planned project will take three times longer than expected
well planned project only twice as long as expected.
The more you plan the luckier you get.
There is such a thing as an unrealistic timescale.
It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done
in one month by impregnating nine women.
At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to
If you don’t plan, it doesn’t work. If you do plan, it doesn’t
work either. Why plan!
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.
Everyone asks for a strong
– when they get them they don’t want them.
If you’re 6 months late on a
milestone due next week but really
believe you can make it, you’re a project manager.
There are no good project managers
– only lucky ones.
Managing IT people is like herding cats.
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.
A project is one small step for the project sponsor, one giant
leap for the project manager.
Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
The project would not have been started if the truth had been
told about the cost and timescale.
Good project management is not so much knowing what to do and
when, as knowing what excuses to give and when.
Of several possible interpretations of a
least convenient is the correct one.
I know that you believe that you understand what you think I
said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not
what I meant.
What is not on paper has not been said.
A user will tell you anything you ask about, but nothing more.
What you don’t know hurts you.
A problem shared is a buck passed.
Measurement and Control
Good control reveals problems early
which only means you’ll have longer to worry about them.
For a project manager overruns are as certain as death and
project management is for predicting cost and
schedule overruns well in advance.
No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to
– yours won’t be the first to.
Metrics are learned men’s excuses.
Warning: dates in a calendar are closer than they appear to be.
You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline,
but you cannot con him into meeting it.
A two year project will take three years, a three year project
will never finish.
The sooner you get behind schedule, the more time you have to
make it up.
Overtime is a figment of the naïve project manager’s
A project gets a year late one day at a time.
The sooner you begin coding the later you finish.
Some projects finish on time in spite of project management best
The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of
making a date is forgotten.
If you don’t know how to do a task, start it, then ten people
who know less than you will tell you how to do it.
If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs,
you haven’t understood the plan.
There is no such thing as scope creep, only scope gallop.
Activity is not achievement.
The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the
risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning.
Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no
time left to
Feather and down are padding, changes and contingencies will be
A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and
would anyway melt when heat is applied.
you can have any two.
There’s never enough time to do it right first time but there’s
always enough time to go back and do it again.
If everything is going exactly to
plan, something somewhere is
going massively wrong.
If at first you don’t succeed, remove all evidence you ever
When the weight of the
project paperwork equals the weight of
the project itself, the project can be considered complete.