Spring Has Sprung

The grass is starting to turn green. The weather is warming up, at least for some of us. And as we progress into the year, we get a little extra light because of daylight saving time (except for my friends in Arizona and Hawaii). All of these changes even make me think: Maybe I can hit the driving range after work? If you haven’t noticed, spring is one of my favorite seasons.

Although spring season is typically associated with cleaning, in my part of the country, it’s also a time for preparedness. I live in the heart of tornado alley and this time of year is typically when we get our most violent storms. I get asked all the time, “Why do you still live in the heart of tornado country?” That’s a simple answer: My community is wonderful! And our weather forecasters are great at helping us prepare for when those storms are headed our way. They do their homework days in advance.

We can use this analogy in our work life also. We all have days when we know storms are brewing in our office. That last-minute decision to respond to an RFQ, the project manager who won’t take the time to get you the information you need, or the mysterious case of the missing electronic files. You can prepare yourself for these storms with a little homework of your own. To help, here are some ideas:

  • Stand by your office policy on the go-no-go process. If you don’t have one, put one in place. It won’t help all the time, but it will minimize stress with those last-minute requests.
  • Help your project managers by developing a draft of what you need. It’s easier for them to edit than coming up with something new.
  • Make sure your files are always backed up and stored in a safe place. Accidental deletions and hard-drive crashes do happen.

Whether it’s your work or personal life, you can be prepared for any storms that may come your way. All it takes is a little homework and some forecasting.

Until next time!


SMPS President Chris Rickman, FSMPS, CPSM, is executive VP and chief operating officer at ZFI Engineering in Oklahoma City, OK. He can be reached at


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