Project Management

’Twas the Night Before Chaos

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

A note before I start this offering, dear reader. This is the third holiday-themed article that I have written for this site, and each year I get e-mails asking me whether I have lost my mind or was drinking before I wrote it. Let me address that up front by saying that I have not had any more to drink than usual when sitting down to write an article for that I haven’t seen my mind for years and consider it well and truly lost. It should also be noted that there may be some very small exaggerations in this article; it’s entirely possible that none of this ever happened outside of my head, but what the heck…it’s Christmastime!

John pulled into the driveway, the lights of the minivan washing across the yard full of plastic snowmen and Santas that he had put out with Sarah and the kids last weekend. He hit the button for the automatic garage door opener and pulled through the open door. CRASH! “Shoot,” said John. He had forgotten that the Christmas tree was on the roof, and the likelihood of an 8-foot Christmas tree on the roof of a minivan fitting inside the garage was rather remote.

John got out and looked behind the van. The tree was lying on the ground looking a little forlorn, the top few inches at a rather unnatural angle. John looked around to see if anyone had noticed and sure enough Sarah was …

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"We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again, and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore."

- Mark Twain