ASAP Is Not A Deadline, ASAP Is An Excuse

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Fair warning. This one is a rant.

“This needs to be done ASAP!”

Have you ever heard that line? It seems to be all too common a phrase in IT and business in general nowadays. Far too often I have someone tell me how they need some item “As soon as possible.” Of course, they need it so quickly they cannot even say the full phrase. They need it “ASAP!”

ASAP is a stupid and pathetic phrase that people use to cover up for their lack of planning and prioritizing. You either need something now, you need something by a due date, or you missed your deadline. There is no “ASAP” option.

I want to be clear that I do not think that the people who use the phrase are being stupid or pathetic, but that the phrase itself is stupid and pathetic. It is an acronym that is easy to sling around to imply urgency, but it is actually just a cop out for not developing a schedule.

This is why my standard response to “ASAP” is “Is there an actual deadline?” ASAP tells me nothing. If the requested materials are needed now, well then I know that the project is behind schedule. If there is a deadline I can gauge the effort needed versus the time remaining in which to complete the project.

But ASAP? That just tells me that the person making the request is impatient.

Whether you are in IT or not, please wipe this ridiculous phrase from your personal lexicon! Instead determine when you actually need the materials that you are requesting, and be able to justify your request. ASAP? That just tells people that you could not be bothered to think ahead about your project.

Rant over. Carry on citizens!

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