Win a Trip to ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld Toronto

Madeline Wigen Kernan | April 24, 2014

Please note that the contest deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting entries. Thank you to everyone who participated.

As a Business Analyst or Project Manager, you are on the front lines of bringing products to market that build value for your business. If you’re like most BAs, however, you spend too much time reporting status, explaining context and tracking decisions. From listening to you over the years, we’ve started the list by identifying six of the biggest challenges—or monsters—that BAs and PMs face (see list, below) but many other monsters lurk out there, slowing down your project and throwing obstacles in your way.

Jama is headed to ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld Toronto June 9-12 and guess what? We want to see you there. So much so that we’re giving away a free trip to Toronto for the conference. Want to be the lucky winner? Entering to win is easy! All you have to do is answer this question: What is the biggest productivity-killing monster you face in your job?

Example Monsters

Swoop Monster
Swoop Monster
This executive monster comes to you at the last minute with critical feedback you asked for weeks ago. Right when you’re about to move forward, she’ll swoop in to mix things up; chances are, Swoop results in more work and less time to get it done.
Rework Monster
Rework Monster
The Rework monster pops up months after you’ve made a decision and moved forward. He wants all the details, asking you to prove who decided what was decided, when and why. Guess what happens next? You get to redo something!
CYA Monster
CYA Monster
The CYA monster has selective memory and doesn’t remember that conversation where you both agreed on a new direction. Do you have the backup necessary answer this monster’s detailed questions?
Missing Monster
Missing Monster
This monster is an essential contributor to your project, with a long history on your team and an ironclad memory. This monster is great… until he suddenly disappears forever with all that intelligence.
Meh Monster
Meh Monster
Your finished product lands with a resounding… “meh” from this monster. He was expecting x, y, and z, but you delivered q, r and s. All that work you did turns out to be based on mismatched expectations so the best you could deliver is disappointment.
Cog Monster
Cog Monster
This monster blocks you from knowing the whole project, treating you like a task rabbit. She thinks as long as you and every other cog do your part, the whole product will hum, not understanding the importance of context so everyone knows what is being built and why.

Now that you’ve met our monsters, introduce us to yours! You’ll be automatically entered to win the trip to ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld Toronto.

How to Enter

  • Leave a comment about your monster. Is yours a version of one of these we’ve described? Or is your productivity-crushing monster a different breed altogether?


What You’ll Win

  • A two-day symposium pass to ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld in Toronto, June 9-12 (value: $1,090)
  • Round-trip airfare to Toronto (reimbursable up to $500)
  • Two nights hotel accommodations at The Strathcona Hotel near the conference center (Prize includes room and any applicable taxes, $175 night + tax)

You have until May 14 to enter, so don’t delay. View the full contest rules and please send any questions you have to

* We’ll need your email address and full name to contact you, but no worries; this info remains under wraps.

192 comments on “Win a Trip to ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld Toronto
    • The Scope Creep is the Godzilla of this group – the Original Monster, and the Father of all the others. To totally geek out, the Scope Creep is the equivalent of Ungoliant for those LOTR fans out there – the Mother of Monsters!

    • “Meeting” Monster is a non-productivity related activity which mandatory, and is of benefit only to people who are not directly involved with the projects, and who afterwards doesn’t remember what we had discussed. Not only that because a committed time always spills out, so it burns even my actual work hours.

    • The monster that gives us the most problem is the “InDecision Monster”. We seem to be in a constant state of turmoil because decisions are discussed over and over and are constantly changing.

  1. The past several months I’ve been spending a lot of time with a couple of monsters, my nemesis though would have to be the Spin Monster or as I have been referring to him to myself “I don’t want to make a decision cause it might not be right and what if somebody else doesn’t agree with me and can I get back to you on that” Monster. 🙂

  2. The priority changing monster is our worst enemy. He runs rampant! Hurry up! Stop! Do something else! Stop! (you get the picture).

  3. My second monster would have to be the Agile Smagile Monster. In our repeated attempts to refine our processes and introduce Disciplined Agile Delivery concepts we are met by this guy at every turn.

  4. I’ve run into all of those monsters, but the one that seems to plague us is the “Meh Monster” — requirements and decisions that weren’t quite clear-enough or were misinterpreted.

  5. The monsters are so much more cute than their real life counterparts! I have run into what I think is the brother or a variation of the missing monster, the “who owns security to that test system?” monster. The question might be – is that more of a ghost than a monster since no one seems to have seen the mystery person or group who can grant security access or fix the test system.

  6. My monster is the Hide-and-Seek monster. I know there was a set of requirements for this business area in a project 3 months ago. Where are you hiding now? Are you in this SharePoint folder? No. How about this personal hard drive? Not there either. Oh where, oh where have my old requirements gone?

  7. The swoop monster is alive well living here in southern California making almost weekly visits to keep me working late.

