We see them every so often in business (and perhaps in personal life): disasters which we could have avoided had we made a decision to spend 1% of the time or money on an earlier occasion.
We had one such 100X disaster in the company recently when one of our persons in the billing team took suddenly ill. She used to single-handedly manage the billing for our mailing renewals. And as it happens, there was no backup or written process — there were just so many things in her head! She was amazingly efficient at things, so until she had to take leave for an extended period, we didn’t wake up to the extent of the flaw in the internal system. It would have taken little for us to have an understudy associated with her, but we had not even thought about it — one of these things that slipped through the cracks.
It boils down to “no backup” — either of a person, or of a process. The question to really aske very so often is: which one thing are we not doing which could cause a blow-up that can hurt? Of course, one cannot take it to an extreme, and duplicate every person or process. But there will be a few such things that we can do (insurance, Plan B – call it whatever) which can save embarrassment at a future point of time.