What is ASAP, ALAP and ATAP? - Definition from WhatIs.com



Part of the Business terms glossary:

ASAP, ALAP and ATAP are acronyms that stand for, respectively, as soon as possible, as late as possible and as timely as possible

The acronyms ASAP and ALAP are frequently heard in relation to scheduling and project management but are also widely used in other business-related and non-business contexts. Starting a task as soon as possible is usually considered the best approach. In practice, however, starting a task as soon as it can possibly be done and, conversely, leaving it as long as possible can both have problems associated with them. 

If a task is begun as soon as it can be, for example, there may be information yet to come that impacts its successful completion. To avoid that issue and other potential problems, ALAP scheduling is sometimes advocated. However, if a task is left as late as possible, unforeseeable events can occur that make the task take longer than anticipated, resulting in missed deadlines. 

To avoid such difficulties, many scheduling experts advise analyzing tasks on a case-by-case basis to decide when the most opportune time is to begin, an approach sometimes called as timely as possible

This was last updated in January 2014
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • gig economy

    - The gig economy is a business environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements. (WhatIs.com)

  • holding company

    - A holding company is a business that exists for the purpose of owning other companies and typically does not produce goods or offer services other than through its subsidiaries. (WhatIs.com)

  • unicorn

    - A unicorn, in an investment context, is a tech startup that is assessed at a valuation of $1 billion or more. (WhatIs.com)


  • Business terms

    - Terms related to business, including definitions about project management and words and phrases about human resources, finance and vertical industries.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About ASAP, ALAP and ATAPPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.