A Compendium of Project Management Humour to Make You Laugh

The world of project management is a serious place.  Big decisions. Lots of responsibility. Highly intense. Therefore laughter and play are essential components for resilience. It’s no wonder that when it comes to project leadership in complex times, a sense of humour ranks up there with strategic thinking and superb communication.

Robert Half International Found That 91% of Executives Believe a Sense of Humor Is Important for Career Advancement

In successful project leaders, humour and humility seem to go hand in hand. A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. They have  cultivated the habit of looking for the unexpected, bizarre, incongruous or ironic things that happen to all of us from time to time.

Being able to lighten up and see the funny side might not seem important. But being able to laugh at yourself and at life is lifelong protection against depression, anxiety, and anger – all toxic emotions.

Sure, there are quotes to be found all over the web, but sometimes situations call for humour rather than the stiffness of a good quote. If you’re looking for humour on project management that gives you a chance to laugh, look no further.

Here’s a list of 30 that should do the trick:

Things a Project Manager Will Never Utter in Public

  1. The project is based on a case study they read in a magazine last week.
  2. That he or she just  didn’t see that risk coming.
  3. A  problem shared is a buck passed.
  4. That if it wasn’t for the ‘last minute’ teamwork, the project would not have been completed.
  5. The  project will not deliver any of its expected benefits.
  6. There are no good project managers, only lucky ones.
  7. That a  two-year project will take three years and a three-year project will never finish.
  8. That what is not on paper has not been said.

A Project Manager Knows He or She Is Ready to Retire When

  1. They  enjoy reading the Project Management Body of Knowledge PMBOK, Managing Successful Programmes and Prince 2 every night in bed.
  2. They  mitigate  the risk of their  in-laws visiting.
  3. They find themselves  explaining what Gantt, Monte Carlo analysis and Risk Mitigation are to people down the pub.
  4. The deliverables for the weekend are house cleaning, ironing, shopping and washing.
  5. They  refer to their  significant others  as the main budget holder.
  6. They believe success in a relationship is about good project management. Determining deliverables, meeting milestones, and always pursuing the critical path.

Things A Project Manager Will Never Utter to a Customer

  1. A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
  2. That they are just  as confused about the brief as the customer.
  3. That nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.
  4. That the  project will be estimated accurately once it’s completed.
  5. It is always easier to talk about change than to make it.
  6. That they worked on a simular project which was a complete disaster.
  7. That they  can actually deliver the end product  earlier than planned.
  8. That they should expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.
  9. A change freeze is like the is the abominable snowman which melts when heat is applied.
  10. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.
  11. That if an IT project worked the first time, it must have been a very small and simple project.
  12. It’s easy to see, hard to foresee.
  13. Fast, cheap, good: you can only have any two.

Things a Project Manager Will Never Say at the End of a  Project

  1. That the  project got to be a year late one day at a time.
  2. That their not sure what happened; as it worked last time.
  3. That if at first you don’t succeed, remove all evidence you ever tried.

Did we miss a quote you love? Share your favorite humorous inspirational quotes below!

About the author: George Brzozowski

I want to help you to see news events as starting points for constructive conversations. I seek to cut through the froth of the political spin cycle to underlying truths and values. I want to be so focused on progress that together we can provide a credible and constructive counter-narrative to the hopelessness-, anger-, and fear-inducing brand of discourse that is so pervasive in the news.

3 thoughts on “A Compendium of Project Management Humour to Make You Laugh”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely hilarious, oh the joy of being a PM. love it……

  2. Anonymous says:

    Finally some project management humour that is actually funny

    1. Anonymous says:

      I’ll be using this material at my next presentation. I will attribute the content to project journal of course. thanks

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