Murphy's Law

If anything can go wrong, it will.


Nothing is as easy as it looks.

Everything takes longer than you think.

If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way will promptly develop.

Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.

Every solution breeds new problems.

Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.

Klipstein's Laws

Firmness of delivery dates is inversely proportional to the tightness of the schedule.

If a project requires 'n' components, there will be "n-1" units in stock.

A failure will not appear till a unit has passed final inspection.

A purchased component or instrument will meet its specs long enough, and only long enough, to pass incoming inspection.

Wethern's Law of Suspended Judgment

Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.

Laws of Revision

Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the plans are complete.

The more innocuous the modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the more plans will have to be redrawn.

If, when completion of a design is imminent, field dimensions are finally supplied as they actually are instead of as they were meant to be it is always simpler to start all over.

Iles' Law

There is always an easier way to do it.


When looking directly at the easier way, especially for long periods, you will not see it.

Scott's Laws

No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look right.

When an error has been detected and corrected, it will be found to have been correct in the first place.

Finagle's Laws

If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.

In any collection of data, the figure most obviously correct, beyond all needs of checking, is the mistake.


No one whom you ask for help will see it.

Everyone who stops by with unsought advice will see it immediately.

Stewart's Law of Retroaction

It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Gilb's Third Law of Reliability

Investments in reliability will increase until it exceeds the probable cost of errors, or until someone insists on getting some useful work done.

90% Rule of Project Schedules

The first 90% of the project takes 10%t of the time, and the last 10% takes the other 90%.



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