One of the jobs on my backburner is compiling a book of the laws of life. Murphy's law is probably the best known, but everyone has a personal list of truisms that describe how the world works. I'm going to share some relevant examples with you over the next couple of weeks, hopefully encouraging you to send me some of your favourites.
A consultant is an ordinary person a long way from home . . . or between jobs.
A consultant is someone who, when hired to tell you what time it is, borrows your watch to find out.
Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later.
Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.
When demonstrating something, the number of faults is proportional to the number of viewers.
At some time in the life cycle of virtually every organisation, its ability to succeed in spite of itself runs out.
Incompetents often hire able assistants.
It is impossible to distinguish, from a distance, whether the bureaucrats associated with your project are simply sitting on their hands, or frantically trying to cover their backsides.
Cash in must exceed cash out.
Don't ask the barber whether you need a haircut.
Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry.
If you don't understand a particular word in a piece of technical writing, ignore it. The piece will make perfect sense without it.
Learn to be sincere. Once you can fake sincerity you've got it made.
Management capability is always less than the organisation actually needs.
Paper is always strongest at the perforations.
People will buy anything that's one to a customer.
The first 90 per cent of the task takes 90 per cent of the time, and the last 10 per cent takes the other 90 per cent.
A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.
A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry.
Every day, in every way, things get better and better; then worse again by the afternoon.