What we were not told about Project Management!

Ever felt the need of knowing why so many things do not seem to go right, when they should, and often feel not satisfied with the explanation offered by Murphy?

Dont’ fret, trust good old humor to come to your rescue.

These here, are some of my constructibles based on real and virtual experiences in the IT world, to help explain and in a somewhat lighter context:

  • Every project has a god father (Sponsor) and he does not like anybody making him an offer he cannot refuse
  • If you attempt to build a plan, without a clue on how (or whether) you will get your resources, it is as good as attempting to cross the Sahara without water and hoping to survive after
  • Your plan is OK only if it is unrealistic, and hence there is no such thing as an unrealistic plan (technically)
  • If you missed a deadline, it is because you wasted time haggling about resources, budget and scope, just get on with it
  • You are bound to screw up, so don’t make it painful to yourself and others by stretching the plan
  • If you hear something around fast track / tracking – go along with it, probably means lesser agony and a faster end
  • The only way you can succeed in the first attempt, is by ensuring that you are the second project manager on the job
  • Estimation and Uncertainty Principle (Heisenberg’s) go hand in hand – the moment you estimate (the budget) for a project, it becomes incorrect or invalid
  • Requirements are usually well understood only after the project is over
  • There is no such thing as Change Request or Scope Control, you were not paying enough attention or taking notes right <Business to IT>
  • Listen, you wanted a four legged animal that could sing, and I have given you a cuckoo and a shoulder stand, now go figure it out <IT back to Business>
  • Change Request is nature’s way of maintaining balance – between perfection and imperfection
  • If you had all the right people to do the job, then either you are not needed or you don’t know how to do your job or all of the above
  • If I knew what I wanted, then why the hell would I need you and your team to beat this out of me? <On Requirements>
  • Testers and Business Users are made for each other – one thinks he knows what the others want, and the others think they know what they want
  • Testers and pest control may have a lot in common – one finds bugs for a living and the other kills bugs for a living, but the intentions of the latter are probably in the best interests
  • As an afterthought, try replacing your test team with pest control – could be more effective that way
  • Bugs and defects are nature’s way of saying that man is not perfect, leave alone software
  • If you find yourself spending all your time on status reports and metrics, then don’t worry, your project is on track (nobody has probably warned you that the brakes have failed and the track is incomplete)
  • If a software release is delayed, it must be because someone forgot to reset the stop clock at the right time
  • Never panic, for panic affects your decisioning skills (clouds your ability to choose between flight or fight)
  • Review meetings are an important tool to kill time, boredom and the team
  • Focus reviews are paramount as people keep losing focus every now and then, so it makes sense to get your focus reviewed periodically
  • Project conflicts (of interest) are a great source of making money, be wise and bet right
  • Shortly, Projects (status) will also be traded on the futures exchange, with stop loss on failure and buy on success
  • Quality and the hourglass have a lot in common- there is only so much that can pass and for anything that has to cross over, it has to exactly fit the specifications / exit criteria
  • Acceptance and Birthdays are somewhat similar – In one, you get what you wish for and in the other, you wish you got what you had wished for


To be continued..

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