The book AntiPatterns describes a management antipattern called Death by Planning. I’ve always been amused by the little cartoon that accompanies it:

Yesterday, I had lunch with a project manager friend. He’s currently advising on a project that is not fully under his control, and here’s what he had to say:

They’ve built this plan that lists all of these activities and artifacts, and milestones. So they do this, and this, and this, and then they come to us and say, “OK, we’ve done everything on the plan … check off our milestone.” If we did that, we’d get to the end of the plan, having passed every milestone, and we’d have no software!