Friday, April 10, 2009

77 Project Management Proverbs

Seventy seven pearls of humor and wisdom. I really like first three in the list and ranked as Top3 proverbs in my blog! Just read and enjoy!

1. The good project manager looks after his team; the perfect project manager takes care of his customer.
2. Clever project managers pass problems to others; smart project managers build a reputation as problem solvers.
3. Nothing is impossible for the person who doesn't have to do it.
4. Activity is not achievement.
5. The project manager is the lightning rod for all problems.
6. The person who says it will take the longest and cost the most is the only one with a clue how to do the job.
7. Quantitative project management is for predicting cost and schedule overruns well in advance.
8. It's not the hours that count; it's what you do in those hours.
9. If there were no problem people there'd be no need for people who solve problems.
10. Any project can be estimated accurately (once it's complete).
11. Managers apply pressure when they are at their wits’ end.
12. To estimate a project, work out how long it would take one person to do it then multiply that by the number of people on the project.
13. Managing IT people is like herding cats.
14. A badly planned project will take three times longer than expected - a well planned project only twice as long as expected.
15. If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.
16. A problem shared is a buck passed.
17. A good project manager adheres to schedule. A project champion meets the targets.
18. You should cut down the tree that you are able to.
19. The optimist says: We do our very best for the project. The pessimist is afraid this might be true.
20. People under pressure do not think faster.
21. If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.
22. If you don't attack the risks, the risks will attack you.
23. Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.
24. The project would not have been started if the truth had been told about the cost and timescale.
25. If it wasn't for the 'last minute', nothing would get done.
26. If you don't know how to do a task, start it, then ten people who know less than you will tell you how to do it.
27. If everything is going exactly to plan, something somewhere is going massively wrong.
28. Too few people on a project and they can't solve the problems - too many, and they create more problems than they solve.
29. For a project manager overruns are as certain as death and taxes.
30. When the weight of the project paperwork equals the weight of the project itself, the project can be considered complete.
31. A project manager should not look where he fell, but where he slipped.
32. You can build a reputation on what you're going to do.
33. The sooner you get behind schedule, the more time you have to make it up.
34. Everyone asks for a strong project manager - when they get him they don't want him.
35. Good estimators aren't modest: if it's huge, they say so.
36. Metrics are learned men's excuses.
37. If you can interpret project status data in several different ways, only the most painful interpretation will be correct.
38. Fast - cheap - good: you can have any two.
39. Never underestimate the ability of senior management to buy a bad idea and fail to buy a good idea.
40. The nice thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.
41. The more ridiculous the deadline the more money will be wasted trying to meet it.
42. Good control reveals a problem early - which only means you'll have longer to worry about it.
43. No project has ever finished on time, within budget, to requirement - yours won't be the first to.
44. Warning: Dates in the calendar are closer than you think.
45. There is no such thing as scope creep, only scope gallop.
46. Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time left to change anything.
47. If project content is allowed to change freely the rate of change will exceed the rate of progress.
48. The same work under the same conditions will be estimated differently by ten different estimators or by one estimator at ten different times.
49. If there are no more problems in your project, your boss will reduce your time and budget.
50. If you're 6 months late on a milestone due next week but really believe you can make it, you're a project manager.
51. A project gets a year late one day at a time.
52. It is human to make a mistake; it is stupid to persist in it.
53. You can con a sucker into committing to an impossible deadline, but you cannot con him into meeting it.
54. Nothing gets done till nothing gets done.
55. The project manager’s most important organ is the nose. He must smell a stink bomb before it goes off.
56. It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by impregnating nine women (although it may be more fun trying).
57. A minute saved at the start is just as effective as one saved at the end.
58. There's never enough time to do it right first time, but there's always enough time to go back and do it again.
59. If you have time to do it over again, you'll never get away with doing it right the first time.
60. Good project managers know when not to manage a project.
61. Good project management is not so much knowing what to do and when, as knowing what excuses people give and when.
62. Projects happen in two ways: a) Planned and then executed or b) Executed, stopped, planned and then executed.
63. The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.
64. A lump sum contract puts the buyer in the strong position - until the first change request is made.
65. If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.
66. The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time. The last 10% takes the other 90%.
67. All project managers face problems on Monday mornings - good project managers are working on next Monday's.
68. If an IT project works the first time, it is wrong.
69. Quality is free.
70. The conditions attached to a promise are forgotten - only the promise is remembered.
71. Of several possible interpretations of a communication, the least convenient is always the correct one.
72. If you are not fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.
73. A project manager should not be praised for starting a project but for finishing it.
74. The most valuable and least created document in project management is “Plan B”.
75. The most valuable and least used phrase in a project manager's vocabulary is "I don't know".
76. The most valuable and least said word in a project manager's vocabulary is "NO".
77. When all's said and done a lot more is said than done.

These proverbs are taken from the PDF by to publish here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pigs/Chickens/Scrum: The terms of good practice

Daily Scrum

Each day during the sprint, a project status meeting occurs. This is called a "scrum", or "the daily standup". The scrum has specific guidelines:

The meeting starts precisely on time. Often there are team-decided punishments for tardiness (e.g. money, push-ups, hanging a rubber chicken around your neck)
  • All are welcome, but only "pigs" may speak
  • The meeting is timeboxed at 15-20 minutes depending on the team's size
  • All attendees should stand (it helps to keep meeting short)
  • The meeting should happen at the same location and same time every day
During the meeting, each team member answers three questions:
  • What have you done since yesterday?
  • What are you planning to do by today?
  • Do you have any problems preventing you from accomplishing your goal? (It is the role of the ScrumMaster to remember these impediments.)
Sprint Planning Meeting

At the beginning of the sprint cycle (every 15–30 days), a "Sprint Planning Meeting" is held.
  • Select what work is to be done
  • Prepare the Sprint Backlog that details the time it will take to do that work, with the entire team
  • Identify and communicate how much of the work is likely to be done during the current sprint
  • 8 hour limit
Sprint Review Meeting
At the end of a sprint cycle, two meetings are held: the "Sprint Review Meeting" and the "Sprint Retrospective"
  • Review the work that was completed and not completed
  • Present the completed work to the stakeholders (a.k.a. "the demo")
  • Incomplete work cannot be demonstrated
  • 4 hour time limit
Sprint Retrospective
  • All team members reflect on the past sprint.
  • Make continuous process improvement.
  • Two main questions are asked in the sprint retrospective: What went well during the sprint? What could be improved in the next sprint?
  • 3 hour time limit

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