Eight to Late

Sensemaking and Analytics for Organizations

Archive for the ‘Verse’ Category

A cynic’s introduction to project management artefacts in five limericks

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Project managers as a rule,
will construct a project schedule
on a wing and a prayer,
and estimates from thin air,
creating a timeline untrue.

The well-regarded Gantt chart
is little more than a work of art.
For it only masks
that most project tasks
never begin when intended to start.

A project management tool
can spice up a dodgy schedule
with critical paths,
simulations and charts.
Accuracy? Who cares – it looks cool.

Progress reports for sponsor reviews
should be vetted for only good news.
No one wants to hear
of impending failure,
or how things are going down the tubes.

Organisations have discerned
that documenting lessons learned
is a complete waste,
’cause they’re rarely based
on events that really occurred.

Other posts in my “five limericks” series are:

An IT system tragedy in five limericks.
A project procrastinator’s tale in five limericks.
A corporate IT tragedy in five limericks
A manager’s response to a corporate IT tragedy in five limericks
A project management tragedy in five limericks

Written by K

June 19, 2008 at 9:47 pm

An IT system tragedy in five limericks

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This is a tale of distress
caused by a system on Access,
which failed one day
in a spectacular way,
leaving users in a bit of a mess.

File-based databases are prone
to crashing for reasons unknown.
So it was no surprise
to the IT guy.
“I knew it would happen,” he groaned.

The boss went totally ballistic,
turning red and apoplectic.
He told the IT guy,
“It will be good-bye
unless you get off your rear and fix it.”

On hearing he could be history,
the IT guy rolled up his sleeves
and tried to revive
the system that died,
but gray stayed the monitor screen.

The lesson to learn from this tale
is to backup your systems each day.
Disaster can strike
any time, day or night .
Be prepared! It’s the only way.

Written by K

May 9, 2008 at 8:44 pm

A project procrastinator’s tale in five limericks

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Gathered there was the whole team,
at the late project’s autopsy.
They laid no blame,
but it was me – oh shame!
It was all my fault as you’ll see.

It started out feeling great
I’d padded every estimate
with lot of air,
much time to spare.
So why did it turn out so late?

The reality, if truth be told
is that I just cannot behold
the sight of work.
I simply shirk.
Even thinking of it turns me cold.

So, although I say I tried,
I was the reason the project died.
The work on my plate
was always in late,
with excuses that couldn’t be denied.

Procrastination’s the thief of time.
It only makes one fall behind.
So, try if you can
to stick to the plan.
Don’t wait for intervention divine.


Other pieces in my five limericks series are:

A project management tragedy in five limericks

A corporate IT tragedy in five limericks

Reply to a corporate IT tragedy in five limericks

Written by K

April 17, 2008 at 10:09 pm

Nursery rhymes for project managers

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Mother Goose for Project Managers – version 0.001:

Little Jack Horner
Little Jack Horner sat in the corner,
watching his budget run dry.
Said he to the sponsor, “The project’s a goner.
and I reckon, so am I.”

Hickory-dickory dock
Hickory-dickory dock
The PM’s in shock.
The project’s aground;
the clock’s run down.
Hickory-dickory dock

Jack be nimble
Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick.
Dodge responsibility,
for it tends to stick.

Hey diddle diddle
Hey diddle diddle, the schedule’s a fiddle.
The deadline’s near; it’s too soon.
The sponsor won’t smile when he sees what’s been done,
especially after being promised the moon.

Hush-a-bye PM
Hush-a-bye PM, on a timeline.
Better wake up now, things aren’t so fine.
The scope is a-creeping, are you on the ball?
No change management will be your downfall.

Schedule, Schedule
Schedule, schedule on the wall,
the PM’s going to take the fall.
’cause everyone can plainly see,
his timeline’s but a fantasy.

The PM can’t sleep
The PM can’t sleep, he’s counting sheep.
The project is what’s troubling him.
Changes galore. Tell you what’s more –
there’s no money left to fund ’em.

Blah blah PM
Blah blah PM, spouting bull.
I can’t take anymore, my plate’s full.
The workload here is driving me insane.
So I’m leaving for a gig with the mob down the lane.

Written by K

April 4, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Reviewing documentation on a work day evening

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With apologies to Robert Frost (and a colleague who shall remain nameless).

Whose work this is I think I know.
He hasn’t done a good job though.
He will not see me over here,
reading his drivel pure as snow.

The cleaners must  think it queer
that I’m still working, though midnight’s near.
Between you and me – it’s late,
on the darkest night of the year.

I give my poor head a shake,
and ask, “Why so many mistakes?”
The only other sound’s the sweep
of the vacuum cleaner’s swift intake.

Slumber beckons, long and deep,
but I have this job to keep,
And files to go before I sleep,
And files to go before I sleep.

Written by K

March 26, 2008 at 10:16 pm

Posted in Communication, Verse

RE: A Corporate IT tragedy in five limericks

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A manager’s response to A corporate IT tragedy in five limericks:

I see you have taken offence.
But axing your job made good sense.
You had to go
to save us some dough,
and that’s why you are in past tense.

It broke our hearts to do it,
but it’s because of the market.
Our bottom line
has to climb
a long way to make us a profit.

Let me say this just between us:
For savings, on me was the onus.
And it’s better to see
you gone, than me.
It may even earn me a bonus.

I know you will soon secure
another big fat sinecure.
Where you’ll do no work,
and continue to shirk,
while gaining promotions galore.

And so I bid you adieu;
and many good wishes to you.
See, writing bad verse
may feel good at first,
but later just may get sued.

Written by K

March 9, 2008 at 9:18 pm

A Corporate IT tragedy in five limericks

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They tell me my job’s on the line
They say  it’s for real this time.
The bosses, they say,
“It’s  going away,
it’s heading for sunnier climes.”

This time they’ve gone really far.
I reckon they’ve been reading Carr.
Who tells us that IT,
is  a mere utility.
Strategic it isn’t, oh darn!

Consequences of centralization –
servers in another nation.
Miles from here;
too far, we fear.
And what of the implications?

Every little bit and byte
traverses a long and thin pipe.
All the way to our users
who’ve become snoozers,
waiting for docs from last night.

Perhaps the circle will turn,
but not before users get burned
by rotten support –
they’ll see it’s a rort.
Then bring the whole darn thing back home.

Written by K

March 7, 2008 at 9:35 am

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