Moving the goal posts

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Some posts yesterday (although not moving at this time).
“I prefer to take them round the back”
~ Oscar Wilde on Moving the goal posts
“I was moved by the whole experience”
~ A Post on the above

Moving the goal posts (or shifting the goalposts) is a rather amusing activity practiced between the "important people" (the importants) and the "un-important people" (the unimportants) involving the movement (or not) of the "Posts".

edit Process Overview

Osi model256
The Seven layers of the "Open System of Importance" showing the flow of post movement and whinging

The rules of the game are simple: While playing each important must attempt to keep the posts of the unimportant below him/her in perpetual motion. Any non-movement of the posts may be considered a defeat for the important and may under extreme conditions allow the unimportant to play. Although this may be considered a loss for the important the rules allow them to start moving the posts again at any time and so will have actually moved the posts.

Generally speaking the initial movement of the posts starts reasonably high up in the OSI (see right), with each level cascading the movement down to the level below until the lowest level finally gets the blame for everything. It is usually considered more sporting and amusing for the important to increase the amount of post movement progressively through the game to project a false sense of hope for the less important.

edit Attempting to Prevent Post Movement

Project Managers Moving posts
Two Project Managers hard at work

Methods used by the unimportants to attempt to prevent the movement of the posts include "the requirements document", "asking people questions" and "writing down what the hell we are doing". These methods are (of course) seldom taken seriously by the important.

edit Becoming more Important

Playing of the game is generally considered much more fun for the important than the unimportant. Because of this many unimportants attempt to become more important themselves, a practice frowned upon by members of their own importance level. The "newly more important" (aka previously unimportant important) usually replies "stating that he is more important than the important and then promptly moves the posts.

edit Who can become more Important?

Only unimportants with very poor unimportant skills are ever allowed to become more important. It has been shown that experienced unimportants allowed to become more important often completely fail to move the goal posts at all creating embarrassment for other importants, a "Fixed goal" and sometimes in extreme circumstances the phenomenon know as "Finishing something".

edit Techniques Used to Move the Goal Posts

Move goalposts 300
Early stages
During the process
“That's not what we agreed”
“I always said it should never have been like that anyway”
~ Some Important guy
“I'm the Customer”
~ The Customer
“You made it wrong”
“I'm the boss”
“Before the end of play I would like you to proactively streamline the dynamic empowerment of our diverse immersion strategy by taking the synergy of the paradigm through to the next generation of our enterprise framework. This should leverage any subsequent exit strategy by reducing the empowerment required due to the globalization of our win-win sea change. Once we break through the clutter there should be no problem thinking outside the box whilst we disconnect from the end-game”
~ A very talented project manager
“Just fucking start again”
~ A less diplomatic Boss

edit See also

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Moving the goal posts.
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