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Monday, 23 July 2007 16:04

July 23, 2007 – Random Quotes, Sayings and Definitions

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I’ve started collecting sayings and words of wisdom having to do with project management.  Some of them may eventually become entries on their own, but most of them are just a little too random.  So today I’m going to pull a bunch of them together and run with it.

Getting it in writing is a key concept in project management.  Here are a few sayings about the importance of the written word.
·   Verbal approval isn’t worth the paper it is written on. 
·   A meeting without minutes didn’t really happen.
·   Unwritten, unsaid.

I’ve also found some definitions that should be used more often.
Yellow Pad Session – informal requirements gathering meeting where notes are taken on a yellow legal pad.  This is a term used quite often on the east coast of the US but no one here on the west side seems to have heard of it. 

Double Whacking – hitting someone up for information or action from 2 or more directions.  This can be effective if the person historically doesn’t respond the first time.  It needs to be applied carefully so that the person being whacked doesn’t strike back.

Overkill – taking follow up or actions to an extreme.  It invokes the idea of using a bazooka to kill a fly.  Usually it happens when you react to something like an email.  You end up shooting one back that starts a fire storm.  Another example would be calling a company wide meeting to give examples of inappropriate dress instead of a simple email reminder.

Some quotes just need to be repeated. 
“Do you think he plans it all out or just makes it up as he goes along?”  When I heard this line in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End it struck me that the same thing could be asked of some project managers.  With the good ones the planning is obvious, but every project needs a bit of improvisation and luck. 

“If you really believe it, it isn’t a lie.”  A friend of mine reported hearing a manager say this as he was preparing for a status meeting.  I guess reality takes a break for some when it comes to status reporting.

“I love it when a plan comes together.”  This was always my favorite line from the TV show A-Team.  Hannibal always had a plan and managed to pull it off.

Finally, here are a few famous last words.  If you hear these coming from your mouth, it may be time to run…fast.
·   Sure, we can do that.  What is it you want?
·   It doesn’t look that big.  We don’t need a Change Request.
·   Risks? What risks?
·   We’ll make up the time during the testing phase.
·   It’s just changed a configuration file.  We don’t need to test it.
·   Everyone knows that isn’t our responsibility. 
·   Just one more minor change.
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