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11th Hour Panic

Shturmovshchina was a common Soviet work practice of frantic and overtime work at the end of a planning period in order to fulfill the planned production target. The practice usually gave rise to products of poor quality at the end of a planning cycle.

It has three very, very familiar stages

  • Spiachka (hibernation) – this is the first third of the planned period. Nobody’s doing anything, mostly because there are no orders to do anything
  • Raskachka (buildup) – at this stage it is more or less known what should be done, but there is too much time ahead, and during that time the requirements may change, as well as the management;
  • Goriachka (fever) – this is the last stage of the planned period; by the end of this stage the product is supposed to be ready, or the management may be reprimanded; everybody works like crazy, with the bright future being so near.