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Six Phases of a Project

Six Phases of a Project

The list was used in computer science in the early 1970s, and quickly spread to engineering and government projects. It is a humorous summary about the outcome of IT-Projects, with an unspoken imputation about the seemingly inherent tendency of these toward failure.

The list is circulating in slightly different compositions in any number of project management books and the internet.


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
  6. Praise and honors for the non-participants