20 Truism for Project Management

2 min read · Posted on: Mar 10, 2009 · Print this page

Tony Collins has compiled a list of Project Management facts which might very well be the ‘Mythical Man-Month’ for the new era. It explains why so many IT projects fail so aptly that I had to reproduce it here:

  1. Projects with realistic budgets and timetables don’t get approved

  2. Activity in the early stages should be dedicated to finding the correct questions

  3. The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the progress report

  4. A user is somebody who rejects the system because it’s what he asked for

  5. The difference between project success and failure is a good PR company

  6. Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it

  7. Every failing, overly ambitious project, has at its heart a series of successful small ones trying to escape

  8. A freeze on change melts whenever heat is applied

  9. There’s never enough time to do it right first time

  10. You understood what I said, not what I meant

  11. If you don’t know where you’re going, just talk about specifics

  12. If at first you don’t succeed, rename the project

  13. Everyone wants a strong project manager - until they get him

  14. Only idiots own up to what they really know (thank you to President Nixon)

  15. The worst project managers sleep at night

  16. A failing project has benefits which are always spoken of in the future tense

  17. Projects don’t fail in the end; they fail at conception

  18. Visions are usually treatable

  19. Overly ambitious projects can never fail if they have a beginning, middle and no end

  20. In government we never punish error, only its disclosure

  21. The most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest

  22. A realist is one who’s presciently disappointed in the future

I am pretty sure most of us can relate to these ;)


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Arun Ravindran

Arun is the author of "Django Design Patterns and Best Practices". Avid open source enthusiast. Keen on Python. Loves to help people learn technology. Works as a product manager at Unisys. Find out more about Arun on the about page.

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