Most social markers and change agents work on projects – perhaps the least useful way to generate passion, commitment and results. Matthew May writes about The Seven Laws of Projects, and How to Break Them. Worth a close look.
1. A major project is never completed on time, within budget,
or with the original team, and it never does exactly what it was supposed to.
2. Projects progress quickly until they become 85% complete.
Then they remain 85% complete forever. Think of this as the Home Improvement
3. When things appear to be going well, you’ve overlooked
something. When things can’t get worse, they will. (Murphy’s Law says, “If
something can go wrong, it will”—this is a corollary).
4. Project teams hate weekly progress reports because they so
vividly manifest the lack of progress.
5. A carelessly planned project will take three times longer to
complete than expected. A carefully planned project will only take twice as
long as expected. Also, ten estimators will estimate the same work in ten
different ways. And one estimator will estimate ten different ways at ten
6. The greater the project’s technical complexity, the less you
need a technician to manage it.
7. If you have too few people on a project, they can’t solve
the problems. If you have too many, they create more problems than they can
OK, now that you know them – breaking them is the courageous next step. When has this worked for you?