Project Management

The Horror and the Humor

Karen Klein

Requirements? We don't need no stinkin' requirements. If he’d been an action hero instead of a project manager, Christopher Johns might have done a slow motion leap across the table during a high-powered client meeting and muzzled the executive who was committing his firm to the impossible. Instead, Johns had to settle for writing a humorous commentary about the experience two years after the fact.

What do comedians and project managers have in common? Not a whole lot, most people might say. But 34-year-old Christopher Johns, a project manager with AIM Healthcare Services in Nashville, drew on his funny bone and his lifelong interest in writing when he heard about a contest sponsored by CompuWare. The proposal: Submit a “requirements horror story” and win prizes if your essay is judged to be the best story of the day, the week or the month.
 
CompuWare conceived the essay contest as a way to shed some light on typical requirements problems and promote their Optimal Trace software as an alternative to the nightmare scenarios they anticipated hearing about. “Tell us your best (read worst) requirements story. Make us laugh, cry and vote you straight to a new iPod or Sony laptop. And when you’re done basking in your well-deserved glory, you can learn all about Optimal Trace’s preventative care solution to keeping you and your projects …

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"Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room."

- Winston Churchill

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