  8. I would pick the secret “KING” of all these monsters – The “NAH” Monster – Monster not willing to accept\try new change.. 🙂

  9. CYA monster seems to come up frequently. It got so bad that now every conversation I have that impacts a process or project decision outside of a meeting I write and e-mail confirming my understanding of the discussion. Asking to please let me know if I misunderstood or overlooked something. I attach a read receipt and then put both in an archive file so that when I am asked who decided what and when I have proof of the discussion and follow up. While not lots of fun this small change had cut my CYA monster down considerably.

  10. The Churn Monster.
    No matter hard you try to help nail them down, requirements are not conveyed completely… Or they don’t tell you “what” to do – but just jump directly to “how” to do it…. so the requirements are churned and churned again.

  11. Mine is pulling resources off of my project to work on other higher priority projects then needing to find a new resource and needing to bring them up to speed.

  12. The SWOOP Monster!!! We have several of those around here and they totally wreak havoc on a regular basis. They’re SCARY!

  13. I have 2 more productivity monsters to add, but no way am I as creative or clever as whomever named the above 🙂

    The Solution in Search of a Problem Monster – There’s a great system out there that we have to implement immediately to solve a problem no one can define

    The “Who’s on First” Monster – When you ask multiple people what the expected outcome is and get different answers from each of them

  14. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Monster. During the start of a project, she’s a darling. When you deliver in time, within budget she’s very rewarding. But if you’re falling behind and as the delivery date gets closer, she slowly begins to turn into a monster.

  15. How about the Aroundto Monster; the project team member who has information or work product critical to the success of the project that takes their time getting around to providing their information or completing their work.

  16. I would choose the Cog monster. We have project sponsors that still don’t understand the value of what BA’s do, and just assume that you do not need an enterprise view because you wouldn’t properly understand any way. I love to surprise those people!

  17. Not only do we often have some of each of the monsters above, we also have the “Fat Monster.” The Fat Monster is the opposite of Lean. Its fat because of all the process we have to go through often just for the sake of each team having a “standard” process which has the appearance of being a way to delay moving the project forward.

  18. Paralysis Monster – This monster loves to schedule meetings, sit in meetings, pontificate on requirements, admire their business knowledge, but never, and I mean never, come to a decision.

  19. Definitely the Swoop monster. It’s hard to say no to the swoop when they’re a high-ranking manager who insists their feedback be administered with no care that it’s the 11th hour, and I’ve them all along for feedback.

  20. How about the Politician Monster? This monster is all bout making himself look good even if that means compromising the quality of the product. This monster talks about collaboration and team work in front of others but he’s got his own agenda and won’t fight for his team.

  21. The Hopeful & Blind Monster… this monster wants to get to the finish line quickly and ignore issues coming from test results. This monster hope the issue(s) are minor ones, only to come back to bite you right where it hurts !! … swallowing all product margins due to recalls, destroying future business opportunities due to poor customer perception, …

  22. Collaboration Monster. Silos block collaboration when it turns into:
    “Let me review and give you feedback where you have it wrong” only gives you reasons why something didn’t work. It should be “Let’s review together and clarify our understanding of something by truly collaborating and thereby growing our knowledge together” which makes the sum greater than the parts.

  23. My productivity-crushing monster is the Beat A Dead Horse Monster. Going over the same requirement over and over, and over when eveyone understood it the first time.

  24. My productivity monster is the empire building development manager who wants to wait till the latest posible date and all documents are complete to ask any of their questions or air any of their concerns. Then they will take over your Joint Application Design (JAD) principaled meeting using their own empire building principals, making sure that you come out of it without what you need for the document updates that have to be approved before they can even begin their development work.

  25. The “Didn’t I tell you” monster is also a good one. When the project is in the middle of execution, happened to me a couple of times that our clients come up with some requirements that might be told in some past meeting but haven’t been given enough relevancy. Since sometimes the detail went no further than a comment in a meeting, you overlook it. But, when it’s time to kick tires, the scariest thing is to hear is your customer saying “Didn’t I tell you”. That’s scary!

  26. My monster was Cog Monster, who got upset when team member would asked questions to inquire what each other was doing. He would never discuss the project as a whole, only assigned each developer a specific task. Communication was not his strong point.

  27. Invisible Monster is is everywhere and no where. Just when you think all stakeholders understand what you are trying to accomplish, he steps out from the ether to tell you you’ve missed something, clearly didn’t understand it, or forgot to tell you that priorities have changed, a new deal was signed, or that some key team member has been reassigned, promoted, or is leaving the company. He haunts me in my dreams!

  28. My monster was Cog Monster, who got upset when team member would asked questions to inquire what each other was doing. He would never discuss the project as a whole, only assigned each developer a specific task. Communication was not his strong point. –

  29. Scope creep monster for me too…constant interruptions of whether the product can have another bell or whistle added…

  30. The Who, Me? Monster.

    This monster hasn’t participated in the project’s vision and doesn’t know why and when the project got funded. The Who, Me? monster doesn’t know that s/he has been designated the primary SME and thus begins the project eating the eggshells you walked in on, eventually succumbing to getting the work done. The Who, Me? monster makes you appreciate the value of treats, patience and soft skills.

