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Project Management Laws

Project Management Laws

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Published by: Lopital89 on Apr 02, 2013
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04/03/2013

Project Management Laws

A few funny but important laws

Spaiuc Dan

1

Project Management Laws

“If it can go wrong it will” - Murphy’s law
“If it can’t possibly go wrong, it will” – O’Malley’s corollary to Murphy’s law “It will go wrong in the worst possible way” – Sod’s law

Spaiuc Dan

2

Project Management Laws

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion” – Parkinson’s law
“If there is a 50% chance of something going wrong then 9 times out of 10 it will” Murphy, O’Malley, Sod and Parkinson are alive and well and working on your project.

Spaiuc Dan

3

Cohn's Law

The more time you spend in reporting on what you are doing, the less time you have to do anything.
Stability is achieved when you spend all your time doing nothing but reporting on the nothing you are doing.

Spaiuc Dan

4

Woehlke’s Law

Nothing gets done till nothing gets done.
Project Managers will not get the staff they need so long as they muddle through with overtime, ulcers and supper-human effort. Only when deadlines are missed will senior management approve the staff who, had they been available at the outset, would have prevented the missed deadlines.

Spaiuc Dan

5

Hoggarth Law

Attempts to get answers early in a project fail as there are many more wrong questions that right ones.
Activity during the early stages should be dedicated to finding the correct questions. Once the correct questions have been identified correct answers will naturally fall out of subsequent work without grief or excitement and there will be understanding of what the project is meant to achieve.

Spaiuc Dan

6

Machiavelli

“And it ought to be remembered that is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.”
Machiavelli’s caution for Project Managers

Spaiuc Dan

7

Conclusion

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
George Santayana (1863-1952)

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." Samuel Johnson, 1759

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." Douglas Adams, more recently.

Spaiuc Dan

8

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