This Project is Dead !


[You can see the video on YouTube This Project is Dead! ]


(Scene: Project Manager has been summoned to the office of the Project Sponsor)

The Project Sponsor: ‘Good morning, I wish to register a complaint’

(The Project Manager does not respond.)

The Project Sponsor: ‘Hallo once again Mr Project Management person, I wish to register a complaint’

Project Manager: What do you mean ‘complaint’?’

The Project Sponsor: I wish to complain about this project what I sponsored but three short months ago from this very PMO of which you are a part’

Project Manager: ‘Oh yes I remember you, it was the, the, uh, Project ‘Norwegian Blue’ wasn’t it? So what’s wrong with it?’

The Project Sponsor: ‘I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my PMP certified johnny me lad. It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it!’

Project Manager: ‘No, no, it’s not dead it’s resting’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Look, sonny you might know all about Gantt charts and resource loading and work breakdown thingamajigs but I know a dead project when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now’

Project Manager: ‘No, no it’s not dead, it’s resting! Remarkable project was project ‘Norwegian Blue’ I’d say, beautiful objectives!’

The Project Sponsor: ‘The objectives don’t enter into it nor do the anticipated business benefits for the initial investment matter a teeny tiny bit since it’s stone dead!’

Project Manager: ‘No, no, no, no, no, no! It’s resting, it has had a bit of a tough run recently, had to go through a lot of quality assurance assessments and stage gates, and now it is tired, plain beat if you ask me.’

The Project Sponsor: ‘All right then, if this project is just resting then I will wake it up! (shouting at the top of his voice at his computer screen) ‘Hallo, nice Project! I’ve got a lovely fresh milestone for you…’

(Project Manager hits the sponsors desktop)

Project Manager: ‘There, it moved!

The Project Sponsor: ‘No, it didn’t, that was you hitting the desk!

Project Manager: ‘I never!’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Yes, you did!’

Project Manager: ‘I never did anything…’

The Project Sponsor: (yelling and hitting the desk himself repeatedly) ‘Hallo project, Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o’clock team update alert! Hallo, steering meeting in less than 10 minutes! Escalation update if you might be so kind. Project code red…’

(Project Sponsor spins his screen around to face the project manager and points a finger at a dashboard status line)

The Project Sponsor: ‘Now that’s what I call a dead project’

Project Manager: ‘No, no… no, it’s stunned!’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Stunned?’

Project Manager: ‘Yeah! You stunned it, just as it was waking up! Some projects stun easily you know’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Um, now look mate, I’ve definitely had enough of this. That project is most certainly deceased, and when I asked you for an update not two weeks ago you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it being generally tired and shagged out following a particularly prolonged ‘sprint’ or some such bloody agile nonsense’

Project Manager: ‘Well, it’s probably pining for the overall strategic program’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Pining for the program! What kind of talk is that? Look why was this project barely moving a mere week or two after it was launched?’

Project Manager: ‘Ah well it was noted early on that project ‘Norwegian Blue’ preferred keeping to a steady but sure pace that you may have mistaken for no movement at all! Remarkable project isn’t squire? Lovely objectives!’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Look, I took the liberty of examining that project’s status in some detail on this here dashboard and the only reason it has been showing ‘green’ for the last three months is that someone (looks at project manager suspiciously) has coloured that part of my screen in with a permanent green marker pen’


Project Manager: Well of course it is ‘green’, or it will be just as soon as it has woken up properly, had a good stretch and generally recovered its senses and remembered where it is supposed to be going. It will be off like a shot – Voom!’

The Project Sponsor: ‘Voom! Mate, this project wouldn’t ‘voom’ if you put four million volts through it! This project is bleeding demised!’

Project Manager: (project manager looks desperately hopeful and points finger towards an invisible end date in the sky) ‘Voom…’

The Project Sponsor: ‘This project has passed on! This project is no more! It has ceased to be! This project has expired and has gone to meet its maker! This project a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t coloured it ‘green’ it would long ago have been pushing up the dashboard daisies! Its metabolic processes are now history! This project is off the twig! This project has kicked the bucket! This project has shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible! THIS IS AN EX-PROJECT!’


Project Manager: ‘Well, we’d better replace that project with another one for you, then hadn’t we guvnor (he takes a quick peek at the dashboard on the screen)


Project Manager: ‘What about project ‘Slug’ – it’s got lovely objectives? ’

This Project is Dead


Progress isn’t made by early risers, it is made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something’

Peter Taylor is the author of two best-selling books on ‘Productive Laziness’ – ‘The Lazy Winner’ and ‘The Lazy Project Manager’.

In the last 4 years he has focused on writing and lecturing with over 200 presentations around the world in over 25 countries and has been described as ‘perhaps the most entertaining and inspiring speaker in the project management world today’.

His mission is to teach as many people as possible that it is achievable to ‘work smarter and not harder’ and to still gain success in the battle of the work/life balance.

More information can be found at – and through his free podcasts in iTunes.


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