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A Handy List of Project Management Excuses
By Andrew Meyer

In the interests of status reporting efficiency, please use the following list of excuses when you’ve said you’ll have no problem completing something, which will now be late.

  1. We’ve got scope creep. I don’t know where it came from, but have you seen this cool little widget we’ve added…
  2. How come we never have enough money? Honest, if I could just get this one other tool…
  3. The requirements weren’t defined. Why do I have to keep going to all these meetings, I mean, I’ve already started coding…
  4. The requirements keep changing. Every time I talk to someone, they want something different. It’s not worth writing them down…
  5. There’s a bug in the (Pick one or more: vendors, downstream app, upstream app, operating system, monitoring system, security… our software)
  6. The new software we bought doesn’t work the way we want. It looked so easy when the sales…
  7. We haven’t heard back from the software vendor, we filed the report (Pick one: weeks ago, months ago, yesterday… 5 minutes before coming to this meeting)
  8. The project manager from company X isn’t here today, all the problems are with X
  9. Testing found something we hadn’t expected, it will (Pick one: double, triple…)
  10. There’s a holiday in X‘s country. They won’t be back before Monday. There’s nothing we can do until…
  11. We couldn’t reach Betty-the-business-analyst or (insert name here), we’re stuck until…
  12. The Development, Testing, QA, Production environments aren’t the same, the sysadmins are looking at it, they should be done…
  13. Management doesn’t understand the problem, if they would just take more time…
  14. Management is too involved, why won’t they just let us do our job…
  15. The project sponsor isn’t helping us. We sent them an email two weeks or 5 minutes ago and haven’t heard anything…
  16. The project sponsor keeps meddling in what we’re doing. Every time we turn around, they’re asking us questions..

Andrew Meyer studied systems and industrial engineering before spending fifteen years implementing global IT and Business Process Re-Engineering projects. Frustrated with seeing communication issues hurt projects again and again, he returned to get his MBA from the University of Southern California and focused on project communications and risk management. To apply this to real-world problems, Andrew founded the Capability Alignment Professionals (http://www.CompanyAlign.com), which is dedicated to aligning incentives and encouraging communications. He discusses these issues in his blog Inquiries Into Alignment (http://alignmentinquiries.blogspot.com/)

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