The Rut Not Taken

Ennui for Dummies.Title: “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge”

Author: Project Management Institute

Rank: 88

Review: “As a project management instructor and course developer at a state university, a project management keynote speaker, and someone who has been training project managers for nearly two decades, I highly recommend this book.”

Alternate Review: “The text is packed with sections like ‘Project teams may hold planning meetings to develop the cost management plan. Attendees at these meetings may include the project manager, the project sponsor, selected team members, selected stake holders, anyone with responsibility for project costs, and others as needed.'”

Customers Also Bought: “A Project Manager’s Book of Forms”

Footnote: Kill us now.

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]


Not included is a smugness held by some PMs in the false belief that they have special skillz… note: anyone can do project management just scope and scale depends on your edumakshun and skillz set.

Or so says the moron who has taken more PM courses over the past 5 years than he wants to admit.

There’s a lot of “mays” in PM.
Worst job (title) ever devised. A shit-load were sold to the gub-ment. Another contributor to the deficit.

@ManchuCandidate: It’s mostly just making notes and follow-up calls. I’ve done it for years.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing:
Yup. Unfortunately, I worked with PMs who believed that the primary job of a PM was to be an Excel Jockey (ie working on spreadsheets and calculating cost) and not following up/harassing people to do their fucking jobs. It might help explain why the company I worked 9 years for no longer exists.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing: Much of what I do is also tantamount to project management. I just call it Herding Cats.

I guess I’m missing the point of the profession: In my own background there’s Editorial Management (assembling stories and photos for publication), Publication Management (design & production), Website Management (don’t ask), and now App Management (no, really, don’t ask).

They all involve ushering Some Thing towards Some Goal, but if you abstract away all the details, you have — well, nothing, because they’re all about the details. Any overlap in what I do is coincidental to the fact that all I’ve ever done involves presenting materials to an audience, and in that respect, everything I need to know I learned on deadline at the college newspaper night desk.

So here, for free, is Nojo’s Complete Guide to Project Management: If you’re not severely anal-retentive, go find something else to do.

Yeah, it’s part of the job not a career path.

@ManchuCandidate: My blessedly brief experience with project managers at the Census Bureau gave me the clear impression it’s designed as yet another band-aid to be slapped on when you’ve promoted enough Peter Principle deadwood into management that nobody is doing the job of managing. The unspoken truth that accompanies it is the project managers will cost a fortune and primarily enlarge the existing crowd of people who don’t know what they are doing.

I’m saying this as a veteran of the 1970’s Quality Circles school of management and most of the shiny new fads since. When your so-called managers spend all their time filling out reports I think the underlying problem identifies itself.

@Dave H: It’s close, but not quite true. There are few people that can tell you how to correct color from a computer screen to printed material ( hint: look at them both in a mirror at the same time), or how to deal with marketing when they just don’t know what they want (never suggest, just talk consequences- money and time). Most designers I know couldn’t make it five minutes in a brand meeting- too much common sense. And the marketing people? They’d have the artists out the door and making ultimatums in about three minutes. Mostly you’re just a buffer and a nag and a crumb-catcher. Everyone is too good for it and not quite good enough.

It’s a living, I suppose. Being an Excel Jockey is a tactic, by the way, applied correctly. Plausible deniability is the name of the game, after all.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing: Plausible deniability is the name of the game

I’ve always thought that the only reason for committees is to evade blame.

@nojo: No, that’s the reason for Upper Management. That and four-hour lunches.

With the government, doesn’t it all just boil down to “what do you want to see?” Armed with my trusty Excel, just tell me what numbers you need.
I have an infinite supply.

And of course, you had to mention Sick Smega… Sigh.

A good idea that became a bloated self important monster.

@BobCens: I can make them go through hoops too. Just don’t forget to flatten out the formulas before you send it.


@Dodgerblue: Is it just me or are we all just servants of a non- titled aristocracy? At least Louis the XIV had cool hats.

And where is Benedick? I’m not drunk, but I should be, and I want to ask him about his piece. No, not that piece, the other one.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing:

I don’t know what is worse though… the entitlement that comes from born into wealth/power/fame or self-entitlement of the delusional.