  31. The most terrifying Project Management monster to me would be an evil trifecta combination of the Rework monster, the Cog monster, and the Swoop monster, because this monster…well, he is about the worst thing to happen to any project. You see, he does not follow Project Management 101 principles or any real methodology in his approach to Project Management. So, he excels at coming in out of the blue and stating to the project team members (through a series of separate communications) that several months into a large project, he needs to go back and re-evaluate the solutions for CRM vendors even though SFDC was already being Beta tested. This is all while he is silo’ing the sales ops project team and IT’s project team, so there is also a serious communication blockage (remember the series of separate communications rather than setting one big team meeting to discuss). So now, the project will likely miss its scheduled deadline, and it will likely be 2.5x over budget, in addition – when a solution is chosen – everyone will have to rework months of effort and deliverables, plus the individual members of the teams cannot be truly effective as they don’t know what the other team is doing.

  32. Scope Creep monster. Being called into a work assignment due to scope creep or missing requirements and hearing Those requirements were told to us by x but x is no longer here. X has left the project and just go ask y,x, or find people to verify the requirements. Question, any meeting minute?, emails, etc on what was said. Not really but it should be really clear.

  33. There is only one charateristic that seems to missing. The CREDIT monster. Not sure how to depict but I’m sure this group knows what I mean. Steals everything that is not tied down. Takes credit for evverything her highly perfroming team does. Like a thief in the night!!

  34. Maybe a name will come to me as I start relating my experience. It’s usually at the early stages of a project, and especially when working with teams that are new to each; so the storming/forming phase, I guess. There is typically someone who is super-resistant to committing to a process and the roles within that process. I have to keep flogging along, trying to wear down the resistance with practical suggestions and by demonstrating some outcomes to show that we are gaining momentum and it’s time to get on the bus or get left behind. Someone actually told me at the outset of a project to create a new learning portal: We’ve already read the book and we know how it ends. Which may be true, but the fact you can predict boy will lose girl and then get her back, doesn’t mean you know the story. The Princess Bride and Sleepless in Seattle are two very different stories, even if the bones are the same. The Storming Monster, resistant to the blue skies of the Norming and Performing future.

  35. I have such a tough time with the rework monster.. Not only do I have to spend time searching through my notes and proving what was agreed, it might not matter at all in the end!! I still have more re-work to do.. Its a double monster in reality!

  36. From a productivity perspective?

    OK that has to be the ‘Where’s Your Can-Do Attitude Now!?’ monster. This monster is the blob that forms from each of the above monsters tag-teaming you regularly until you feel like there’s no point any more. Nothing more unproductive than when your hope dims.

  37. My monster called “dying breed”. He/she makes me feel stifles and prevent me to be initiative. He/she is only interested in taking credit for his/her work while controlling how the rewards may be doled out to favorites. His/Her behaves the subordinates like instrumental of his/her management.

  38. The Urgent Monster. Tends to overrun and squash the Important things (aka Important Monster). Very tyrannical in nature and greedy for every moment you have and then some. When not tamed, causes project delay, scope slip, angry users and/or long hours spent in the office. UM and IM are often seen duelling in the hallways and or corner offices and your personal life and job hangs in the balance depending on which one wins. Runs around screaming “Me First”.

  39. My days are plagued by the Inertia Monster! Inertia is happily attended by his monster family members Apathy, Laziness, and Paralysis.

    I brought Jama into this company, a year ago now. I know in my gut and on paper that Jama will save time (which is money!) and produce better results for the requirements and testing teams. But, alas, the answer is “that’s not the way we’ve always done it. We promise we’ll be good and do it your way, the Jama way, on the NEXT project!”

  40. I really think the Rework, CYA, Missing and Meh Monsters can be avoided most of the time with good project management 🙂

    The Cog monster makes us very unproductive but with patience, perseverance and some political know-how I think this can be managed. No fun though!

    In my opinion, the Swoop monsters are the killers. We have very little control over them, their motives are sometimes dubious, they incite a lack of trust and I suspect they act like this because they themselves are unorganised or lack the ability to manage people well. Why are they executives!

    What about the double-headed self-doubt monster? Sometimes she drives you to perform amazingly well but sometimes she can be poisonous.

    I do not like dealing with Brenda’s Spin monster either!

  41. Mine is the Swoop Monster: I concluded that some people just don’t like it when you complete a project without stress




  43. My monster is one whom is covering his face becouse either he do not want to revel something or becouse he do not want to mess the job (this is common but is not good practice becouse if you know somenthing that can help you should to tell to the others).

    Regards, jr

  44. The No-see-um monster. The BAs walk about with dread, the stench of death is everywhere. The requirements they have laboriously collected are sitting unread and un approved.. We know they are coming, because an executive has summoned them: external consultants to read our documents and to rewrite them with instructions to never confirm with us…the no see ums are coming!

