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Topics: Quality, Risk Management, Scheduling, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Murphy’s Law in Project Management
How you've relate Murphy’s Law to your real life project...

Why is it so worldly known, it has to have a good use?
Please comment on how you've applied this concept to Project Management.

This is a discussion forum, for this we are not waiting for an specific answer.
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Murphy's Law

If anything can go wrong, it will.
Corollaries
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Everything takes longer than you think.
If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way will promptly develop.
Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Every solution breeds new problems.
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
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3 replies by Anupam , Frank Saladis, and Kimberly Killian
Jul 28, 2016 8:53 AM
Anupam
...
George, why only limiting to Project Management? Project Success & Project Failure?

Professionally, I see lot of challenges when talking about opportunities and growth. Sometimes it's the management decision, and sometimes org changes & realignments.

Murphy's Law is practically proved - "If anything can go wrong, it will". :)
Aug 27, 2016 5:53 PM
Kimberly Killian
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I think Murphy leans a little to the negative and it's a matter of how we face change that makes a difference. Change in a project is inevitable and expected and how we approach and handle change becomes the challenge and ultimately reflects how successful the project was received by the stakeholders - leading for more acceptance from stakeholders for future projects. I've discovered that my repertoire with my stakeholders and constant communication regarding the project in all of its process leads to smoother understanding.
Sep 19, 2016 1:21 PM
Frank Saladis
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O'Toole's corollary to Murphy's Law - Murphy was an optimist. Regarding the application of Murphy's law to project management - Most project managers will agree that some things will go wrong during any project implementation. Risk management is about proactive thinking and asking what if questions. Planning for risk will minimize the "Murphy's Law effect. The Murphy's Law effect simply means that "we may as well accept the fact that something bad will happen". Well organized planning, emphasis on prevention and analyzing possible scenarios and alternatives should reduce the overall impact of risk. Conditioning a team to be "risk ready" and encouraging constructive risk discussions during project meetings will minimize what Murphy has been proclaiming for years.
Murphy's Law in Project Management

Murphy's Law mentions "What can go wrong will go wrong".

If the project has started without a proper project plan, it is going to be failed.

If the project sponsor is half hearted with the project, the chance of project success is low.

If the project manager lacks the competencies, the whole project team suffers.

We have to ensure right from the beginning, the project is a right project and we should execute it in the right way. Thus, ensuring the product or service makes business sense and with the strong management support are critical. Next is to have a competent project manager with the right project management methods to deliver the project.

Entire Comment taken from Murphy's Law in Project Management - ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/post/Murphys_...ject_Management [accessed Jul 28, 2016].
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1 reply by Ravindranath Palahalli
Aug 23, 2016 1:00 AM
Ravindranath Palahalli
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George, It is just the Mindset for a Project team member to be with.Anticipate the un-expected & be ready to handle deviation. it is an opportunity for an planning & consistently pursue for the successful outcome of the project.
It drives excellence in project execution for the desired outcome without the risk impacting it.
Network:4585
Jul 28, 2016 8:22 AM
Replying to George Lewis
...
Murphy's Law

If anything can go wrong, it will.
Corollaries
Nothing is as easy as it looks.
Everything takes longer than you think.
If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which a procedure can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way will promptly develop.
Whenever you set out to do something, something else must be done first.
Every solution breeds new problems.
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
George, why only limiting to Project Management? Project Success & Project Failure?

Professionally, I see lot of challenges when talking about opportunities and growth. Sometimes it's the management decision, and sometimes org changes & realignments.

Murphy's Law is practically proved - "If anything can go wrong, it will". :)
...
1 reply by George Lewis
Jul 28, 2016 9:01 AM
George Lewis
...
Anupam - good input... The answer -as you did- could be to any extent, could be businesswise.
Jul 28, 2016 8:53 AM
Replying to Anupam
...
George, why only limiting to Project Management? Project Success & Project Failure?

Professionally, I see lot of challenges when talking about opportunities and growth. Sometimes it's the management decision, and sometimes org changes & realignments.

Murphy's Law is practically proved - "If anything can go wrong, it will". :)
Anupam - good input... The answer -as you did- could be to any extent, could be businesswise.
I think that is why there seems to be such a large push of going toward Agile. In traditional project management a lot of change is seemed as bad. In Agile, you expect change. In which case you wouldn't be waiting for Murphy's Law. One thing I've also learned over time is 'never say never'. As soon as you say "That will never happen." It will...
Agreed, Pamela.

Some of my lessons learned:
* trust but verify
* have everything reviewed by at least one second pair of eyes
* budget for rework
* pessimistic estimates are usually not generous enough
Murphy's law can get all project down but sometime with considering project time one has to take decision which might open door for Murphy's law. And with team efforts it can be avoided also. So I think it is about just taking good solution for time being. And putting all efforts to make it worth.
I couldn't agree more. There two atittudes that have always helped me when "Murphy shows his presence": always keep updated forecasts on project path and, mainly, having an engaged team. If you work on agile projects or in a very active market, there is a great chance you'll have demands not foreseen, in these moments the team engagement with the goal will help a lot.
Doesnt Murhpy's Law State" Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong? Yes, we know that is the answer. My personal experience with this is heavy risk management (not heavy handed.) Meaning that I am constantly working with my teams to have a very active Risk Management Process (identify, qualify, plan). I think in our agile teams we are heavy on Service Strategy & Design trying to create & stick with a vision as Agile doesn't mean change is automatic. My thought process is cant plan for everything but you can build solid Risk risk register or risk-adjusted backlog that will help control Murphy.
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