The Lean Project Manager

PMI Belgium Chapter

Laurent Kummer is a quality and project management professional, having delivered IT and quality projects to large private companies and to the public sector for over 20 years. An entrepreneur and private consultant, he’s helping companies and non-profit organizations achieve excellence in management through teaching, coaching and mentoring executives and managers, consulting on specific issues or leading projects on their behalf. He is the author of “The Lean Project Manager”, which proposes to make the project management practice lean through six principles, and shares tips and tricks to boost project managers’ careers.

Lean principles are largely introduced in organizations through a combination of programs and projects. The reason for that is simple: We tend to call any temporary attempt to change something in an organization a project.

The popularity of project management methodologies—and the demand for project managers—is clear evidence of this. While some attempts have been made to write about managing lean projects by the project management community, few of them discussed a way to manage projects in a lean fashion—in other words, to apply lean principles to project management itself.

Here I will propose tips and tricks to introduce lean into our practice, avoiding common waste pitfalls and presenting experiments made in the field to improve the personal productivity of the project manager.

Leaning the practice
When it comes to “leaning” the practice of project management, I have rarely seen any company tackling the problem correctly from the start. In these times of immediate purchases and instant downloads, many leaders expect a turnkey solution from lean—purchasing a few templates from the web or paying an expensive consultant. This rarely ends well.

Then you have organizations that have the means and the time to invest in a lean transformation. They will rely on their existing project structures and resources to conduct the necessary …

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