@BobCens: Bob, if I remember correctly you kept your Excel fired up at all times in case you ever had to land the airplane you were on, just like Dilbert’s PHB.

I’ll never forget your wonderful graphs with the bees.

@ManchuCandidate: I have people that really love me, I have moments that weren’t just great for me, they were great for everybody involved. I have my dignity, and I choose whomI answer to.

Something tells me they can’t say that.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing:
They can say they have it, but it’s not true.

Almost as bad as my former idiot CEO begging for a job in the WSJ sometime in 2011. So undignified and hilarious.

Is this the real world?

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing: Though I say it myself my piece is pretty damn impressive.

“A Project Manager’s Book of Forms”

Really? I’m in the wrong bidness.

/ Heads off to re-read the original “Minute Manager” by P.T. Barnum.

@Dave H: Believe it or not, I haven’t touched Excel since joining the ranks of the unemployed. Of course, I also went to the dark side (Apple convert).
Now that my world domination through Excel days are over, I just muddle around the Numbers program on my iMac (vastly underwhelming).
Project Management. Oh how I miss those Lockheed Martin meetings.

@Tommmcatt Can’t Believe He Ate The Whole Thing: It went wonderfully. People call me and tell me they were bawling their eyes out. Which is pretty good for a comedy. Plans are developing. Meantime – I’m big in Quito.

I’m going to the Yankees v. Dodgers game tonight. I remember 1963.

@weejee: heh

My sperm donor did this for Big Blue and hated every single second of it.

@BobCens: I also went to the dark side

I used to call Windows the Dark Side.

Actually, I still do. Every time I have to fire up Windows via Parallels on my Mac to see how Explorer desecrates a website I’m working on.

@Dodgerblue: I remember 1963.

I’ve never decided whether I really remember That Weekend or not. I vaguely remember getting up to watch cartoons, and seeing some hallway instead.

And maybe I did: Ruby shot Oswald on Sunday, 11:20 a.m. Central — or 9:20 Pacific. And watching the video now, it matches my memory of the location.

Do I remember the shooting itself? Nah. Just a pissed four-year-old whose cartoons were pre-empted by fucking news.

@nojo: I was referring to that year’s World Series, but I do remember well learning that JFK had been shot. I was in junior high school. Was a freshman in college when RFK was shot.

I come here to bitch about the weather (I’ll have been here a year on 8/10, and then the bitching should cease).

Where the hell did the sun go? And why did I have to turn on the heat? Why is there still snow on Mt. Rainier when there was no snow on the mountain last September? When is that thing going to blow up? <– that's kinda cool, though.

@Cynica: You were right: chickens okay. Roosters not. Miniature goats with shaved horns and no nuts are okay. As are those horrific potbellied pigs. You just have to have a certain amount of space and proper shelter for the animals. Now to find a landlord who will think they're small dogs, some in feather suits. And bees. I need bees.

Stupid question time: If I start a garden, will the goats eat the plants?

ETA: Maybe a border collie will herd the goats and keep them away from the plants.

Snnnnrrrkkk -ZZZzzzz. Snnnnrrrkkk -ZZZzzzz.

I’m a friend of Ted Cruz’s older sister and she’s a very nice lib-type person.

Gotta do something to shake things up here and rouse someone from a coma.

Yep. Time to get those full spectrum light bulbs and string them around the apartment like Chinese lanterns.

@JNOV: Congrats on your one year anniversary! We’ve had a spectacular spring and summer, though it is weird that suddenly it’s gotten so cold in August(!). Seattle’s air conditioning is on the outside. Turn on the heat and have another dog hop on the bed to cuddle for warmth.

@¡Andrew!: <3 Sorry I was in such a funk the last time I saw you. Once I'm outta Methtopolis, I should be less tweaky.

@nojo: How come AtomicWeb no longer fools your site into thinking I'm on a regular computer?

And it’s raining which gives the bus I’m on an air of je ne sais quoi. Goat?

@JNOV: Atomic what?

