Posted by: ThePMOView | July 22, 2012

Why does not anyone believe me …

… when I know the truth!

According to legend, Cassandra was a woman who Apollo was smitten with. He wanted her to fall in love with him and to help that along; he gave her a gift of being able to foresee the future (a project plan). When she spurned his suit, rather than taking the gift away, he cursed her by letting no one believe what she said was true (the sponsor will not believe that the project will fail, so curses the PM). This eventually drove her mad (PM gets new job). ‘ Today, we call a “Cassandra” someone whose true words are ignored …’ (Fitton).

This is a perfect fit to describe a PM in today’s world. Most of the time, when a PM lays out the plan for a project no one believes anything about it. Some good examples of this are ‘No one believes the end date of a project.’ (Vinson), That issue will not affect us because we do things different here (my personal favorite), and We do not need that many <blank> to do the project. You may fill in the <blank> with whatever favorite item you like. The big three of course are dollars, people, and items, such as servers, cranes, etc.

And like Cassandra, we cry ‘Why do you not believe us! Doom will fall upon your project if you do not listen to us.’ So the lack of belief in our plans has the ability to drive us to madness if we let it. So we too seek ‘…shelter in a temple…’ (Wikipedia) (our homes). While we may not be murdered as she was, we still have to accept, that at times, we will be ‘murdered’ professionally simply because no one believed us in the first place.


Fitton, Laura, (Spring 1998) Cassandra: Cursed Prophetess , Images of Women in the Ancient World: Issues of Interpretation and Identity

Vinson, Jack


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