It just wasn’t good enough! The heat was on and I was told we had to cross the finish line sooner. It was a high-profile project and necks were on the line. Including mine.

I patiently explained that we were doing everything humanly possible to speed things along.

When asked what the padding was at the end of each stage, I did my best to justify why it was there.

Good practise. Just-in-case. What if?

Nonsense. Just take it out, I was told.

In the end, I put it this way. Imagine planning to cross London by car. How many traffic lights do you suppose you’ll encounter along the way I asked.

‘What’s that got to do with it?’, they said.

Well, what are the chances they’ll all be green? One after the other?

The room fell silent. The contingency stayed in.

Of course, it was almost all used up. That’s what it’s for. But we were not late and no-one got fired.