Can’t join Meeting – Sorry – Fire in another project


How many times have you heard that statement as you start a meeting



One of your critical technical people (in this case; the technical person) is unavailable because they are busy fire-fighting in another project.  The disruption caused by fire-fighting is huge and it has on-going effects.  Meetings are delayed and the project is delayed as a result.  People have to reschedule their time and days. Any preparation time may be wasted.  A period of of 30 or 60 minutes unexpectedly becomes free with no plan for using it. This is especially true if the notification comes through at the last minute. The nature of fire-fighting an issue is that it cannot usually be estimated. It may be solved in 10 minutes or it may take days. The solution is quite frequently obvious once it is found but getting there is painful. So it is hard to estimate whether someone will be available. The issue could be resolved right ahead of the meeting or not (which was the case here).

Quality Assurance tries to avoid fire-fighting by planning for the possibility and making sure people are available.

In the above situation, the meeting has been rescheduled for today – we’ll see if it comes off.


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Photo by Leonie Zettl on Unsplash

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