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I love being able to get my work done without interruptions. To be able to sit down at the task at hand, start working on it, and be able to complete it without having to worry about something new coming up or having something suddenly become an issue that has to be dealt with.

Perhaps itís a desire fostered by years of working in cubicles and open offices, where colleagues could easily and frequently intrude and disrupt my workflow, for both important and unimportant reasons. Perhaps itís a tiredness from years of weekend projects that were purposefully started but abandoned by the need to repair a bicycle, mediate a disagreement between six-year-olds, or run to the hardware store for more potting soil. In any case, I often find myself drawn to the vision of uninterrupted projects, envisioning a peaceful business environment where I can finish what I started without being bothered or dragged into some other situation.

Unfortunately, itís probably also a vision of certain economic and business ruin. While this idyllic vision certainly has allure (at least for me and perhaps others), itís no way to run a project or company. Like it or not, very few endeavors are truly isolated or well defined enough to allow the complete exclusion of all ad-hoc or dynamic exterior influences.

In todayís world, business and even personal lives are guidedóif not run entirelyóby dynamic information. For example, in simpler times, manufacturing organizations could easily and profitably define two, three, or even five-year manufacturing cycles, planning out scheduled product enhancements and signing long-term contracts with suppliers. While change came frequently, it was moderately even and predictable. Companies could spend two or even three years building stand-alone applications to accomplish specific business needsówithout having to worry incessantly about integration, business partner requirements or flurries of new regulatory changes.

Today, with our never-ending flow of information and IT technologies, rapid economic and political changes, and increased focus on international commerce, global markets, and the new economy, itís inherently difficult to for almost any organization (or individual) to realistically define unalterable and set plans for months or quarters at a time. While thereís no substitute for good, solid planning and strong planning processes, itís more important than ever to account for a wide variety of defined (or potential) dynamic elements in business processes, projects, and relationships.


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