Shturmovshchina (last-minute rush, storming Russian: Штурмовщина) was a common Soviet Union work practice of frantic and overtime work at the end of the planning period in order to fulfill the planned production target. The practice usually gave rise to products of poor quality at the end of the planning cycle. The Russian word shturm (штурм) means "storm (of a bastion)".
The cycle of shturmovschina, associated with the tradition of monthly targets (on which bonuses and manager's position safety depend) is described as follows. Despite planned economy, right materials and tools are not always on time, and the work may go slowly or workers may be reassigned to do something else, expecting that when materials arrive, then the job will be done. However when the end of month comes closer, management becomes nervous, substitute materials and improvised tools are used, the work goes overtime and in overdrive. All this abruptly ends by the end of the month. At the beginning of the next month the workers slacken to recover from the previous storm, thus aggravating the next cycle.
The same was happening in association with other plan deadlines, e.g., in construction, before the sign-off date.
- "RUSSIA: Depression at Home" - Time Magazine June 06, 1955 (access 23 June 2008)
- Tinkering With Shturmovshchina (access 26 July 2011)
- Tomorrow Is Three Suits - TIME (access 23 June 2008)
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