When All Else Fails, Try a New Fad

Ian Simpson

The other day a colleague asked my opinion about a new approach to project management. Not having heard of it before, I trawled amazon.com for material on the subject. Several books popped up, one of which irritated me to no end by the arrogance of its self-review.

"Plan and manage projects that yield successful results all the time in half the time you're used to with this new guide. With this book, you learn how to reduce stress on a project team, eliminate cost and scheduling over-runs, effectively manage project resources, and finish projects that meet or exceed expectations."

Yeah, right! You also get to achieve world peace, attract members of the opposite sex, get whiter teeth and washboard abs, and become amazingly, fantastically popular! All this and more-just from reading this book!!! So did I whip out my credit card to get this revolution that will change my life? Look at it this way-would you sell a book that could do all this for less than half a million a copy? Just think of the money companies would save! ("Successful results all the time in half the time you're used to!")

Let's get this right. With the exception of new software tools, very little is new in the last 30 years of project management. Sure, some aspects have been honed, and we have learned from some of our mistakes, but it is …


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What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

- Dan Quayle

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