Could you turn a bus around here?

It was raining and my wife and I boarded the 251 bus to Edgware. It was full with all seats taken and around 30 people standing. The windows were all steamed up making the journey not too pleasant.

What drama on the journey! The bus driver missed a turning on the route. He was assailed from all sides with advice:

  • reverse back – impossible as it was rush hour in London and there were lots of cars behind
  • turn at the roundabout and come back to the missed turn off – probably the most sensible suggestion
  • turn around here and go back – probably the most ridiculous suggestion as the road is too narrow and there are only private drives to reverse into. He chose this option


Can you do a 3 point turn here - in a bus!

It took 10 minutes of backwards and forwards, scraping and shouting – reversing into someone’s drive (see photo 2) while hitting the wall. To resounding cheers he managed to turn the bus round but not before the cacophony of hooting horns from the backed up traffic. No bus driver of the year award for him.

50 cups of tea please for thirsty passengers

Mel, a friend of mine suggested he maybe did not know the route. The inevitable question; why not, why no test runs or why not more test runs?

I mention test runs because I am seeing roll outs of change management projects  often with little or no ‘test runs’. Big risk – like the bus driver you may get something more than you bargained for.

On courses or with project teams I talk about taking time to test whether the plan, the solution or idea is practical. There is often the cry that we haven’t got time. My response; has there been a realistic risk assessment of not trialling it? The last time I mentioned this someone said; it’s applied common sense – the trouble is senior managers haven’t got any.

So, could you turn a bus around or should you be trialling it?

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