Susan’s Favorite Project Management Quotes

For several years I have been collecting project management and requirements gathering quotes. I use them in course development, presentations and in my signature block. I also repeat them to myself from time to time when I need to feel better about how things are going on a particular project. When I read James Haner’s post with his favorite leadership quotes last week, I thought to myself “What fun!  I need to dig out my favorite project management and requirements gathering quotes, dust them off, and post them out there, too.”   Here they are for all of the project managers and business analysts out there looking for a phrase that fits:

“Data is like garbage.  You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”  Mark Twain

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.”  James Thurber

“Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.”  Will Rogers

“Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it.”  R. Buckminster Fuller

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”  Albert Einstein

“Experience is not what happens to you, it is what you do with what happens to you.”  Aldous Huxley

“He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.”  Horace

“When the territory and the map disagree, believe the territory.”  Swiss Army Manual

“‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end; then stop.’” Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”   W. Edwards Deming

“At times, project managers seem to forget that many of the conventional forms, charts, and tables that they must fill out are intended to serve as aids, not punishments.”    Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, and Sutton, Project Management in Practice, 2005

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”    Gertrude Stein

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”   Mario Andretti

“It is not a question of how well each process works; the question is how well they all work together.”    Lloyd Dobyns and Clare Crawford-Mason, Thinking About Quality

“What is not on paper has not been said.”   Anonymous

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”    Friedrich Engels

Happy quoting!  I would love to hear from you if you would like to share your favorite project management and requirements gathering quotes – I know there are a lot of them out there that I have not yet heard!

Susan Weese

For more information about project management, download Learning Tree’s white paper, Using the PMBOK® Guide to Build a Practical Project Management Process.

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