlook of semi-dangerous sporting activities, but the family wanted to do this and I really did not want to be the spoiler in this. SO away we went. There was a risk to it, but it was one in a million. With odds like that, who could lose. Well guess what, my son and I were that one in a million.

My daughter and wife went up in the sky, and then after a nice ride, came back down onto the boat. My son and I went up and when it was time to get reeled back into the boat, we touched the water and suddenly went into the sea. With all those long odds, we still ended up all wet. Fortunately, we had our life jackets on, another boat came quickly to pick us up and pulled in my son first and then trying to get into the boat, when the sway of the boat kept getting it beyond my reach while treading water was a tough endeavor. In the end, the crewman on the rescue boat grabbed my life jacket and with the help of his friend, pulled me in after what seemed like an eternity. All’s well that ends well.

But life’s funny that way as we so often use our life experiences to help navigate the day to day tasks that we encounter; like in our projects. The guy who promised so much when we went out to go para-sailing certainly fell short of his deliverables and desired outcomes. After that, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get on a jet ski either from him or his competition. We always anticipate a certain amount of risk, but what happens if the risk you think will never happen, actually does happen? What happens when you are that one in a million, who gets “dropped in the drink” like my son and I experienced on our holiday? Will you have the boat and crew that comes in the nick of time to your rescue and pull you out of deep waters? What is Plan B? At some point, you should plan for anything that will keep your project or task from achieving it’s desired objective or outcome.

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