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You’ve heard it a million times: “These are unprecedented times.” Well here’s a hot take: We’re always in unprecedented times. The present reality is always called the “new normal.”

These words have never been more accurate than they are in project management. The ever-changing landscape of business, technology, and global events means that every day presents new challenges and opportunities. Much like preppers preparing for the worst, project managers must adopt a mindset of continuous preparedness. Being ready for unforeseen circumstances can be a game-changer in today’s fast-paced and unpredictable world.

The Unprecedented Nature of Our Times

Now, don’t get us wrong. The pandemic enormously affected labor, prices, the supply chain, and organizational infrastructure. In other words, even if we acknowledge that we’re always living in an unprecedented reality, these times are even more unprecedented than usual.”

Indeed, recent years have been marked by a series of significant disruptions, and they serve as a poignant reminder of how unpredictable the world can be. Let’s reflect on some of these important events:

The Unpredictability Factor

In short, if ‘unforeseeable circumstances’ are an excuse for failure, then failure will always be excused.

One of the core principles of project management is risk management. However, risk management is often focused on known risks, leaving organizations vulnerable to high-impact, low-probability risks that can turn an organization’s world upside down. This is where the importance of adopting a prepper mentality comes into play.

Adopting a Prepper Mentality

The above shows that a significant disruption happens once every few years or even a few months. We say the most overlooked risks are high-impact, low-probability risks.

Preppers, individuals who prepare for various emergencies and catastrophes, understand the value of being ready for the unexpected. Adopting a prepper mentality in a project management context means acknowledging that the business environment is inherently volatile, and disruptions will occur. Organizations should invest in contingencies rather than assuming a 100% optimal environment.

Contingencies for Business Continuity

If everything has to be business-as-usual and assumes a 100% optimal environment to make revenue, then the organization must invest in contingencies. In volatile environments, no one trait gives a company a leg up on the rest. Adaptability itself is key.

Adapting and responding swiftly to unexpected challenges is a cornerstone of successful project management. Organizations that prioritize adaptability position themselves to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Here’s how a prepper mentality can be applied to project management:

In today’s fast-paced and unpredictable world, project managers must embrace the Organizational ABCs: Always Bring Contingencies. While we may never be able to predict every challenge that lies ahead, we can prepare for them. A prepper mentality reminds us that adaptability and preparedness are essential for success.

The next time you embark on a project, remember the importance of being ready for the unexpected. Whether it’s a global crisis, a technological shift, or a regulatory change, your organization’s ability to navigate the unknown will determine its resilience and long-term success. Embrace the ABCs of project management, and you’ll be better prepared to thrive in these perpetually unprecedented times.

WiserWulff helps companies achieve successful project outcomes by implementing effective portfolio, program, and project management and adopting the Organizational ABCs with a preparedness mindset. Contact us here.

September 22, 2023

The Organizational ABCs: Always Bring Contingencies

You’ve heard it a million times: “These are unprecedented times.” Well here’s a hot take: We’re always in unprecedented times. The present reality is always called the “new normal.” These words have never been...