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Planning, Scheduling, and Safety

All of us have seen the aftermath of those who defied the traffic sign “Drive slowly! Do not exceed the speed limits" or "Slow down, dangerous curve."  

As you drive on the highway, you begin to recognize that many drivers just ignore the speed limit and drive 10, 20, or sometimes 30 kilometers per hour over the limit.

Everyone knows that speed kills, and seeing someone traveling above the limit makes us question how any intelligent person can commit such a reckless act. It is one of the number one ways to cause or get into a car accident. 

Let’s quickly go to statistics.

There are 150,000 collisions, 350 traffic deaths, and 20,000 injuries every year in Alberta, Canada (AMA, 2011).

You might be living somewhere in another place or country and you have different numbers. Your statistics might be worse or better.

The thing is, behind this statistics are faces of families and friends, the communities, and workplaces. They are all negatively affected and there is an urgent need to understand and do something.

If one thinks about it long enough, he will realize that the solution to this harmful and deadly consequence is risk-based management.

What do you think is the root cause of speeding? Why are people taking to the road and speeding? Are they chasing something, someone? Why are they talking on their mobile phone and texting? Why can’t they wait? Why can’t they make the call before boarding their vehicles? What is too important to parents as to jeopardize the life of their precious passengers by speeding, and talking, and texting? I have asked these questions many times and came up with an explanation as to the logical why, and that is without even receiving a good and formal reply from anyone.

It just simply crossed my mind.  Poor planning and scheduling or their absence, is the root of many accidents, and human-made disasters. 

Planning and scheduling are like husband and wife. The syllogism offers a good analogy because it is based on an ideal and fundamental point of view of mutual interdependency. We plan to schedule. We schedule to plan. It is a deep-rooted tie that cannot be ignored (Frago, R., 2015.Plan and Schedule: Planner and Scheduler: What is your story?.LinkedIn Pulse article).

Anyway, while teaching project teams the subject of planning and scheduling in an in-house course, the answers came flowing and they made my jaw fell. Here are some of the reasons why people are speeding. These are just a few.

1)    People are running late

  • So they push the pedal to the metal 
  • So they make shortcut  So they jump the queue
  • So they call while driving to cancel an appointment
  • So they call while driving to say they’ll be late
  • So they don’t know what to do except speed up
  • And many others (think about it...)

 2)    People are impatient to drive behind another vehicle

  • So they overtake the vehicle impulsively
  • So they honk, yell, and swear
  • So they don’t observe safe distance
  • So they try to annoy the other driver by bad gestures
  • So they put their headlight to high beam
  • So they get distracted
  •  And many more (you can easily think of some other reasons)

3)    People are tired or impaired

  • So they try to be there before they fall asleep
  • So they can be there to rest before the next appointment
  • So they commit driving miscalculation
  • And some others (think about it)

The purpose of bringing the reader’s attention to this seemingly ordinary day-to-day issue on speeding is because they are all preventable. They are preventable through good understanding of planning and scheduling.

A person who has an interview the next morning will plan his activities including contingencies. He will schedule and execute them firmly surely.

He will set his wake-up alarm clock to 5:30 AM if his interview is 9:00 AM not 8:00 AM, knowing that it is 50 kilometers away through traffic zones. 

Any thinking man will consider congestions, some what-if accident situations, and build his buffer zone from there. These are all to make sure he can still be there on time no matter what he encounters. 

By doing this, he minimizes stress. He avoids speeding, potentially saving lives and properties. He will not be a slave to his emotion when road activities go against him. He knows how to overtake a vehicle safely in wet, dry, or icy road because he has a plan. He has alternate routes in case of bottlenecks, guided by a good sense of direction and logic.

Risk-based management describes the available choices and options considered against their associated risks. Actions become possible when we are sure that we adequately comprehend the risks before us. Looking at how other types of management work makes the risk-based concept ideal, since it is a simple perspective that can easily integrate other concepts.

Decisions evolve from a situation where one has to make a choice.

The option can be to do or not to do something. It can also be to select one option from a range of options. The most important objectives drive final decision. It is constrained by any, or combination of social, technical, business, safety, and environmental factors. Successful decision-making requires an understanding of each of these factors and objectives (RiskTec, 2013).

Risk-based simply means that risk is the main contemplation while keeping an eye to achieving business objectives. It is therefore a foundational concern in the pursuit of a goal.

Planning and scheduling is in the core of risk-based management.Everything we do in this world is a form of risk-based management. 

Source: Frago, R. (2015).Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A Project Controls Perspective. ISBN 978-0-9947608-0-7 (Canada). Section 3.9


Rufran C. Frago – Author (29-Oct-16)

Related sites:

Related articles authored by Rufran Frago.

  1. Black Swans
  2. Risk Relativity
  3. Phantom Schedules
  4. Man is the Center of the Risk Universe
  5. Project Schedule Baseline Top 10 Prerequisites
  6. Setting Critical Path
  7. Schedule Critical path
  8. Primer to Good Schedule Integration
  9. Project Schedule: P50, Anyone?
  10. Schedule Baseline Dilemma Part 1
  11. Schedule Baseline Dilemma Part 2
  12. 4D Scheduling Part 1: What is it about?
  13. 4D Scheduling Part 2
  14. 4D Scheduling Part 3
  15. Mega-Projects Schedule Management and Integration
  16. Scaffolding Hours: What are they? Part 1
  17. Scaffolding Hours: What are they? Part 2
  18. Your World, Our Risk Universe
  19. Rufran Frago in the Global Risk Community Site

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