Monday, December 19, 2005

Project Management Proverbs

This has been out on the net for years but came across it again today. The IT Project Management Proverbs I & II. Of these I liked the following the most:
  • 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".
  • The most valuable and least used PHRASE in a project manager's vocabulary is "I don't know".
  • Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.
  • You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline, but you cannot con him into meeting it.
  • At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out.
  • Too few people on a project can't solve the problems - too many create more problems than they solve.
  • A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and would anyway melt when heat is applied.
  • A user is somebody who tells you what they want the day you give them what they asked for.
  • What you don't know hurts you.
  • A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected - a well planned project only twice as long as expected.
  • It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by nine women.
  • Fast - cheap - good: you can have any two.
  • Good project management is not so much knowing what to do and when, as knowing what excuses to give and when.
  • If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.
  • For a project manager overruns are as certain as death and taxes.
  • Some projects finish on time in spite of project management best practices.
  • Good project managers admit mistakes: that's why you so rarely meet a good project manager.
  • There is such a thing as an unrealistic timescale. The more ridiculous the deadline the more money will be wasted trying to meet it.
  • The first 90% of a project takes 10% 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.
  • To estimate a project, work out how long it would take one person to do it then multiply that by the number of people on the project.
  • When the weight of the project paperwork equals the weight of the project itself, the project can be considered complete.
  • 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 project content is allowed to change freely the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.
  • If you can interpret project status data in several different ways, only the most painful interpretation will be correct.
  • A project gets a year late one day at a time.
  • If you're 6 months late on a milestone due next week but nevertheless really believe you can make it, you're a project manager.
  • No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to requirement - yours won't be the first to.
  • The first myth of management is that it exists.
  • If an IT project works the first time, it is wrong.
  • The person who says it will take the longest and cost the most is the only one with a clue how to do the job.
  • Difficult projects are easy, impossible projects are difficult, miracles are a little trickier.

Category: Software Industry Project Management


Blogger Danesh said...

Are you planning to focus your posts only on the IT industry or will you move back to general banter soon?

December 19, 2005  
Blogger Sushil said...

I think I will still continue to post the odd general post but may try to focus more on the IT part. Either way it is still a bit too early to say.

December 19, 2005  

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