Six phases of a big project

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The six phases of a big project is a cynical take on the outcome of large projects, with an unspoken assumption about their seemingly inherent tendency towards chaos. The list is reprinted in slightly different variations in any number of project management books[1] as a cautionary tale.

One such example gives the phases as:[2]

  1. Enthusiasm,
  2. Disillusionment,
  3. Panic and hysteria,
  4. Hunt for the guilty,
  5. Punishment of the innocent, and
  6. Reward for the uninvolved.


  1. ^ Popik, Barry (16 September 2011). "Six Phases of a Project ("Enthusiasm, disillusionment, panic…")". Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Holland, Winford E. (2001). Red Zone Management: Changing the Rules for Pivotal Times. WinHope Press. p. 5. ISBN 0-9671401-8-8.