The Devil’s Dictionary of Project Management Terms

CREATIVE WORKS

By Crispin ‘Kik’ Piney

France

 



Originally published in 1906, The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce offered cynical definitions of terms of the “political” language of the period. This posting attempts to provide similar “helpful” definitions of project management-related terms.

Activity schedule A well-determined project timetable during which nothing you expected will probably occur
Agile development approach A palliative to keep the stakeholders patient during an extended trial-and-error exercise in the same way that tapas can be served as a way of making customers feel that a collection of snacks is equivalent to a real meal.
Agile Project Management A set of software product development principles based on good fellowship and poor governance.
Benchmarking A means of comparison with other companies, designed either to comfort your company in its mediocrity or to lord it over your colleagues for theirs
Body of knowledge The basis on which many standards are based. The challenge is to know when a body part is from a valuable discovery, from a sacred cow, or from a plague-pit.
Checklist A method of reviewing using ticks. A tick is a bloodsucking mite that can act as vector of disease. This is why you should be very careful to check on the originator of the list (whence its name, of course).
Chicken or egg situation At least in projects, this is a false dichotomy linked to gender confusion: most projects start as a monster cock-up, and at the end everyone gets egg on their face.
Consensus The process of gaining agreement by lowering everyone’s expectations until they match the average level of knowledge of the participants. Since this process discourages the participation of experts and encourages the masses, the average tends to reduce over time, with a predictable feedback effect. This is a favourite approach for politicians to ensure re-election but should be avoided in situations where the result is important such as medicine, wine-making and cookery.
Continuous improvement Policy of perpetually moving the goalposts in order to explain why the situation never seems to change.
Cost Performance Index A number inversely proportional to the size of begging bowl required by the project manager. See also “Schedule Performance Index”

More…

To read entire paper, click here

 



About the Author


Crispin (Kik) Piney

South of France

 

 

After many years managing international IT projects within large corporations, Crispin (“Kik”) Piney, B.Sc., PgMP is now a freelance project management consultant based in the South of France. At present, his main areas of focus are risk management, integrated Portfolio, Program and Project management, scope management and organizational maturity, as well as time and cost control. He has developed advanced training courses on these topics, which he delivers in English and in French to international audiences from various industries. In the consultancy area, he has developed and delivered a practical project management maturity analysis and action-planning consultancy package.

Kik has carried out work for PMI on the first Edition of the Organizational Project Management Maturity Model (OPM3™) as well as participating actively in fourth edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and was also vice-chairman of the Translation Verification Committee for the Third Edition. He was a significant contributor to the second edition of both PMI’s Standard for Program Management as well as the Standard for Portfolio Management. In 2008, he was the first person in France to receive PMI’s PgMP® credential; he was also the first recipient in France of the PfMP® credential. He is co-author of PMI’s Practice Standard for Risk Management. He collaborates with David Hillson (the “Risk Doctor”) by translating his monthly risk briefings into French. He has presented at a number of recent PMI conferences and published formal papers.

Kik Piney can be contacted at [email protected]

To view other works by Kik Piney, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/crispin-kik-piney/

 

 

An Engineered Parrot

CREATIVE WORK

A Play

By Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India

 


One of our beloved clients requires – A Parrot.

Yes … a Parrot, the bird which has a beak, 2 eyes, 2 wings and of course weight around 500 gms.

Through all procedural exercises the contract was awarded and team started the detail engineering; Yes Ladies and Gentlemen to procure and deliver a PARROT under Lump sum turnkey Contract.

For those who already know LSTK-Lump sum is a noun which means a complete payment consisting of a single sum of money while turnkey is an adjective of a product or service which means product or service will be ready to use upon delivery.

Sweets were distributed, parties were thrown and the team inaugurated the PROJECT DETAILING of the PARROT.


Cast:

PM: Project Manager

EM: Engineering Manager

Lead

RE: Responsible Engineer

Vendor

Expeditor

Parrot


PM:      Team, welcome to the prestigious project. We are proud to have the team onboard which is rightly selected to acquire and deliver the customized item which has to be as per:

Quality

Schedule

BEST of engineering procedures.

Or was it Project Quality, Baseline Schedule and applicable engineering procedures. Only time will tell.

PM:      Team, please ensure that we include Right Accessories, deliver the customized item (ITEM?) and none of the interfaces are left open.

We should put special focus on testing and we are confident that through our hard work and know-how will make this project a benchmark.

EM:      Team, please ensure that no specification and procedure are unturned and we deliver as per Quality (was it Project Quality?)

Lead:   We need to prepare the Material Requisition Ram, Is the draft ready?? (Shouts) IS THE DRAFT READY RAM?

RE:       Yes Boss, we have included all clauses and specification and datasheet has reference to ALL Codes and Standards.

Lead:   Hmmm! As we are engineering a Parrot first time, please do not ignore any testing and inspection criteria. Please add that NO WAIVER will be granted post order, all queries are to be addressed through prequalification notes and criteria.

Our engineering world is full of glorified words like-All, Waiver, Criteria…and what not. So the requisition weighting 10kgs with all specification and references was prepared and issued to attract the Poor Vendors.

More…

To read entire play, click here

 


 

About the Reviewer


Anil Seth

Gurgaon, India

 


Mr. Anil Seth is working as Project Manager in Fluor’s Indian office at Gurgaon. Fluor Daniel India Private Limited (Fluor India) provides a full range of engineering, design, procurement, and construction management services to Indian and overseas clients. Fluor India is an established quality provider of engineering, procurement, construction management (EPC) and project management services for Fluor’s energy and chemicals, power, mining, and industrial projects, and is a key support office for Fluor facilities located in North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia Pacific

Earlier to Fluor, was in Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Faridabad, India and managing the Project Engineering Manager Portfolio for hydrocarbon projects. Before joining Larsen & Toubro Engineering and construction division he has worked for Indian Petrochemicals Corporation Limited. He holds B.E. degree with Honors in CHEMICAL Engineering from Panjab University Chandigarh India and has also done Diploma in Environmental Management. He is certified for Harvard Manage Mentor and specializes in Building High Performance cross functional Task Force as well as Converting Breakeven Projects to Profitable scenario. He can be reached at mailto:[email protected]or [email protected]

To see other works by Anil Seth, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/mr-anil-seth/