Axioms of Project Management
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Axioms of Project Management

The building blocks of agility

About the Book

Project managers are searching for transferable and practical insights in a world of increasingly meaningless labels. Adam Russell takes a "principles first" approach to project management to sidestep memes, hype, and marketing. "Axioms of Project Management" is an essential guide for project managers navigating the complexities of software development and systems integration projects. Drawing from decades of hands-on experience, Adam Russell shares over 50 axioms that distil the core principles of project management into easily digestible, actionable nuggets of wisdom.

These axioms are the building blocks of agility because they enable project managers to flexibly 'think their way around a project' to meet real project needs without being trapped by the constraints of a packaged methodology or normative lifecycle model.

This unique collection transcends traditional methodologies, offering universal rules, heuristics, and opinions applicable to every project lifecycle model. These axioms, derived from Adam's personal experience and convictions, offer invaluable guidance you can adapt and apply to your projects.

Whether you're a seasoned veteran or an aspiring project manager, "Axioms of Project Management" is an indispensable resource that will empower you to tackle projects confidently, informed by the wisdom of a true industry expert.

Adam's "Axioms of Project Management" is a selection of the work previously published in the "Adam on: Projects" series, plus additional new content.

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About the Author

Adam Russell
Adam Russell

Adam writes about project management on his blog “Adam On Projects” and in his books and other content at Leanpub.com. He is also an expert in applying ChatGPT to project environments and has written several books on ChatGPT.

Adam coaches and mentors other project managers, and consults on various projects around the world.

Adam Russell has successfully delivered software development, software package, and systems integration projects for nearly 40 years, using both Agile and traditional approaches.

Adam started as a software developer, and then moved into pre-sales technical support when the IBM PC launched. He launched his project management career after he helped to close a significant government deal. The head of projects said: “You helped sell it. Now, you can deliver it”.

Since then, Adam has worked for companies ranging from 1-person startups to global tier-1 vendors and customer organisations in roles ranging from hands-on project manager through to General Manager of Systems Integration.

In those roles, Adam has been responsible for delivering hundreds of projects, ranging in budget from $5k up to over $100m. Adam also volunteers his time and skills with non-profit organisations.

Table of Contents

    • Getting Engaged with this Book and its Author
    • Notes about this version
    • How to Read This Book
        • What this book is not.
        • What do you mean by “Axiom”?
        • The structure of each Axiom
        • Finding what you need
    • Introduction
      • Introduction to Volume 1
    • The Axioms
      • # 0. What is a project management axiom?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 1. The source of project success.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 63. Realisation of a Shared Vision
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 5. The power of the dog.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
        • The References
      • # 74. Creativity is not about thinking outside the box.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 8. Practice Minimal Responsible Intervention.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 96. The methodology paradox.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 113. What is your approach to documentation?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 121. Everything in the agile mindset derives from four first principles.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 21. Everything in every project evolves!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 47. How do teams self-organise?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 31. Non-functional requirements are a secret weapon.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 114. Dematerialisation is eating your project!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 22. Is there purpose in your iteration?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 26. Just because you want to do agile doesn’t mean you can.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 28. The saddest oxymoron of the 21st century.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 2. Successful projects? We’ve got both kinds!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 27. The triple helix of Agile evolution.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 108. Just because agile welcomes change.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 35. Where did you borrow your TechDebt?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • TechDebt is a form of Akrasia
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 69. Keep working the edge!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 73. Last Responsible moment.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 100. The secret to managing vendor negotiations.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 76. Get your money fights in early.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 79. Never interact without an artifact!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 10. Shut the fuck up and listen!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tip
        • The Tags
      • # 101. Do you think your vendor's interests and yours are aligned?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 118. There are only two reasons people follow a rule.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 78. Project knowledge—we’ve got both kinds!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 23. Abundance is the soul of your project.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 86. Projects do not “deliver value”.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 94. The scarcest project resource.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 116. What's wrong with having Deadlines?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 80. There are no bad documents.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 81. There are only two kinds of project documents.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 14. Proceed until apprehended!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 98. A methodology is one big lump!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Joke
        • The Tags
      • # 115. When you’re approaching a deadline.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 119. Perfection in projects
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
        • The Parable of the Golden Coins
      • # 63. Realisation of a Shared Vision
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 15. First Action! Then see what happens.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 3. Why do projects fail?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 20. Always be looking for the $1.95 solution.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 24. A project is a bridge.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 120. Things a PM Should Never Do.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 17. There are two contrary forces in the world!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 40. Assumptions have Boxian qualities.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 57. It’s great to be the first penguin off the ice!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 58. Everyone is fine with your risk management plan.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 64. Sequential is not a dirty word!
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 71. Fred Brooks was 100% correct in 1975—now, I’m not sure.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 80. There are no bad documents.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 88. The evils of premature optimisation impact projects too.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 111. You fell in love with the project, didn’t you?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 112. A nasty little aphorism that misleads.
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
      • # 33. Why did you buy that software package?
        • The Axiom
        • The TL;DR
        • The Back Story
        • The Bottom Line
        • The Tags
    • More from Adam Russell
    • About the Author
      • Career Summary
    • Copyright

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