Project Planning

A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected a 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 get out.

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.

Project Team

Everyone asks for a strong project manager 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.

Project Stakeholders

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.

Project Communication

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 communication, the 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 taxes.

Quantitative project management is for predicting cost and schedule overruns well in advance.

No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to requirement – 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 imagination.

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 practices.

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of making a date is forgotten.

Project Implementation

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 situatee.

A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning.

Change Management

Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time left to change anything.

Feather and down are padding, changes and contingencies will be real events.

A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and would anyway melt when heat is applied.

Delivering Results

Fast cheap good 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.

Project Reports

If at first you don’t succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.

When the weight of the project paperwork equals the weight of the project itself, the project can be considered complete.



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