The Stupid Project

Why are you writing about a stupid project? This is really stupid. Who will read this anyway? Heaps of nonsense project charters and useless documents that no one will ever read again. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

“I found this project charter lying in my 1991 folder, let’s do it,” said our fearless sponsor. “We can get this thing approved, up and running in three months, it will be a fabulous thing for our customers.” “Where are the resources, align everyone around this project, drop everything else, let’s find a superb project manager.”

“Wait a minute. Stop! You can’t start a project like this. There is a process, a portfolio to manage, a PMO that will approve all new projects.”

“By the way, who are you, will you help me get this project off the ground?” asks the sponsor.

“I’m Osteen. I’am the project manager. And no, I cannot help you with this project. I am a very busy project manager and I have no bandwidth right now. Just go away, and anyway who does a 1991 project in 2013? Are you nuts?”

“ The customers still need this, they have been waiting for decades, and we have been so busy that we just did not end up building it. I am going to the Vice President or maybe I’ll just go the CEO.” “Now listen, forget this project of yours, here’s another project where we cannot find a sponsor, why don’t you be the sponsor, it’s a great project.”

New charter for a 1991 project. Great value to our customers. Blah, Blah blah, then some numbers, again some blah, blah, blah, what you need approvals, sign here.

“I can’t even read this project charter.” I did this on purpose, who reads that stuff anyhow? If you really want to read it, get some magnifying glasses from your granny.

You should really go and read some other blog post now; the rest of this post is just utter nonsense. I started writing this, so I will stick with it to the end. So stop, please stop reading and go to some better blog posts. Quit, really I mean it. Have you clicked yet? If you are reading this sentence, it has no meaning.

“So did my 1991 project get approved?” “Yes, it did but we cannot start it until 2014, we have no capacity.” “What our customers are waiting anxiously for this.” “They have been waiting since 1991, they won’t even notice if you switch the 3 with a 4 on 201_”

“This is unacceptable, let’s outsource this then.” “Wait a minute, wait a minute,” cried Osteen. Remember Osteen is our project manager. “We never estimated this thing.” “ I know, but it doesn’t matter, we have the money approved now.” “I can do this for half the money,” Dominique says quietly. “Who asked you to speak, you are just a developer, what do you know about estimating anyway,” snapped Osteen. Remember Osteen is our project manager. “I am going to request Dominique to be assigned to my project, he is so responsive to the business needs,” says our sponsor.

12 days later, Dominique is working feverously on this 1991 project. “Is it done yet?” “No, it’s taking some time, I ran into an issue.” “Oh just one issue, how long before you can fix it?” “Maybe a day or two, if you can get a restraining order and prevent Osteen from inviting me to any more meetings.” Remember Osteen is our project manager?

“We are out of money and the 1991 project is still not complete. Dominique what’s up?” “ I ran into another problem, and now I am going on this trip for a month that I planned a year ago. Good bye.” “Osteen, you are responsible for this, how did you not know that Dominique was going to the Dominic Republic for month, you are a lousy project manager.” Remember Osteen is our project manager?

“Ok, now I get to do what I was born to do as a project manger, write up a change request,” says Osteen. Remember Osteen is our project manager?

Are you still reading this stuff, boy your projects must be suffering, go back to your projects, don’t waste your time on this silly stuff. Can you hear me now? Now! NOW! NOW! N O W !

Could you please stop writing in caps? It is irritating me. So Osteen (I know, I know, he is our project manager) writes up a change request – more money needed, more time needed. Finds another developer, who thinks what Dominique wrote is all crap and starts all over again. “You got to be kidding? You mean you just dumped all the code and my money just to start over?” our sponsor is furious. “But we will design a scalable platform that will last you for years.” “ I don’t want a scalable platform for Pete’s sake, I just want my 1991 project.”

“Ok, ok, we will see what we can deliver.” Where is that lazy project manager, why don’t I get weekly reports on progress, this new developer dude has already billed 100 hours to my project, can I see some prototypes?”

“No, no, we can’t do that, we follow waterfall, you see first we write lot’s of documents, that no one reads, then we write a lot of technical specifications, that only the person who wrote it can make any sense out of, then we code, you know like programming, the cool stuff, then we have our QA department test, only THEN, can you see the product.”

“But, it’s my money, I want to see how it’s developing, what if I don’t like what I see in the end.” “You know there is always the change request process,” says Osteen. Remember, – I’ll smash you if you say it one more time. Remember Osteen he is our project manager? I said it.

Finally the project is complete, everyone gets kudos for the 1991 project, the customers don’t even notice it, but we still have our party. The end. Let’s schedule some lessons learned.

About Samir Penkar

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