Now that the orders are hitting the agencies again everywhere and everything that has been missed and postponed has to be made up for hectically by the end of the year, deadlines are booming again. And with them, the answer to the industry's most popular question at the moment: "Until when is it possible?" The indifferent approach to deadlines that British author Douglas Adams once expressed so beautifully in his book "The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time" has long been a thing of the past: "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." Oh, those were the relaxed times.
No more fun
Today, punctuality is a must, and with it the question of "by when" must be answered precisely in our increasingly time-critical business. In the past, a loose "asap" - abbreviation of the English "As soon as possible" - was sufficient. Until recently, "by Wednesday" was precise enough. But today, after a date, it is always "EOB", or written out as "End of business day".
This acronym has its origins - like so many things - in the financial industry. It refers to the end of the business day on a stock exchange, where the use of a loud closing bell ensures that all traders stop transacting at the same time. As we all know, in our industry this chime is not always clear to everyone involved in a project. Some make an early exit, while others have to work late into the night to meet deadlines. After all, EOB is not until 11:59 p.m., and those who want to be even bluffer add an additional "CET" to the back for "Central European Time" instead of approaching the whole thing a bit more objectively and designing the processes in such a way that no (unpaid) overtime and night shifts become necessary.
* Benno Maggi is co-founder and CEO of Partner & Partner. He has been eavesdropping on the industry for over 30 years, discovering words and terms for us that can either be used for small talk, pomposity, excitement, playing Scrabble or just because.