  45. It’s OBVIOUS! Monster. The new system must obligatory do this and this. It’s so easy and simple, that doesn’t deserve even a word to be mention. And… surprise-surprise when on the UAT it appears that no one in the development team knows about such important functionality. Especially in case if this unexpected change break all previous architecture.

  46. I have a different monster by the name of: invisible monster. I work in a matrix environment where the functional managers to not report to the business analyst or the project managers. Most projects succeed by the buy-in you get from your internal and external customers. When you rely on your internal IT team to step up you need them at the plate with you providing input and service. If the functional managers do not show up to your meetings and provide input or follow through on tasks you end up with “invisible monsters”.

  47. I would go with both Swoop Monster and Rework Monster.
    See you in ” ProjectWorld – BusinessAnalystWorld Toronto”.

  48. Name: That’s What She said Monster
    Family: CYA Monster- Brother
    Common behavior: Upon the rise of conflict over a requirement elicited from this disasterous creature and a reference to a confirmed sign-off, this monster is notorious for blaming the decision off of a statement from any individual but themselves. No documentation on their part can prove that Person A, B, or C led to their reasoning but its definitely their fault, not the innocent ol’ That’s What She Said Monster.
    Weakness: Cross Referencing Crossbow- always know why a decision was made and follow up with “facts” stated by the monster, who said they came from another party

  49. The Roadblock Monster is one who says ‘No you can’t do it that way’ or ‘That method doesn’t meet our standard’ but never offers an alternative way to do it or explains what standards are in place.

  50. The ‘Missing Monster’ is the worst…not only does information leave when they go…they don’t document while they are here, and need to be involved in EVERYTHING because they don’t have time to document ANYTHING.

  51. The Change Monster and the Reactive Monster. These kill our projects because we either lose resources to react to a new problem in production or on our project itself – or the customer can adjust their thinking and the change causes crazy repercussions.

  52. You gotta admire the I JUST NEED A MONSTER. You’ve seen this request before – “I just need a checkbox,” or “I just need this report.” The pattern is the same each time. Every utterance from this monster starts with the words “I just…,” a subconscious effort to simplify the burden of the ask. It follows through with a prescriptive solution, but no hint at the problem or its business value. Attempts at subduing this monster follow one of two paths – path A: fulfill the request, go home on time, and wait for tomorrow’s followup of “Hey, thanks for that checkbox, but what I really need is…” path B: ask for clarifying details, poke and prod for the use case and requirements, and shelter yourself from the defensive backlash as the monster tries to prove its intelligence and questions your efforts to over-complicate the task. Both paths, unfortunately, lead to New Urgentprojectville. Enjoy the view while you’re there; as dusk settles in the evening sky, you can almost see your strategic initiatives fading away…

    • That is so apt, Ryan. The way it kills productivity is when we erroneously buy into the simplicity of whatever it is they need. Sometimes I spend so much time only to realize that it isn’t JUST a request. Its a complicated report need to be extracted from multiple data tables.
      Ugh.. productivity killer!

  53. rework monster is just a killer. Seems like we deliver a solution and it falls short; but we recover well by using the scope creep monster.

  54. “Failed Psychic Monster”

    This poor fella has really specific, artistic, and elaborate designs in his head but communicates them poorly. The expectation is that you and he are “on the same page.” You need to understand all the bubbles floating around in his head without him having to relay them. He often takes on tasks by himself due to this shortcoming and feels overworked and stressed.

  55. The Gun Jumper Monster – this guy shows up when the client has already determined what the problem and the solution is, and jumps the gun to bringing in vendors and doing evaluations without IT. Sorry but no we dont support that platform, that app doesnt work on our corporate operating system, and so on. No requirements, no architecture, just Jump The Gun and bring in an application…

  56. The name of my monster Requirements. Users use to say that all was included and then …. Surprise. It is missing this and that.

  57. The Micro-Monster, the micro managing project sponser who believes they know all, and trusts no one on the team to do their job.

  58. Recycle Monster: will recycle 30-year old requirements for a project which is first-of-its-kind, history-making and trend-setting, trail-blazing & on the bleeding edge of technology (mind you, it’s not cutting-edge of technology. That would be demeaning).

    The way he kills productivity is by ‘hurry-up and re-do’ psychology. We can all finish the project in 3 days by re-cycling old requirements and then re-work the IT system piece by piece debugging, defect tracking, mind numbing etc. That way it ensures triple loss of productivity – time, money & effort!

  59. My monster would have to be Missing Monster’s cousin – the “Not Available Monster”. More and more work is thrust upon us, but the key stakeholders are not readily available to provide input and make decisions. Hence, my project completion estimates are always revised.

  60. Mine is the “That’s not what I asked for!” Monster, despite having gotten signed off on requirements documents….or the “Oh, I forgot to mention another process we use…” Monster …. long after signing off on months of requirements gathering… 🙂

  61. Specificity Monster: Specificity (noun) – the condition of participating in or catalyzing only one or a few chemical reactions . This monster has a slightly myopic view of things at the cost of specificity. While she is unrelenting about how something should specifically behave, she does not foresee how that expected future behavior affects the current ones and results in an HD ticket from another consumer of the application.

