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    Organizational Project Management Consultant, using profession as a platform for learning beyond just work. My passion is learning more about self, people, universe, and God.
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PMO Lingo and Acronyms to tickle your funny bone

Posted by Ammar Mango on December 4, 2012

Running a PMO is challenging.  It can be nerve wrecking some times.  To keep things into perspective and not to take self too seriously, it is good to joke about it once in a while.  Here is a list of funny terms from workplace lingo that help lighten up a tough situation.   To keep the blog “G” rated, and because I do not like to use profanity, I changed some of the words.  However the idea remains and the humour hopefully still comes through.

Here are my top favorite acronyms that can come handy for PMO staff to keep their sense of humour:

1) WAG = stands for Wild Alex Guess: Used when your estimate is merely a guess.  “This is a WAG estimate”

2) SWAG = Scientific Wild Alex Guess: Used when your estimate is even more vague than a WAG estiamte. “This is a SWAG estimate”

3) PDOMA = Pulled it Directly Out of my Alex: Used when “guessing” is too scientific for the estimate you came up with.  So when someone says where on earth did you get that estimate from, the answer would be “PDOMA.”

4) SNAFU = Situation Normal, All Fouled Up.  This is to describe the situation on constantly troubled projects.

5) FUBAR = Fouled Up Beyond Any Recognition.  Used when things really turn ugly on a project.

6) P.I. = Pompous Idiot.   Originally it means “Private Investigator” so “John smith, PI” should mean private investigator, but used to mean Pompous Idiot

7) 404 = Not comprehending.  This is from the web era.  When you search for a page and it is not their, you get this error.  Used when someone is not understanding a pointat all.  so he or she would be “404”

There are many funny terms that you hear around a PMO.  Here are my top favorites:

1) Cockamamy, means something done ridiculously just to get it over with and not doing it correctly

2) “I will have whatever he is having,” used to show that what someone is saying is outrageous and he is delusional.

3) “Dog and Pony show.” This is an old term used and means the same as a presentation.

4) “Red Herring” is something that is impossible to achieve or find.  So someone would be sending you after a “red herring” which means wasting your time searching for something that does not exist.

5) “Passing the Buck” means passing the blame to someone else

6) “It’s an undocumented feature,” used as an excuse when the delivered software solution gives an unexpected error.

7) “Rowing motion,” done with both hands to show that someone is flooding the room with nonsense

8) “Blamestorming” is a session where time is wasted trying to figure out who to blame for a problem

9) “Fly-by-Night,” like bats, a supplier delivering a substandard deliverable and running away.

A final word of advice: please do not use ANY of these terms in a formal memo 🙂


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