Having a Contingency Plan is Important to Your Company’s Success
When your company makes plans, there should always be contingency plans in case something was to go wrong. We all want to believe that hours of hard work and careful planning will give us the results that we are looking for. Sometimes the elements that are out of our control can cause us problems that we should have planned for but did not.
For example, there is a story of a contractor that worked for weeks on a large bid for an important project. The lead estimator determined that the bid would not be done in time to mail it or even send it overnight. The decision was made to send it same day air and have a courier service pick up the bid at the airport and deliver it in time for the opening.
All of the plans were made and the bid was packaged and put on the plane. Ten minutes after the bid was over, the contractor called to see if it had won the contract. The project owner said that the contactor’s bid never arrived. The contractor was furious and called the courier service to find out why. The courier service said that the bid never arrived.
After several days, the contractor received a phone call from the airlines stating that the bid had fallen off the conveyor belt and it lay on the floor until it was picked up. The contractor had spent thousands of dollars to prepare the bid, but it was never even seen because of bad planning.
In the previous example, there was not contingency plan if the bid was not picked up by the courier. The contractor never asked the courier to confirm delivery. He just assumed it would be picked up and delivered. If he had planned to fail, then he would have had a system in place that would have had the courier calling to check in and reporting that the bid did not arrive. The contractor could have called the airline and the bid could have been recovered in time to be delivered before the opening.
When you make critical plans for your business, you need to consider all of the ways in which those plans could fail. The most important part of contingency planning is taking into account all of the parts of your plan that you have no control over. When you rely on other people to assist you in making your plans work, you are putting the future of your company in someone else’s hands. There are plans you can make that will reduce the impact of those factors on your company’s success, and those plans wind up being the most critical parts of your business planning process.
The companies that do not plan to fail are the ones that are ill-prepared to handle adversity. The football team that puts all of its hopes on the star quarterback and does not spend the money on a quality backup is in for a long season when the star quarterback is lost for the season with an injury on the first snap of the first game.
If you want your business to be successful, then you must plan to fail. If you do that, then you will be able to handle any challenge that may come your company’s way. You will also be better equipped to reduce the effects that the failings of other people will have on the success of your organization.