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Catch Phrase – Trust and Verify

January 29, 2010

The head of my certification committee recently introduced me to the phrase “Trust, but verify”.  I had never heard it before. I like it. It’s catchy and concise.  The word “but” is almost always followed by unpleasantries, so I decided to change it to “Trust and Verify”.  They are not mutually exclusive.  Trust and verify is what every Project Manager needs to do everyday.  They need to build trust with all the stakeholders.  At the same time, it is our job as Project Managers to make sure that work is completed as specified in the requirements.

Make it clear to your team from the start that you trust them and you will be verifying the work as it is completed.  The sponsor(s) and customer(s) are relying on you to verify the completion of work at the level of quality indicated.

As I was writing this piece, I researched the phrase “Trust, but verify”.  Apparently Ronald Reagan used it often, although he did not coin the phrase.  If want to know more about the phrase “Trust, but verify”, check out this link,_but_verify .

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