The Unwritten Laws of Project Management


Project Management and the Professional

While crashing Ruben's PMP class today, these 'unwritten laws of project management' appeared, with the subtitle 'they're funny because they're true!'. And how.

I've done PMP before, but I was just there today both to keep Ruben company and to see how the subject had changed since I had taken it in Autumn semester of 2012, that is to say almost a year and a half ago. Or a year? When do you calculate from when you calculate how long it's been? In any case, I don't remember seeing this kind of slide explicitly before, but these 'laws' made me simultaneously nod in agreement while I also wanted to smack my head as I related them back to my experiences. Some manager I am, huh?

I do kind of like the matter of fact tone these are delivered in.

Unwritten Laws of Project Management

  • Project progress quickly until they are 90% complete. Then they remain at 90% complete forever.
  • When things are going well, something will go wrong. When things just can't get worse, they will.
  • When things appear to be to going better, you have obviously overlooked something.
  • If project content is allowed to change freely, the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.
  • Project teams hate progress reporting because it manifests their lack of progress.

Yep. Especially the last one. That feeling of dread I get every Sunday is a constant reminder.