Managing Projects by Fun

I can’t help citing them – funny project management proverbs. I’m sure you will laugh:

  • A project is one small step for the project sponsor, one giant leap for the project manager.
  • If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.
  • The nice thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.
  • At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out.
  • Good project managers know when not to manage a project.
  • A change freeze is like a snowman: it is a myth and would anyway melt when heat is applied.
  • Some projects finish on time in spite of project management best practices.
  • Fast – cheap – good: you can have any two.
  • The more ridiculous the deadline the more money will be wasted trying to meet it.
  • The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time the last 10% takes the other 90%.
  • The project would not have been started if the truth had been told about the cost and timescale.
  • Never underestimate the ability of senior management to buy a bad idea and fail to buy a good idea.
  • People under pressure do not think faster.
  • The most successful project managers have perfected the skill of being comfortable being uncomfortable.
  • If it happens once it’s ignorance, if it happens twice it’s neglect, if it happens three times it’s policy.
  • There is no such thing as scope creep, only scope gallop.
  • Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time left to change anything.
  • If you can interpret project status data in several different ways, only the most painful interpretation will be correct.
  • Bad news does not improve with age and should be acted upon immediately.
  • It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by impregnating nine women (although it is more fun trying).
  • Any project can be estimated accurately (once it’s completed).
  • The most valuable and least used WORD in a project manager’s vocabulary is “NO”.
  • Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
  • Too few people on a project can’t solve the problems – too many create more problems than they solve.
  • The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, only the promise is remembered.
  • Estimators do it in groups – bottom up and top down.
  • What is not on paper has not been said.
  • If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.
  • If you don’t attack the risks, the risks will attack you.
  • There are no good project managers – only lucky ones.
  • The more you plan the luckier you get.
  • A lack of planning by you does not constitute an emergency for me.
  • Everyone asks for a strong project manager – when they get him they don’t want him.

Seven Phases of a Critical Project:

  1. Wild enthusiasm
  2. Disillusionment
  3. Confusion
  4. Panic
  5. Search for the guilty
  6. Punishment of the innocent
  7. Promotion of non-participants
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