During recent interviews one of the first soft questions interviewers pitch is an inquiry into my experience with Agile practices. In turn one of the first questions I ask the interviewer is "What constitutes an emergency?". I do not leave it there I keep pushing into who is involved and for how long, because I really want to understand what infrastructure is in place to deal with emergencies, especially in sprint scenarios.
Real emergencies can get lost in a sea of faux emergencies, it reminds me of a favorite scene from the movie The Incredibles:
Mr. Incredible: You mean you killed off real heroes so that you could pretend to be one?
Syndrome: Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers ... And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can have powers. Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super...no one will be.
Syndromes grand Machiavellian plan to crush super heroes forever was to ensure that everyone had sufficient technology to render real super powers obsolete. You undo all superheroes by making everybody a superhero.
Which leads me to the idea that the way you undo clients trust in your ability to handle mission critical issues is by treating too many items as emergencies. This can be formally or informally. Dysfunctional dev ops process' that do not consider the big picture, can quickly see that ignorance metastasize into all parts of the organization. Executives setup unrealistic directives, sales and support contracts become untenable.
It resolves to this, when everything is treated like an emergency…nothing will be.