  62. I have many, but let’s start with Documentation/History Monster… The enevitable question of why we did or didn’t do something and no matter how many emails or documents you scour through, your never going to find the answer!

  63. Mine is definitely the Cog Monster – she just doesn’t seem to see the importance of keeping everyone in the loop and then can’t understand why we have questions because she wants us to do things out of context…and in a really big hurry (priority issues as well). AUGH!!

  64. I am often confronted by the, “Me Monster”. It comes in the form of all the people who are responsible for everything good that happens. Basically they believe it’s all about them and little comes from the team. The “Me Monster” devours team spirit and is a plague upon collaboration. Any success I’ve had dealing with the, “Me Monster” comes holding a mirror up to the monster and getting them to see what they do and hear what they say. Sometimes there is no reflection in the mirror. That’s is a seriously dangerous Me Monster!

  65. The FlipFlop beast who reacts to hearsay. This beast has a strong opinion one day then hears a peer beast may have an opposing opinion. FlipFlop reverses his original opinion and is shocked to learn work was done guided by his original opinion. He’s close cousins with Rework Monster and CYA Monster – they even had a Brady Bunch cover band when they were kids.

  66. Monster #2 — The Arsonist Monster. We are great at starting fires; we all swoop in like locusts to put it out and try to save the day only to later realize our project is now delayed due to the reallocation of resources and the fact that it was a failed internal project that caused the fire to begin with.

  67. Oh, there are few monsters i know…

    1) Multiple personality monster
    Which comes when it happens to work on completely different roles(or projects), requiring equal amount of effortts and attention from your side.. As soon as it seems one of them gains some productivity, second one comes into game and takes attention away…

    2) Underestimate monster
    When for some reasons projects is underestimated, but deadlines cannot be moved.. Productivity is suffering either here or on related activities

    3) not-my-role monster
    Comes in the game when you like someone else role more than yours and trying to be involved in its activities, suffering with productivity of your main role.
    Another case where he comes, is when people urged to do things they’re not specialized in, like developers write requirements or design the UI.

    4) Mister good news
    The monster which makes informative and educational meetings for people who not related to the subject anyhow.

    5) Open and fun space monster
    Comes from the back, making you love your collegues and fun atmosphere, but takes away time with talks and fun activities.. Or just it’s too open.. So you have to turn headphones volume on max not to get into details of the online meeting at nearby desk.

    6) GrandPa toolbox monster…
    Holds on old and ancient tools, making users use them and do a lot of stuff manually and overwhelm them, while there’re shining new tools on the market wnich can automate this activities.

  68. I have two managers above me. Both are different combinations of your predefined monsters. My one manager, I will call Ned is definitely a CYA mixed with a heaping helping of Rework. He comes in at the last second, when the project is being demoed before release, then he picks it all apart going back on what he said a month ago because he forgot what he said. The result is a lot of rework.

    My other manager is Swoop wig a twist of Rework. We will invite hi to meets throughout design and send questions which he doesn’t take part in. Then he will request a personal demo at the last minute, and then provide different direction on parts of the product. And his opinion goes always. You know the result…

  69. I have had experience with the the swoop, rework and missing monsters on most projects I’ve been on. At any given time, one of these monsters can peep up and show it’s presence. Make plans to deal with these monsters swiftly and in a professional manner

  70. Mine is the rework monster for sure! After I have wrapped up the requirements or analysis, more information is “remembered” and some of it is a major game changer…

  71. I would pick the Reword Monster no matter how cute it looks.
    Because I can’t remember all the details about how one decision is made months or years ago, so It often takes me a long time to recollect all the information about that decision.

  72. I can definitely relate to the meh monster, but how about the power silo monster who defends his kingdom or project rather than considering the big picture?

  73. Priority Monster:
    This monster comes up oft times when u have so many high priority tasks that deciding on the highest among the priority ones becomes a priority by itself. And it does not get easier when the executive monster comes up with a so called overriding priority task. Talk about the priority list!!!

  74. So sorry I can’t enter,
    but still I would like to name my worst monster. It is the twin monster.
    “Your next project is just a twin of project ‘abcde’.
    You only have to consider that….”
    And then follows a long list of differences which make the project a complete new one.
    But as it is a “follow up”, there will only be time granted for a follow up

  75. All of the above make my list too, but the biggest one for me is the DAIS monster (Do As I Say)… no need for a business case, CBA or scope… just do it. This is normally followed by the WDIGWIW monster (Why Didn’t I Get What I Wanted). There’s always room for more acronyms in the business world…

  76. Flip flop monster
    This executive monster will constantly flip flop from one view to another. They will also ask analyst to come up with all kinds of options. What if this happens but we dont have this and so on but will never decide which one to proceed with. Will later come and give some decision or question when we have made some assumptions to get the project going.

