The Book of Tim: Anticipate and Be Prepared

by Tony Yost

Tim was a very positive and successful project/client manager that I used to work with. (His actual title was Solution Manager. Then he became the Solution Manager Manager…). Anyway, Tim developed a reputation for successful projects. He had a few guiding principles that I called “The Book of Tim”.

One of these principles, as Tim would phrase it, “If you find out that a ‘bad thing’ could happen, and you plan a solution to that ‘bad thing’, then the ‘bad thing’ won’t happen.”
He was right about that a lot more than he was wrong. And, of course, if the “bad thing” did somehow materialize, we were prepared, so it wasn’t so bad.

This applies to every step of a project. As programmers, you anticipate what errors might happen and you write code to handle them. As presenters, you anticipate what might go wrong…say your laptop with the PowerPoint presentation gets misplaced/stolen…so you have another copy on disk with you. As the product launches, you anticipate where users might have trouble and you go over it with the Support group.

This does not imply that you should think negatively about your project. Quite the opposite. You plan for success, and part of that success is dealing with the “bad things”.

It seems like I remember the Boy Scouts had a similar motto… 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *