Sometimes unanticipated threats or opportunities create a situation in which work is required unexpectedly. On these occasions, such urgent and unexpected work demands an instant start, in contrast to the often lengthy processes of investigation, evaluation, development, selection and planning normal in businesses and public services before the start of a project. Managing the Urgent and Unexpected explores what is different managerially if work is unexpected, its implementation is urgent and an immediate start it is required. The authors draw on twelve cases ranging from the launch of the Freeview television system in the United Kingdom to the sifting and removal of the New York World Trade Center pile of debris following the 9/11 terrorist attack. They summarise how the response to each of these events was managed, demonstrate that opportunities may sometimes be created in the face of adversity and suggest how normal organizations can prepare to manage abnormal demands. Urgent and unexpected projects have to be rare in business or government to be economically and socially tolerable. And yet organizations can and should be prepared for the unexpected. The lessons offered here will help private and public organizations plan how to authorize and support future urgent work to take advantage of immediate new business opportunities or to protect or restore systems and services.

part I|2 pages

Part I NarratIve

chapter 1|6 pages

You Get a Start!

chapter 2|8 pages


chapter 3|6 pages


chapter 4|10 pages

Project Starts

chapter 5|13 pages

Project Implementation

part II|2 pages


chapter 6|18 pages

What’s Different?

chapter 7|16 pages


part III|3 pages

Future Needs

chapter 8|10 pages

And Now?