Why Poor Planning and Scheduling can impact your Personal 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 recognize that many drivers ignore the speed limit and go 10, 20, or sometimes 30 kilometers per hour over the posted sign.

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Free pictures from Pexels.Gabriel Hohol

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. Yet, it is the number one way 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 yearly in Alberta, Canada (AMA, 2011). 

You might be living somewhere in another place or country, and you have different numbers. As a result, your statistics might be worse or better. Behind these statistics are the faces of families, friends, 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, one will realize that risk-based management is the solution to this harmful and deadly consequence. 

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 to jeopardize the life of their precious passengers by speeding, talking, and texting? I have asked these questions many times and have not come up with an explanation as to the logical why, and that is still waiting for a good and formal reply from anyone.

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Free pictures from Pexels.David Henry

Today, it just simply crossed my mind. Poor planning and scheduling (or absence thereof) are the roots 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 flowed, making my jaw fall. So here are some of the reasons why people are speeding. These are just a few.

1)   People are running late 

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Free picture from Pexels. Aphiwat chuangchoem
  • So they push the pedal to the metal
  • So they make a 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 car impulsively
  • So they honk, yell, and swear
  • So they don’t observe a safe distance
  • So they try to annoy the other driver with bad gestures
  • So they put their headlight on high beam
  • So they get distracted
  •  And many more (you can quickly 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 of speeding is because they are all preventable. They are preventable through a good understanding of planning and scheduling.

The following day, a person who has an interview will plan his activities, including contingencies. He will schedule and execute them firmly and 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 congestion and some what-if accident situations and build his buffer zone. These all ensure 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 give in to his emotion when road activities go against him. He knows how to overtake a vehicle safely on the wet, dry, or icy road because he has a plan. He has alternate bottleneck routes 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 threats 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 the final decision. It is constrained by any social, technical, business, safety, and environmental factors. Successful decision-making requires understanding these factors and objectives (RiskTec, 2013).

Risk-based means that risk is the central contemplation while keeping an eye on achieving business objectives. It is, therefore, a foundational concern in pursuing a goal. Planning and scheduling are at 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

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  1. Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A Project Controls Perspective.ISBN 978-0-9947608-0-7.Canada
  2. Plan to Schedule, Schedule to Plan.ISBN 978-0-9947608-2-1.Canada
  3. How to Create a Good Quality P50 Risk-based Baseline Schedule.ISBN 978-0-9947608-1-4.Canada
  4. Schedule Quantitative Risk Analysis (Traditional Method).ISBN 978-0-9947608-3-8.Canada
  5. RISK, What are you? The Risk Manager’s Poem: Children’s Book for all Professionals.ISBN 978-0-9947608-4-5 (Canada)


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Grace, The Guardian Angel.ISBN 978-0-9947608-5-2.Canada

Book in the works

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