Project management is a crucial aspect of business success. Over the years, various management professionals have come up with pearls of wisdom in the form of quotations that when given some thought, have a lot to teach us. Here are twenty three such quotations from famous figures and project managers that when heeded help to make us better project managers.

  1. There’s only two things you can start without a plan: a riot and a family, for everything else you need a plan”-  Groucho Marx
  2. “Running a project without a work breakdown structure is like going to a strange land without a road map” – J Phillips
  3. “Have a good plan, Execute it violently, Do it today” – General Douglas McArthur
  4. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that is has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw
  5. “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill
  6. “A project without a critical path is like a ship without a rudder.” – D. Meyer
  7. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
  8. “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint Exupéry 1900-1944, French writer and aviator
  9. “If it is not documented, it doesn’t exist. As long as information is retained in someone’s head, it is vulnerable to loss.” – Louis Fried, 1992
  10. “It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things.” – Machiavelli 1446-1507, Italian statesman and philosopher
  11.  “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra.” – H.E. Luccock
  12. “Luck is for the ill-prepared” – Arnold Schwarzenegger
  13.  “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” – Chinese Proverb
  14. “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.” – Walt Disney
  15. “PMs are the most creative pros in the world; we have to figure out everything that could go wrong, before it does.” – Fredrik Haren
  16. “Why do so many professionals say they are project managing, when what they are actually doing is fire fighting?” – Colin Bentley, 1997
  17. ”The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.” – Max de Pree
  18. “Ensure your documentation is short and sharp and make much more use of people-to-people communication.” – Bentley & Borman, 2001
  19. “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford
  20. ”Leadership offers an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter what the project.” – Bill Owens
  21. ”The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority.” – Kenneth Blanchard
  22. ”The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” – Warren Bennis
  23. ”The best example of leadership is leadership by example.” – Jerry McClain