  77. Creepy Monster – changes to scope, poorly defined scope, Sales agreed scope that can’t be delivered within Fixed price or time sold….

    Then there is the Friendly Fiend – everything is a favour and then it’s hard to put the brakes on and say no!

  78. Scope Monster. When the scope of the project grows unexpectedly and more work has to be done and deadlines are impacted by this

  79. I choose “Cog Monster” as this monster — blocks you from knowing the whole project, treating you like a task rabbit. She thinks as long as you and every other cog do your part, the whole product will hum, not understanding the importance of context so everyone knows what is being built and why”

    unawareness about the customer pain area/ background and where we are heading does not motivate people much to put their efforts to an extent which can make a difference. So my pick is “Cog Monster”.

  80. A variation of the “Rework Monster” rears its head constantly within projects. When requirement gathering meetings are called, stakeholders either don’t show up or present very skeletal requirements and once the project is expected to “go-live”, these individuals come up and delay launch date and claim “not been carried along”. FRUSTRATING!!!

  81. I have read all of the previous suggested new monsters and they are all out there sad but true.

    My Monster is the “Solution Monster” This is an executive stakeholder or sponsor that has authority and is needed in order to define the requirements but instead of going through the process of Scope Definition and trying to define requirements they provide only solutions. (They do sound intelligent at times). When they are blocked they go around the process and purchase a COTS product without going through normal purchase process. Then they say make it work even though it does not fit on infrastructure or meet opperational requirements not to mention future organisational IT direction.

  82. Conservative Monsters who do not accept and understand Modern Technologies/Ways. We waste a lot of time in order to convince them.

  83. Meeting monster. Too many, too long, too much on the agenda, too much off-topic at the meeting, too many attendees, and probably more, too.

  84. My monster is the Scocha Monster, this monster loves to change scope, every day, and some cases invalidating the project.

  85. The false assumption monster. This one lurks until it is too late to do anything, but admit he was holding you hostage.

  86. The “PrimaDonna” Monster – despite working in a collaborative environment with members of the business on the team who express their opinion as to what they need, she takes over any meeting to refine process by claiming that it has to come through her group first for approval at all decision points. Also did not review documentation beforehand so has many objections about why the “to-be” process mapped out this way could not possibly work & she won’t cooperate in the meeting so sign off gets pushed further out and then all of the above monsters swoop in as well!!!

  87. The “Yes Monster” who always says Yes to everything without investigating further whether our systems can handle them or not.

    The “Technology Monster” who just wants to buy new technology everytime a problem cannot be figured out.

  88. ESP Monster – I want/need you to be clairvoyant and read my mind as I don’t have time to show up for meetings or answer emails, or phone calls, or Lync messages… My requests are ambiguous and very broad, BUT I STILL want this project to be done on time and under budget! Oh! …and why hasn’t it been done yesterday?!

  89. I vote for the “Assumption monster”. An example- Designing a deal based on a very risky assumption, and then base add’l assumptions off of that assumption. An assumption should be a likely condition, presumed known and true without absolute certainty.

    On top of that, the “Assumption monster” for sure scares me worse when an assumption is not monitored and as time passes, its morphs into the creation of new assumptions that noone is documenting.

    Determining if something is an assumption or a constraint is vital for a project- asking stakeholders “should we proceed?” or “should we proceed on a limited basis and with caution!”

  90. I will go for the Rework Monster, this has been a real problem for places like ours where we have many representatives from clients comes up with different requirements at odd times. There is no proper channel to freeze those pouring requirements till the date of go live.

  91. Risk Monster …. For every system implemented, upgraded, device brought into the organization must go thorugh the risk assessment process, which is a necessary evil…but the required documentation, inquiries, etc., may increase pre-planning processes or approval to move forward, or extend timing of project, especially if an attornies become involved.

  92. How about the ‘Archaic Monster’ – it’s always been done this way, and change is hard. So i will resist any attempts at improving or trying something new.

  93. My monster is the Solution Monster. This monster wants to work on the solution right away without spending any time understanding the problem. He either has a vendor solution already picked or wants to start with brainstorming solutions. If the problem is not well-understood, the solution can create new problems, and/or not address the problem at all.

  94. Rework Monster – Every time I move forward with the project, business forgets about their last decision and then I have to dig into all those emails/proofs. Guess what – even after doing so, business realizes that it still has to be re-done! eheww!!!!

  95. The Swoop monster ofcourse, this is almost responsible for 80% of my nightmares;
    The cog monster, causes 20% and a headache too, but it is manageable…

  96. Hey Jama: I like the comment from Petter Muller a lot. The monsters are mostly from our own mistakes.

    I vote also to have a like button on those comments 🙂

  97. I can see that everyone on the blog is haunted by all kinds of monsters. They are all monsters of DIY IT. To eradicate these monsters you must do only one thing: build the Business Architecture superhero and call it into action. I can show you why, what, and how if you invite me to Toronto…

  98. Ours is the Creep monster which constantly asks for favors and of adding features/changes which result in meeting every monster described above…Spooky

  99. The Cog Monster is the biggest problem I face. It has multiple reasons, and the primary one is a lack of existing strategy around projects. Many projects exist because they are required by a certain set of people, without completing a clear analysis of the full benefits & impact on value chain.

