20 cynical project management tips

20 cynical project management tips

Summary: Here's your guide to the seamy underbelly of IT project management.

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Ever wonder why so many projects fail? Well, here's your guide to the seamy underbelly of IT project management.

From Tony Collins, who writes a well-researched blog on government-related IT failures in the UK:

  1. Projects with realistic budgets and timetables don't get approved
  2. The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the progress report
  3. A user is somebody who rejects the system because it's what he asked for
  4. The difference between project success and failure is a good PR company
  5. Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it
  6. Every failing, overly ambitious project, has at its heart a series of successful small ones trying to escape
  7. A freeze on change melts whenever heat is applied
  8. You understood what I said, not what I meant
  9. If you don't know where you're going, just talk about specifics
  10. If at first you don't succeed, rename the project
  11. Everyone wants a strong project manager - until they get him
  12. Only idiots own up to what they really know (thank you to President Nixon)
  13. The worst project managers sleep at night
  14. A failing project has benefits which are always spoken of in the future tense
  15. Projects don't fail in the end; they fail at conception
  16. Visions are usually treatable
  17. Overly ambitious projects can never fail if they have a beginning, middle and no end
  18. In government we never punish error, only its disclosure
  19. The most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest
  20. A realist is one who's presciently disappointed in the future

[Seamy underbelly photo by Michael Krigsman.]

Topics: Government US, CXO, Enterprise Software, Government, Software, IT Employment

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8 comments
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  • 5pm Rule of Accumulating Daily Tasks

    If it can't be done by 5pm, it may not be done at all. (Ref: www.5pmweb.com)
    disarea@...
    • Being on the clock is a major disadvantage.

      If you don't wake up at your keyboard or under your desk, you're destined to fail.


      Custard_over_2x_Pie
  • RE: 20 cynical project management tips

    It would so funny, if it wouldn't be so true and sad...
    godzhesas@...
  • The Man Is A Genius!

    How true.

    I particularly like #15 "Projects don?t fail in the end; they fail at conception."

    And #4 "The difference between project success and failure is a good PR company." In a weird way, the project that fails [i]does[/i] need good PR and communication strategy to address internal dynamics.
    elizab
  • RE: 20 cynical project management tips

    The British comedy series 'Yes Minister' or the Australian comedy series 'The Hollow Men' are also very good examples of the workings(?) of government, but a very good list none-the-less.
    bjhfarrow@...
  • Is it a copy paste ?

    From random internet quotes ?
    Can I add this: If you work 12 hours a day that is because you are lame. It should be done in 8 hours top.
    The worst project managers sleep at night ? Muhahaha.
    questionmark
  • RE: 20 cynical project management tips

    Great article. I have referred people to this article in my blog - rr@projectagency.co.uk

    Personally, I think there is more than a modicum of truth in these tips.

    Ron Rosenhead
    ronrosenhead
  • RE: 20 cynical project management tips

    Project Management is getting solutions to most unpredictable IT problems, project problems, product management. Project management can never be a straight path. A project manager needs to take through toughest path for project's success.

    http://www.digite.com/products/digite-products.htm
    Digite