20 Laws of Project Management

Project Management1

I recently read an extremely interesting book on Project Management and thought I would share the suggested 20 Laws of Project Management as written by John Carroll in his book Project Management for effective business management.

While the following are “tongue in cheek” (doesn’t this sound like every SharePoint project you’ve ever worked on); there is an element of truth in each of them.

  1. Fast, cheap, good: pick any two!
  2. The project would not have been started if the business had been told the truth about the cost and time scale.
  3. A two-year project will take three years; a three-year project will never finish.
  4. Never underestimate the ability of senior management to buy a bad idea and fail to buy a good idea.
  5. A badly planned project will take three times as long as planned. A well planned one will only take twice as long.
  6. If it weren’t for the “last minute”, nothing would ever get done.
  7. It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by putting nine women on the project.
  8. The same work under the same conditions will be estimated differently by ten different project managers or by one project manager at ten different times.
  9. Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
  10. The more desperate the situation the more optimistic the situatee.
  11. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
  12. A change freeze is like the abominable snowman: it is a myth and melts when heat is applied.
  13. An end user will tell you anything you ask about, but nothing more.
  14. Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient is always the correct one.
  15. What you don’t know does hurt you.
  16. The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten, only the promise is remembered.
  17. There’s never enough time to do it right first time but there’s always enough time to go back and do it again.
  18. I know that you believe that you understand what you think I said but I am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what I meant.
  19. What is not on paper has not been said.
  20. There are no good project managers, only luck ones.

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