  100. A combined beast – The Me Monster meets the Jargon Monster (MJ Monster). This monster talks so much and uses so much jargon that you have no idea what they need or want. You are left shaking your head and calling follow-up meetings (without them) to make any progress. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop at meetings, the MJ Monster just lllllloooovvees to email and have the last say.

  101. My biggest monster is the Swoop Monster. When this monster comes, it never, ever comes alone. It brings the Rework and CYA monsters and any combination of the others along with it. ARGGGGGGGH!

  102. Loyalist monster: This monster knows and loves the existing, 10-year-old database management system or spreadsheet. It works (mostly) flawlessly for this monster, and makes the monster irreplaceable because nobody else knows it as well as he or she does. Nothing (especially not the new system) will ever work as well as that system, and this monster will complain (loudly) about the differences so that you’re stuck making infinite tweaks to the much more powerful new solution. This only bolsters the Loyalist monster’s position, though, that the old system was infallibly superior. As he or she is dragged reluctantly into the 21st century, this monster will rally (or wear down) as many allies as possible to demand pixel-perfect renditions of old reports and make elaborate workarounds to support processes that could be handled more efficiently if they were less obdurate. But the Legacy monster has outsized clout and will consistently be the squeaky wheel that distracts from more important projects.

  103. My monster is the assumption monster: this monster takes decisions assuming things are how he thinks they should be without checking if they are changed in time. This monster very likely comes out too late in the project saying that nobody told him about changes and this causes delays..

  104. The Halloween monster – enhancement requests “disguised” as production fixes/break fixes – if you are not careful, a lot of resource time can quickly get drained trying to “solve” the fictitious production problem.

  105. The Value-Trap monster. A blackhole that pretends to be running a project without any domain experience which results in effort and resources being sucked into a blackhole of having to continually explain context and then bail them out when they misconvey something critical.

  106. How about the Debbie Monster or the Monster Debbie. Representing Debbie Downer. Negativity is poison. 1. a: a person who says something terribly depressing (a downer), typically only tangentially related to the present circumstance or topic of conversation, and thereby destroys the positive atmosphere. b: a statement that is charactaristic of Debbie Downer

  107. We suffer from the Hansel-and-Gretel-Monster. Like in Grimms fairytale this monster feeds itself with information how to get back to home, resp. the decision that and why things were changed. ROAARRR…

  108. The OverAnalyzer monster. It moves like a snail on glycerin, like a tortoise on glass.Be open, clear, iterative, relevant, proactive. The Jama way.

  109. A variation of the Meh Monster. At the end of the project, the end customer states, “That’s exactly what I asked for but it isn’t what I want.” I try to keep this one at bay by keeping iterations of the project in front of the end customer so these kinds of requirement misunderstandings are minimized.

  110. All of these monsters sound familiar and come up frequently; however, the Swoop Monster is perhaps the biggest issue in my projects. The Swoop Monster will usually be quickly followed by ‘Meh’ unless all hands come on deck to deal with Swoop first. It is a vicious cycle and is not even addressable with agile processes.

  111. I deal with Inverted Monster. This monster runs ahead of itself without proper planning, development and documentation of requirements causing many other Monsters to come out of the woodwork. Scary.

  112. All of these monster sounds familiar. I would say the most common ones are Swoop and Meh monsters. However, sometimes working on Business Analytics projects I’ve met several “Archaic monsters”, who are against to change and find new ways to improve their job.

  113. The WINNING monster is the Stakeholder Dream monster..!!
    This monster is in dreams when the requirements are elicited or the decisions are made.
    Suddenly, it awakens, and has no recollection of agreeing to, or discussing requirements.
    Then has the most crucial, highest priority requirements, which are just an outcome of his return from the dreamy land..!!

    These dreamy monsters destroys your work, make you rework, and when you are taking approvals, are in a dreamy land again. Such are our DREAM MONSTERs..!!

  114. The greatest monster I face is the Silo Monster! This stealthy creature hides out of sight, buried deep in the earth. He doesn’t make a sound or let you know he’s there until he senses your project is nearing completion. Then he launches his rocket, destroying your assumptions and scattering your stakeholders with a warhead of new requirements and dependencies!

    • 🙂

      I can relate. You left out the look given to those who refuse to pretend to understand the pretentious jargon monster! If this monster ranks high enough they can kill careers and projects and make good consultants look bad.

      • Thanks for the message!
        This JargonLover kills productivity. It reminds me of Karen’s book – Shut Up and Say Something – as in something meaningful!
        All this guy will say is “Let’s empower each swim-lane to make hay on the bleeding edge of technology”.

