These are less centered around forecasting as a science, but rather forecasting as an operational job in which deadlines are tight and pressure can be high. "Operational" means basically that someone is relying on the forecasters' products and expecting them to be there when the products are needed.
Perfect is the Enemy of Good (a quote from Voltaire)
It can be a little like that in the trading pits when Western US water supply forecasts are released because they affect the prices of hydropower and natural gas. I remember that the forecast release schedule was announced months ahead of time so that any individual trader didn't get an unfair advantage by being the first to know the forecasts were out.
Therefore, the hydrologist spending all his time polishing a given forecast to perfection is probably not giving enough attention to all the other forecasts that have to go out the door. Pace yourself and plan ahead, but most of all, learn when to let it go. Furthermore, when trying to build new forecasting systems and adopt new technologies, someone may want to wait around for, say, the perfect model, but in the meantime he may be passing up opportunities to use perfectly adequate models.
Another way of looking at it is "Forecasts are never finished, only abandoned" (apologies to da Vinci). There are many variants on this, "Dissertations are never finished...", "Reports are never finished...". As an aside, problems do start when my idea of "good enough/done enough" is different from yours. Indeed, I seemed to have this problem every time I had someone do remodeling or house repair. I can't tell you how often I have been left with abandoned jobs.
Periodically Test Your Backup Plan
Reliability and resilience are highly valued qualities in operational systems. When things are at their worst, people with operational responsibilities have to be at their best. Users do not usually accept hardware malfunctions as an acceptable excuse for forecasts being late or not being issued. It is your job to make sure that either your computer does not crash or that you do not lose all your work when it does. Naturally, there are tradeoffs- for example, US government agencies' stringent computer security policies are enforced as if by a stern martinet. I know examples where this has stifled innovation.
|This plan should have been tested.|
This checking takes discipline. As Andrijanto, an Indonesian dam operator, said to me once, "The most important thing in water management is discipline."