20 cynical project management tips

From Tony Collins, who writes a well-researched blog on government-related IT failures in the UK:

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

The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the progress report.
A user is somebody who rejects the system because it’s what he asked for.
The difference between project success and failure is a good PR company.
Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
Every failing, overly ambitious project, has at its heart a series of successful small ones trying to escape.
A freeze on change melts whenever heat is applied.
You understood what I said, not what I meant.
If you don’t know where you’re going, just talk about specifics.
If at first you don’t succeed, rename the project.
Everyone wants a strong project manager – until they get him.
Only idiots own up to what they really know (thank you to President Nixon).
The worst project managers sleep at night.
A failing project has benefits which are always spoken of in the future tense.
Projects don’t fail in the end; they fail at conception.
Visions are usually treatable.
Overly ambitious projects can never fail if they have a beginning, middle and no end.
In government we never punish error, only its disclosure.
The most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.

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


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