  115. What about the “What Do I Do” Monster? Missing requirements, unclear requirements, disconnects between business users and the BA, or lacking skillset of a BA to clearly define requirements. Some of the biggest misses I’ve seen has been with the lack of a solid BA to clearly define what the developer needs to build, hence the “What Do I Do” Monster. O.K. not as creatively named as the other cute monsters above, but big gap in delivery of successful projects for sure.

  116. Monster #4 – The Gatekeeper Monster

    This monster starts off cute like those pictured above, but really becomes a thorn in your side as time goes on. This monster implements constantly changing processes, procedures, artifacts and “gates” that must be followed. You spend more time trying to complete documentation and getting from one gate to the next than you do actually coding the change. Not to mention spinning your wheels when changes to the required artifacts occurs weekly.

  117. My monster is the lets change direction monster. Often driven by a leadership change or a budget cut, someone higher up the chain stops the work cold. Projects get abandoned and $$$ go down the drain.

  118. Scope Creep monster is lurking round the corner all the time. He/She takes the valuable time you need for the activities already in your plate and thus putting the time schedules for the artifacts in jeopardy.

  119. The Oversight Monster (thinking of a big monster with lots of eyes and hands)
    This monster makes you drop everything and produce reports, an approval, or other documentation to back up the work you could be doing if you didn’t have to comply with Its constant demands.
    It particularly likes to stalk its prey on Friday afternoon (ending hope you could go home even close to on time), or Monday morning 15 minutes before a critical meeting…

  120. I have 3 – The Finger Pointing Monster, The Know-it-All Monster and the Offshore Monster. The Finger Pointing Monster likes to point fingers at everyone else instead of taking accountibility, The Know-it-All monster is close to the Cog Monster except they know everything – they know how the system is programmed, they know what the business wants and they know the best way to get everything done. And, finally, the Offshore Monster. He comes from another land and is told to program but is not given any other information. He is here for a couple months and then disappears – only to be replaced by another Offshore Monster who is given even less information.

  121. The Swoop Monster, which by the way does not need to be an Executive: it can be any user, product owner or stakeholder who wither does not approve the requirements or provide answers or puts in/takes out requirements scope along the project duration. Real nasty: you feel like you’re in quick sand all the time.

  122. We have a “work avoidance monster” at our organisation. This monster reluctantly participates in workshops and even sometimes agrees to undertake certain tasks outside of the meeting. Then goes back to his desk and quietly goes into hibernation for the remainder of the project, never available for another discussion, ignores emails and calls in sick on deadlines.

  123. I am currently being haunted by the “ESP Monster”! This little devil keeps showing up in demos and UAT meetings stating “I know that’s what I said, but it’s not what I meant” -OR- the very ghoulish “I know that was what you showed me in your wire frame, but that’s not what I envisioned”. This creepy critter ends up inviting some monster friends to the party like “Meh” and “Rework”. Result=”when are we deploying this project?”

  124. Amnesia Monster

    This monster seems to have awoken from hibernation before a meeting and must be reminded of project goals, scope, progress, etc. He may appear cute and fuzzy, but Amnesia Monster can strike at any time, grinding productive meetings to a halt when he requires a trip down memory lane to get up to speed.

  125. Bad Attitude Monster: Her body language and lack of enthusiasm impeding the entire project.
    Positivity Monster: Destroys Bad Attitude Monster with her positive attitude and team contributions.

  126. ConeOfSilenceMonster

    I don’t want to talk to other team members to understand or resolve problems, so much easier to let it get out of hand and then get as many managers/team leads involved as possible to sort it out…


    Why treat my fellow team members with respect when i can order them round and be rude to them, especially when i am trying to cover up my mistakes…. leading to countless hours from team leads/managers having to help resolve team issues….


    Any project where following agile principles is more important than actually getting good working software 🙂 leading all of us to waste many hours having to explain to agile fanatics that there are many ways to get good working software and part of the skill is identifying which methodology is appropriate for a specific project (and no, we are not resistant to change etc some of us have been working with agile principles long before it was raised to a religion 🙂

  127. My monster is breaking monster that in order to meet their business, some customers are using our application in a different way that we don’t know.

    So when another customer asks to change a feature or function, which may break those customers process.

    Hot fix after releasing is painful and changing forth and back reduces our productivity and efficiency dramatically in the next life circle.

  128. the Yesbut monster: first acknowledging everything you explain: impact, constraints, consequences. And then simply ignoring every meeting/communication you ever had by asking the one thing it wouldn’t get, changing the one paramter that is fix because of a previous decision, demanding the one feature the solution wasn’t supposed to deliver 😐

  129. This is the “Monster-e-Implicit Requirements”.
    Most of the times, a statement will have multiple underlying expectation, which the analyst has to decode and ensure that the requirement is collectively met.

  130. Cog monsters are the biggest enemies for me. How shall I deliver something I do not know? Please give me more details, they’re never enough!

  131. The Hostage Monster. Yes I agreed to the scope and priorities for the release. Yes I signed-off on the requirements. Yes I signed-off on testing. But I’m not adopting/on-boarding/using the tool until I get this new requirement that I want.

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