Tim Lister gave a keynote at ACCU 2012 where he showcased a few of the patterns from his book “Adrenaline Junkies and Template Zombies”. He invited conference delegates to create their own project management patterns, which he would judge before the end of the conference. The winner was the wonderful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pattern by Erik Schlyter, that warns us of the dangers of rock-star teams.

Now, seven months later, I’ve come up with my own, belated, entry. It’s inspired by the many clients I’ve worked with over the years who are just too busy to work out what what went wrong the last time and how they could improve it next time.

In this iconic scene from the 1942 Bogart movie “Casablanca” there’s an exchange between Rick and Yvonne. In my version of the scene Yvonne, rather than being a slighted lover, plays the part of a disappointed project sponsor. Rick’s character is unchanged – an unflappable, cool and unprincipled ….. project manager.

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Yvonne: How did your last project go?
Rick: That’s so long ago, I don’t remember.
Yvonne: What will you do differently next time?
Rick: I never make plans that far ahead.