Project Managers on Project Management: Our Favourite Inspirational Quotes

Role of the Project Manager | By Duncan Haughey | Read time minutes

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At Project Smart, it's no secret that we love project management. We especially like when project managers share their experiences and insights on project management, giving us a glimpse into their world and day-to-day experience of being a project manager because it gives us glimpses into how their perspectives shape their work.

We've captured sixteen quotes from well-known project managers that show how project management is on the ground. These quotes provide insight into project management best practices. Whether you are a seasoned project manager or just starting your journey, these quotes can help get you into the right headspace to follow a successful career in project management.


  • Inspirational
  • Amusing
  • Unconventional
  • Thought-provoking

Inspirational Quotes About Project Management

In a way, all quotes about project management are inspirational project management quotes. But these quotes are particularly inspirational, designed to fire you up and get your mind churning.

  • "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit." ~ Conrad Hilton
  • "Project managers rarely lack organisational visibility, enjoy considerable variety in their day-to-day duties, and often have the prestige associated with work on the enterprise’s high-priority objectives." ~ Meredith and Mantel
  • "Get the right people. Then no matter what all else you might do wrong after that, the people will save you. That’s what project management is all about." ~ Tom DeMarco
  • "Managing projects, people, conversations, and resources is all part of a puzzle that you cannot solve without the leadership mindset." ~ Sandeep Kashyap

Amusing Quotes About Project Management

Project managers often have a different way of looking at the world. In many cases, that different way of looking at the world is downright amusing.

  • "The secret of successful managing is to keep the five guys who hate you away from the four guys who haven’t made up their minds." ~ Casey Stengel
  • "I’m a project manager, not a magician. Magicians have way cooler hats." ~ Merlin Mann
  • "Project management is like juggling three balls - time, cost and quality. Program management is like a troupe of circus performers standing in a circle, each juggling three balls and swapping balls from time to time." ~ Geoff Reiss
  • "I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." ~ Douglas Adams

Unconventional Quotes About Project Management

Many well-known project managers have an interesting slant on project management. You can find unexpected inspiration in the unorthodox, so check out these unconventional project management quotes.

  • "If an IT project works the first time, it was in your nightly dreams. Time to wake up and get to work." ~ Cornelius Fichtner
  • "Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities." ~ Napoleon Hill
  • "Progress doesn’t come from early risers - progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things." ~ Robert Heinlein
  • "My personal philosophy is not to undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible." ~ Edwin Land

Thought-provoking Quotes About Project Management

Project management as a profession dates back to building the pyramids and the construction of the Great Wall of China. By studying the work of earlier generations, like that of the United States Department of Defense in the 1950s and 1960s, we can understand and appreciate how project management has evolved. Take a look at these quotes that make you think about why you're a project manager.

  • "Being a Project Manager is like being an artist; you have the different coloured process streams combining into a work of art" ~ Greg Cimmarrusti
  • "Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan." ~ Karen Tate
  • "No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails." ~ Woody Williams
  • "Project managers are the most creative people in the world. We have to figure out everything that could go wrong before it does." ~ Fredrik Haren

The Success of Your Projects?

That's all you. Project Smart can help you become a better project manager by offering advice and insights from subject matter experts. Put into practice what you have learned and make your project management skills as strong as they can be.

Your project management, at its best.

Recommended read: 10 Quotes That Make You a Better Project Manager by Duncan Haughey.


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