When surfing on the web, I found the following Project Management Truisms. It sure is a big list, but there is a truth hidden in each and every one of them.
1. Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
2. You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline, but you cannot con him into meeting it.
3. At the heart of every large project is a small project trying to get out.
4. The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the situatee.
5. A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and would melt anyway when heat is applied.
6. A user will tell you anything you ask, but nothing more.
7. Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient is the correct one.
8. There’s never enough time to do it right first time but there’s always enough time to go back and do it again.
9. The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of making a date is forgotten.
10. 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.
11. What is not on paper has not been said.
12. A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning.
13. If you can keep your head while all about you are losing theirs, you haven’t understood the plan.
14. If at first you don’t succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.
15. Feather and down are padding, changes and contingencies will be real events.
16. There are no good project managers – only lucky ones.
17. The more you plan the luckier you get.
18. A project is one small step for the project sponsor, one giant leap for the project manager.
19. Good project management is not so much knowing what to do and when, as knowing what excuses to give and when.
20. If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.
21. Everyone asks for a strong project manager – when they get one, they don’t want one.
22. The same work under the same conditions will be estimated differently by ten different estimators, or by one estimator at ten different times
23. The most valuable and least used word in a project manager’s vocabulary is “NO”
24. The more ridiculous the deadline, the more it costs to meet it
25. Too few people on a project can’t solve the problem – too many create more problems than they solve
26. You can freeze the clients specifications, but he won’t stop expecting
27. The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, and the promise is remembered
28. What you don’t know hurts you
29. What is not on paper has not been said
30. No major project is ever installed on time, within budget, and with the same staff that started it
31. Projects progress quickly until they become 95% complete; then they remain at 95% complete forever
32. If project content is allowed to change freely, then the rate of change will soon exceed the rate of progress
33. Project teams detest progress reporting because it vividly demonstrates their lack of progress
34. Quantitative project management is for predicting cost and schedule overruns well in advance.
35. For a project manager, overruns are as certain as death and taxes.
36. Some projects finish on time in spite of project management best practices.
37. Fast – cheap – good – you can have any two.
38. The project would not have been started if the truth had been told about the cost and timescale.
39. A two-year project will take three years; a three-year project will never finish.
40. When the weight of the project paperwork equals the weight of the project itself, the project can be considered complete.
41. A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected – a well-planned project only twice as long as expected.
42. Warning: dates in a calendar are closer than they appear to be.
43. Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time left to change anything.
44. There is no such thing as scope creep, only scope gallop.
45. A project gets a year late one day at a time.
46. If you’re 6 months late on a milestone due next week but really believe you can make it, you’re a project manager.
47. No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to requirements.
48. Yours won’t be the first to.
49. Activity is not achievement.
50. 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.
51. 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.
52. The sooner you get behind schedule, the more time you have to make it up.
53. 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.
54. Good control reveals problems early – which only mean you’ll have longer to worry about them.