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Just for a Laugh: The Lighter Side of Project Management

Recommended Reads | By Duncan Haughey | minute read

A fisheye image of a smiling nerd

Top 10 Signs You're a Project Manager

  1. Becoming tired of having a social life beyond work.
  2. Spending hours planning and re-planning a Friday night out.
  3. Thinking Rommel would have been more effective if he'd used a Gantt chart.
  4. Using so much jargon customers think you're speaking a foreign language.
  5. Organising your life into milestones.
  6. Setting time-based tasks for your family at weekends.
  7. Buying a personal copy of Microsoft Project for use at home.
  8. Giving regular status reports to your other half while doing the decorating.
  9. Creating a Gantt chart to plan your holidays.
  10. Referring to food at dinner parties as "deliverables."

Top 10 Things a Project Manager Should Never Say to a Customer

  1. If you're as confused as I am then you know as much as I do.
  2. Don't worry it's easier than it looks.
  3. I'm not sure what happened; it worked last time.
  4. Implementation? We'll worry about that when we get to it.
  5. The problem is we have too much work for too few people.
  6. My last project was a complete disaster.
  7. We can deliver much earlier than you're asking for.
  8. We'll definitely come in under budget.
  9. Are you stupid or what?
  10. Nothing can go wrong, I promise.

Top 10 Things You'll Never Hear From a Project Manager

  1. I didn't see that risk coming!
  2. This whole project is based on a case study I read in the paper last week.
  3. I'm not sure this project is going to deliver any benefits.
  4. The project is running well ahead of schedule.
  5. I think we'll miss that milestone by quite a long way.
  6. We're charging you far too much to run this project.
  7. There's far more budget and time than is needed.
  8. I didn't actually have a plan; I was playing it by ear.
  9. I can't take credit for that success.
  10. How about paying us based on the success of the project?

You Know It Is Time to Get Out of Project Management When…

  • You refer to your other half as the budget holder.
  • Your personal life is planned to the end degree.
  • You write a Project Brief for your next holiday.
  • Safe sex involves a risk log and contingency plan.
  • You organise your family into a more efficient team based structure.
  • The "deliverables" for Saturday are the shopping and washing.
  • You mitigate the risk of your in-laws visiting.
  • Finding yourself explaining what Gantt, PERT and CPM diagrams are to people down the pub.
  • You enjoy reading the Project Management Body of Knowledge in bed.

The Wish

A project manager, a software developer, and a hardware engineer are in Brighton for three weeks helping out on a project.

About midweek, they decide to take a lunchtime walk up and down the beach. Halfway up the beach, they come across a lamp. As they rub the lamp, a genie appears and says, I will grant each of you one wish.

The hardware engineer says, I want to spend the rest of my life living in a huge mansion with no money worries. The genie grants his wish.

The software developer says, I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a yacht cruising the Caribbean with no money worries. The genie grants his wish.

Then it is the project manager's turn. And what would your wish be? Asked the genie.

I want them both back after lunch replies the project manager.

The Monkey

A tourist walked into a pet shop and was looking at the animals on display. While he was there, another customer walked in and said to the shopkeeper, I'll have a C monkey, please. The shopkeeper nodded, went over to a cage at the side of the shop and took out a monkey. He fitted a collar and lead, handed it to the customer, saying, That'll be £5,000.

The customer paid and walked out with his monkey.

Startled, the tourist went over to the shopkeeper and said, That was a very expensive monkey. Most of them are only a few hundred pounds. Why did it cost so much? The shopkeeper answered, Ah, that monkey can program in C - very fast, tight code, no bugs, well worth the money.

The tourist looked at a monkey in another cage. Hey, that one's even more expensive! £10,000! What does it do?

Oh, that one's a C++ monkey; it can manage object-oriented programming, Visual C++, even some Java. All the really useful stuff said the shopkeeper.

The tourist looked around for a little longer and saw a third monkey in a cage on its own. The price tag around its neck read £50,000. The tourist gasped to the shopkeeper, That one costs more than all the others put together! What on earth does it do?

The shopkeeper replies, Well, I haven't actually seen it do anything, but it says it's a project manager.

What's Next?

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