You don’t need to go to Mars

Recently we learned that NASA’s Mars rover, ‘Opportunity’ had stopped working after a serious dust storm had hampered its solar panels, starving it of battery life. Now you might think, why on earth (or Mars) did they not give it better batteries or an alternative source of power? Well, the truth is that although NASA made all the equipment suitable for a long mission, there were lots of unknowns so they planned their mission around the expectation that it may only survive for 90 days. In reality, Opportunity kept on working for 15 YEARS, so it did pretty well!

Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and prioritise!

I also take the same approach with Pixooma – ok not to the same extremes, nor with quite the same level of jeopardy, but the principle still holds, and this is how:

  1. Scheduling: When planning in client work we always try to account for potential snags and build in plenty of extra time. This means we always underpromise and overdeliver as standard, therefore when something does go astray, it rarely impacts the deadlines. Many companies promise the earth but fail to deliver, we don’t want to be one of them.
  2. Security: We use two-factor authentication where it’s available, and a number of firewalls and malware protection to minimise the chances of our equipment being hacked. Virus’s and ransomware are far rarer on Macs, but the effect of one could be devastating, so we don’t take chances.
  3. Backups:  Our comprehensive data backup plans covers us for a wide range of disasters and issues no matter how unlikely. With huge amounts of critical client work, it simply isn’t sensible to be blasé about backing up.

Are we being a bit pessimistic?

Ok, so we don’t plan multi-billion dollar missions to Mars, but by taking such a careful approach to our business our clients know that they can rely on us every step of the way. Disasters and technical issues do happen, but we don’t let our clients down by missing critical deadlines. Does every company you deal with do that?

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