Monday, April 28, 2014

...the brackets?

March Madness and Contingency Planning (a.k.a. when life busts your bracket)
For me, March Madness 2014 was more about living and breathing than it was about living and breathing basketball...
...Upon reflection, however, living and breathing 20 sweaty people, two nets, a wooden court, and a leather ball doesn't sound healthy either...

Life busted my bracket.
After finishing my needs assessment draft and while drafting the format and methods section, for a class project, I lost my stepfather, a cousin, and a friend.
What does this have to do with program planning?
Well, in my previous life as a university administrator, when planning events I made sure that if I was run over by a bus then he show could still go on.
Yes, I know that’s depressing, but you don’t make contingency plans for good news.
To me, contingency planning is more than what to do if the AV goes down, or running short on funding, or a presenter dropping out. It is also about what happens if the planner is unexpectedly out of commission.
This kind of contingency plan isn’t necessarily written down, at least not in the sense of “If I am not here do X, Y, and Z.”  It is more about not being an island, not being the sole keeper of knowledge. It is why planning should be done as a team, where everyone is up to speed on the time line, and everyone knows what’s going on, well enough, to pull it together if you aren’t there.
No, it’s not something anyone likes to think about, but there is always a chance the you could get sick, or have to go out of town on a family emergency, or have your appendix removed on the week of an event.
A responsible planner must make contingency plans for their own absence.
For the possibility that something will bust their personal bracket
This is from my personal blog for one of my classes. I thought it worked here as well....

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a blog of exploration, discovery, and recovery