Project mis Management Phases, Laws and Sayings (don't apply them)

The 7 Phases of a 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

Project Management Laws:

  1. Cohn’s Law: The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything. Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing but reporting on the nothing you are doing.
  2. Woehlke’s Law: Nothing gets done till nothing gets done. Project Managers will not get the staff they need so long as they muddle through with overtime, ulcers and super-human effort. Only when deadlines are missed will senior management approve the staff who, had they been available at the outset, would have prevented the missed deadlines.
  3. Hoggarth’s Law: Attempts to get answers early in a project fail as there are many more wrong questions than right ones. Activity during the early stages should be dedicated to finding the correct questions. Once the correct questions have been identified correct answers will naturally fall out of subsequent work without grief or excitement and there will be understanding of what the project is meant to achieve.
  4. Machiavelli’s caution for Project Managers: “And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”

Project Management Sayings:

  • Tell me what you need and I’ll tell you how you can get along without it.
  • If you are as confused as I am then you know as much as I do.
  • A lack of planning by you does not constitute an emergency for me.
  • Give me a date, I won’t hold you to it.
  • We haven’t got time to stop for directions – we’re late already.
  • There are two types of software – bad software and the next release.
  • The testers won’t break the system but the user who thinks the CD drive is a drinks holder will.
  • If you want to make a very late project even later add more people to it.
  • Successful project management is spotting the projects that will succeed and shouting “mine” and for the rest ducking and shouting “yours”.
  • Project management is just common sense – the trouble is common sense isn’t very common.
  • Murphy was an optimist.
  • Accept that some days you’ll be the pigeon and some days you’ll be the statue.