Yesterday saw the UK have its worst snow fall for 18 years.
Schools were closed, transport was non existent and we were all advised to stay at home, unless it was urgent! The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, said on TV that “it was the right type of snow, there was just too much of it”. A friend working at an exhibition in the Midlands said visitor numbers were drastically reduced; we could not get one of our Consultants to a client for a 3 day project management training course.
Today, hospital outpatient clinics are shut, schools still closed and many people will still find it difficult to get to work. So, it looks like we are closed for another day.
Can we afford the impact on the economy? Ought we to be spending money to deal with incidents like this? Some people have described the snow as a light dusting compared to the US and some Scandinavian countries. They manage, so why can’t we? Business leaders are suggesting more planning, politicians say we cannot afford to invest for a one off situation.
We are a country in recession. We need to take every opportunity to sell ourselves positively to others. We lost this battle big time.
Clearly organisations have made some calculations that it is simply not worth spending the money for one event in 18 years. Try and tell this to those companies that suffered financially yesterday – Oxford Street, one of London’s premier shopping experiences, was shown deserted except for snow piled up. Interestingly, could we have coped if only 50% of the snow had fallen? I doubt it.
The radio this morning is full of observers suggesting that the cost to the economy will be billions of pounds. They also point out that the cost of prevention would have been much less.
Let’s bring this back to projects. When you look at your projects, do you really ensure that it is worthwhile investing time and money in? Do you clearly identify the real benefits to the stakeholders and what will be the costs of investing in the project and what will be the cost of not investing? Do you have a clear process for making a judgement whether to invest? If not……..
As for me today; I’m here. I cannot speak for the rest of the UK but yesterday, we were definitely closed.