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Six phases of a big project

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Main PageHumor → Six phases of a big project


The six phases of a big project is a cynical take on the outcome of large projects, with an unspoken assumption about their seemingly inherent tendency towards chaos. The list is reprinted in slightly different variations in any number of project management[wp] books as a cautionary tale.

The "six phases of a project" have been jocularly described as:

  1. Enthusiasm,
  2. Disillusionment,
  3. Panic,
  4. Search for the guilty,
  5. Punishment of the innocent, and
  6. Praise and honor for the nonparticipants.

The list was used in computer science in the early 1970s, and quickly spread to engineering and government projects. Ephraim R. McLean[wp] called this the "all-too-true life cycle of a typical EDP system" in 1972.


  1. Uncritical acceptance
  2. Wild enthusiasm
  3. Dejected disillusionment
  4. Total confusion
  5. Search for the guilty
  6. Punishment of the innocent
  7. Promotion of non-participants

The unhappy fact is that there is more truth than fiction in the list.


  1. Wild enthusiasm
  2. Feverish activity
  3. Disillusionment
  4. Total confusion
  5. Search for the guilty
  6. Punishment of the innocent
  7. Promotion of non-participants


The planning process, if not carried through with wisdom and common sense, may progress along the following critical path:

  1. Unlimited enthusiasm
  2. Total disillusionment
  3. Utter chaos
  4. Search for the guilty
  5. Punishment for the innocent
  6. Promotion of nonparticipants[1]


One such example gives the phases as:

  1. Enthusiasm,
  2. Disillusionment,
  3. Panic and hysteria,
  4. Hunt for the guilty,
  5. Punishment of the innocent, and
  6. Reward for the uninvolved.[2]

References

  1. Popik, Barry[wp] (16 September 2011). Six Phases of a Project ("Enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic…"). Retrieved 25 August 2013
  2. Holland, Winford E. (2001). Red Zone Management: Changing the Rules for Pivotal Times. WinHope Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-9671401-8-8
This article based on an article Six phases of a big project (20 March 2014) from the free Encyklopedia Wikipedia. The Wikipedia article is published under the dual license GNU-License for free Documentation and Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0). In Wikipedia is a List of Authors available those who worked on the text before being incorporated in WikiMANNia.