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Managing the Urgent and Unexpected

Twelve Project Cases and a Commentary

Managing the Urgent and Unexpected by Stephen Wearne
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Sometimes unanticipated threats or opportunities create a situation in which work is required unexpectedly. On these occasions, such urgent and unexpected work demands an instant start, in contrast to the often lengthy processes of investigation, evaluation, development, selection and planning normal in businesses and public services before the start of a project. Managing the Urgent and Unexpected explores what is different managerially if work is unexpected, its implementation is urgent and an immediate start it is required. The authors draw on twelve cases ranging from the launch of the Freeview television system in the United Kingdom to the sifting and removal of the New York World Trade Center pile of debris following the 9/11 terrorist attack. They summarise how the response to each of these events was managed, demonstrate that opportunities may sometimes be created in the face of adversity and suggest how normal organizations can prepare to manage abnormal demands. Urgent and unexpected projects have to be rare in business or government to be economically and socially tolerable. And yet organizations can and should be prepared for the unexpected. The lessons offered here will help private and public organizations plan how to authorize and support future urgent work to take advantage of immediate new business opportunities or to protect or restore systems and services.
Taylor and Francis; May 2016
222 pages; ISBN 9781317101314
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Title: Managing the Urgent and Unexpected
Author: Stephen Wearne; Keith White-Hunt