This article is published on Christmas Eve, 2018. It seems a good time to focus on two things: project management truths and
I know some of my readers take time off at this time of year. But others don’t. So, I hope you’ll all find some pleasure and some value in this article.
A former colleague of mine, Tony Quigley, was famous among colleagues, friends, and clients for his short, pithy, witty aphorisms, which summed up essential truths about project management.
Tony came to mind when a participant in a live project management course told me she had been writing down a list of the ‘catch phrases’ I’d used throughout the session.
An absentee project manager is a contradiction in termsDr Mike clayton
The one thing a project manager craves, above all else, is controlDr Mike Clayton
Your Project Management software will do what you tell it to: not what you want it toDr Mike Clayton
You’ll find more examples in my article, 12 Project Management Rules You’d be Wise to Note.
You may or may not agree with these. But in my mind, they all suffer in comparison with Tony’s ‘Quigleyisms’ and other great observers of project management truths, like WA ‘Bil’ Brassington, who is responsible for Brasington’s laws.
They have a talent for
Here’s a resolution for the coming year…
Make a commitment to yourself to stay positive, lift your people’s spirits, and provide emotional highs that your team and stakeholders will remember.
Here are a few of my favourites, from Tony, Bil and some apocryphal sources.
The alternative to incremental development is excremental development.Tony Quigley
If you want it bad, you get it bad.Tony Quigley
Software does not go wrong: it always was wrong and it merely took this long for the problem to show up.Tony Quigley
No major project is ever installed on time, within budget, or with the staff that started it. Yours will not be the first.W A ‘Bil’ Brasington
If project content is allowed to change freely, the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.W A ‘Bil’ Brasington
Project teams detest progress reporting because it vividly manifests their lack of progress.W A ‘Bil’ Brasington
If anything can go wrong, it will.
If anything can’t go wrong, it will anyway.
Murphy was an optimist.
Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
When stupidity is a sufficient explanation, there is no need to have recourse to any other.
Any technical problem can be overcome given enough time and money.
You are never given enough time and money.
A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members.
The answer is simple…
I don’t know.
If you do, please do share them below.
Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 13 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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