the cart before the horse

(put) the cart before the horse

to do something that should happen later before other things Barnhart is putting the cart before the horse by building a stadium before a team has agreed to play there.
See also: before, cart, horse
References in classic literature ?
The cart before the horse is neither beautiful nor useful.
The common notion that religion underwrites morality thus tends to put the cart before the horse.
And Scots Secretary Michael Forsyth is ready to argue that a referendum before a Bill has passed through Parliament is really "putting the cart before the horse.
The administration has put the cart before the horse throughout this process and is learning the hard way that the Ashington scheme does not hold water, as projected costs are spiralling and basic matters like sufficient parking spaces have not even been properly addressed.
The minister is attempting to put the cart before the horse.
This plan is just another indicator of how our health service consistently puts the cart before the horse.
The lawsuit reads, The Air District has acted prematurely and essentially put the cart before the horse.
Can I suggest that she is putting the cart before the horse by asking shoppers to change their habits.
This government puts the cart before the horse and expects a successful journey," Butkevicius said.
Borde said the problem is that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy is putting the cart before the horse, indicating to a "strange contradiction" in the French attitude.
First, good timing is crucial and there is the real danger of putting the cart before the horse," he will say.
Putting the cart before the horse will not move the peace process forward," said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations.
It is all the wrong way round putting the cart before the horse.
While some have hailed Jonathan for his intervention in the cement subsector of the economy, others are of the view that the Federal Government is putting the cart before the horse because it has not created an enabling environment that would give local manufacturers a competitive edge to effect price reduction dictated purely by market forces.