But heck, I’ll guess: The old WordPress plug-in worked by detecting the “browser string” — browsers ID themselves when visiting a site — and displaying an alternate page for, say, “Mobile Safari”.

The new trick is called “responsive design”. There are no longer “alternate” pages. Instead, everybody gets the same page, but what you see depends on the size of your browser window. There’s nothing to fool, since the browser itself handles the layout.

(Or, in GeekSpeak: Conditional width-dependent CSS.)

@nojo: iPhone app that let me bypass mobile settings — primarily used so I could see the blurb.

Maybe my version b old.

@JNOV: By popular demand, The Blurb appears atop the mobile Latest Comments page.

And, as you now understand, there is no “bypassing” mobile settings with Responsive Design, because there aren’t any — it’s all triggered by screen size. Narrow and widen a desktop browser window, and you’ll see it all magically switch over and back.

@JNOV: Why is there still snow on Mt. Rainier when there was no snow on the mountain last September?

Que? The Big R is covered with glacial ice all year. Piles, and mounds, and even heaps of it. Even with global warming it is going to take a loooong, loooong time to make the snows of Rainier go the way of the snows of Kilimanjaro. Drive up to Paradise in September and see how far you can get going up the hill before you start wishing you brought some crampons and an ice axe instead of sandals and sangria. Here is a spot you might check if you look to summit Rainier. However, I strongly encourage you to take a class in climbing with crampons and ice axe arrest if you do not already now how to climb on glaciers.

@nojo: Ah again.

@weejee: Let’s see. I do not live on the mountain. Last year, from my vantage point about 40 miles from the northwest, we watched the snow level go lower and lower starting around Sept. Before that, you couldn’t see the snow.

While I don’t doubt that said snow and ice was on said superdupermegawe’reallgonnadieringoffire,suchas, we couldn’t see it. When clouds start to form a swirling ring around the top, it means rain, or so I’ve been told.

Summit? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! On New Year’s Day, I drove to Crystal Mountain and took the gondola ride, took a picture of the summit and went the hell home.

I *will* be camping at The Gorge for a weekend in Sept. Pain in the Grass! \m/ But scale Rainier? And in crampons, no less? Pish. I’m from Philly. ;-)

ETA: That wee hamster guitarist is very cute.

EATA: WTF?!? I clicked on your link — those people are going to DIE! Well, we all are, but that’s not the point. What’s that movie where dude falls in a crevasse and other dude has to cut him off the rope? If anyone is getting cut off the rope, it would be me. Even if I’m not in the crevasse.


ETA1: Thnx for the comments on the avatar. BTW it is a pig ’cause I go hog wild for the blues.

ETA2: No prob, but some folks who move here just decide to take a quick “hike to the summit.” Later they have some difficult explaining to the rescue rangers what exactly was their idea of “a little hike.” Glad I didn’t link to my son’s blog, since you thought the one I did put in was nutzo.

@weejee: A pig! <3

If your son's name starts with a "B," he's badass, and I've seen his blog.

I am SO glad I didn’t vote for Goodspaceguy based solely on his name.

The Seattle area lured me once again almost two years ago come September. We found snow on the shady side of Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic Park area. Ranier was magnificent, capped in snow and bountiful wild flowers around Paradise.
Ah, give me a bowl of Northwest seafood chowder and a cold one. Can it get any better than that?

@JNOV: Goodspaceguy sounds interesting in theory, but when you get to the second sentence of his manifesto you’ll realize that he’s nuttier than a Planters packaging facility. I voted for Kodos.


Man, this voting by mail is harder than it seems.

Yeah — that space guy. Whoa.

Big Mother didn’t love Conrad.


I love how he did an entire piece on how the minimum wage causes unemployment without ever mentioning that businesses are run by, y’know, PEOPLE. Apparently in libertarian looney land jobs simply fall from the sky when enough profit is stacked in one place, and people are supposed to be totes OK with getting paid $1/day to give Goodspaceguy blumpkins on demand.

EDIT: on further review, he’s dead serious about the blumpkins part – he calls for “government support for helpers”, which is his way of saying that somebody else should backfill the difference between what it costs to live and what he’s willing to pay hoboes for said blumpkins.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment